As seemed likely at the outset of the final day, Nottinghamshire’s LV= county championship match against Yorkshire at Scarborough ended in a draw.
Resuming on 358 for four, just 85 runs behind, Yorkshire batted until the middle of the afternoon before declaring on 572 for eight, with captain Andrew Gale scoring 272.
The two skippers shook hands at 5pm with Notts on 105-1 after 24 overs, the second consecutive away draw for Mick Newell’s side.
"We are certainly going away with far fewer bonus points than I would have liked." Mick Newell
“I was more pleased with the Sussex game,” said Newell. “I thought we were on the right side of that game and gave a good account of ourselves.
“Here there were one or two areas that were slightly disappointing and we are certainly going away with far fewer bonus points than I would have liked.
“I made the point to the players that to score 260 or 270 in 110 overs is not enough. The first day it was crucial that we didn’t lose a lot of wickets so 177-2 after day one I was pleased but from then on I thought we should have scored a little more quickly with our batting. Having said that we went on to get 440 so were in a good position but only took four wickets.
“To draw a game we should be taking eight or ten points – here we left with only six.”
Gale, unbeaten on 159 and already on a personal best, and Gary Ballance, re-starting on 103, looked to push on at every opportunity.
One over from Harry Gurney, the third of the day, produced a significant amount of drama. It began with Notts claiming a catch by Patel at slip, as the ball appeared to fly off the shoulder of the bat.
Reprieved by the umpire, Gale then top-edged a slash over Chris Read’s head for four, picked up two from an overthrow, hit another four and was then spilled after an incredible diving effort by Michael Lumb in the gully.
To call it a chance is harsh as the ferocity of the shot made it seem unstoppable, let alone caught.
Ed Cowan and Alex Hales both pulled off sensational diving stops to prevent Ballance from collecting a couple of boundaries but the fifth-wicket partnership continued to prosper until fifty minutes into the day.
After a stand of 297, occupying 82.2 overs, Ballance (141) flicked one through to Read, trying to cut the bowling of Paul Franks. It was Notts’ first success for 23 hours.
Adil Rashid (0) arrived at the crease on the back of centuries in three consecutive matches. Such is the nature of the game, his fortunes changed dramatically as he drove Luke Fletcher straight to Cowan at cover to depart without scoring.
The new batsman, Andrew Hodd, had the distinction of giving Yorkshire the first innings lead, clipping his first boundary away through midwicket – shortly after James Taylor had pulled off an astonishing piece of fielding in the deep – diving towards the rope to scoop the ball back over his head to prevent the boundary.
Gale had a worrying time after reaching 199. He twice played and missed, then survived a very confident lbw shout against Shahzad, before clipping the same bowler to fine leg to reach his double-hundred.
After lunch the left-hander not only went past Jacques Rudolph’s ground record score of 220 (achieved v Warwicks in 2007) but he accelerated on beyond 250 before falling.
He cleared the ropes a further three times, the second of them parried over the ropes in front of the pavilion by Shahzad.
Gale’s mammoth knock eventually ended when he skied Patel and Read, on the run, took a well-judged catch.
Each of the Nottinghamshire players took the opportunity to rush to Gale to congratulate him on his mammoth innings.
Rich Pyrah (14 not out) got off the mark with a maximum but the innings closed when Andrew Hodd (40) chopped Patel to Gurney at point.
The total was immediately confirmed as Yorkshire’s highest against Notts.
Batting again, 129 behind – with a potential 46 overs to face – Notts again lost Alex Hales (5) cheaply.
Confidence taken from a clip through midwicket off Sidebottom was then lost as Steven Patterson thudded one into his pads for a successful lbw appeal.
The situation could have worsened. Cowan survived an lbw shout of his own, off Sidebottom, and was then dropped by Lyth at slip off the same bowler.
The backdrop of gunfire – emanating from the Battle of the Battleships at nearby Peasholme Park, Notts made it through to tea on 16 for one.
Cowan (53 not out) and Lumb (47 not out) calmed any nerves amongst the sizeable Nottinghamshire following by remaining together until the close, with the Australian reaching his fifty (70 balls, 8x4) from the final ball of the contest.