Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire, day two:
Yorkshire 264 (Nash 3-20), Nottinghamshire 355 (Moores 106)
Trent Bridge is a ground which honours its heroes with subtlety.
Chris Read received a portrait in the long room at the close of his career; Sobers and Hadlee lend their names to the indoor nets which hope to unearth the cricketing giants of the future.
Sterling feats on the field are acknowledged warmly, but with no little class. Raucous hyperbole is not the way of the Nottinghamshire cricket-watching public.
For now, of course, only the most restrained of receptions are heard in venues hosting games behind closed doors, but Tom Moores’ efforts on day two of Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire would have been sure to have received a hearty reception in ordinary circumstances.
A staggering century – Moores’ career-best, and his first at Trent Bridge – turned the game on its head, powering Notts into a commanding 91-run lead at the close of play.
Moores reached his hundred with a dismissive cut for four, having previously completed the most audacious of reverse-sweeps for six off Dawid Malan and Adam Lyth.
But earlier in his innings, the wicketkeeper-batsman recognised that this was not a day for a mere dasher.
His partnership with Samit Patel, worth 99, was a defining passage of play.
Thirty-nine balls would pass without either finding the ropes, but strike-rotation and judicious shot selection carried the duo to the largest stand of the day.
And as Yorkshire’s total moved into view, the shackles loosened. As Richie Benaud almost said once, a maximum from Moores travelled so far, it almost went for nine.
And the 23-year-old weathered the loss of Patel, for a well-made 38, to find a more than capable ally in Matthew Carter (15).
A red-letter day for Moores in the red-ball format, and an innings he will savour for the rest of his career.
But, as he conceded post-match, without some doughty work earlier in the day, he would not have enjoyed the licence to go through the gears.
Early morning felt like early-season, with cloudy conditions and a breeze in the air. The calendar might have said it was August, but the skies were enough to convince it was April.
It was a morning to grind, to graft – and Haseeb Hameed was more than happy to do so.
Kevin Howells, commentating for the BBC, pontificated that Hameed was an ‘interesting joy to watch’ as he made 21 from 67 deliveries. His 100-minute vigil came to an end courtesy of the bowling of Dom Leech.
After Ben Duckett fell for four to Duanne Olivier, enter Joe Clarke, mixing studious judgement with moments of elegance.
His first boundary of the day unfurled itself through the covers, with a piroutette through the leg side and textbook on-drive drawing the eye before lunch.
To say it was an innings without its dramas would be to do it a disservice. An appeal for a run-out when wandering from his crease went unheeded. But it merely betrayed the difficulty of the conditions.
So to the afternoon – much more akin to midsummer than mid-morning had been.
Clarke remained in the company of Steven Mullaney – the skipper rivalling his partner for shot of the morning with a huge hooked maximum on the stroke of lunch.
Mullaney was in the mood to punish anything errant, and was especially ruthless through point to anything wide.
The pair would put on 60 together, but as the desire to accelerate and accumulate grew, a pinpoint direct hit from Jordan Thompson ended Clarke’s stay at the crease.
His departure brought Peter Trego to the middle, as the sun began to bake the pitch and it became a summer Sunday afternoon to suit spin.
Jack Shutt, long of hair but short in years, was called on by the visitors, prompting Trego to unleash an aerial drive that would not have looked out of place in this weekend’s USPGA Golf Championship.
Caressed and bludgeoned boundaries in the 53rd over were equally impressive, before losing his wicket to Olivier for 39.
At 187-6, the prospects of parity with Yorkshire’s 264 were receding, but this is a Nottinghamshire side with the ability to bat deep.
And with Moores’ runs at number seven changing the shape of the match, Notts’ horizons can expand for days three and four of the contest.
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