Nottinghamshire 448 (Slater 109, Duckett 80, Brathwaite 71, Patel 54) and 93 for 1 drew with Yorkshire 498 (Kohler-Cadmore 106, Ballance 104, Bresnan 80, Tattersall 51, Patel 6-114)
Yorkshire’s thoughts soon turned to next week’s Roses match as play ended with handshakes at 4.20pm as a slow-moving, often attritional contest from drifted to its inevitable conclusion after the rain-reduced third day.
Contained within the first half-hour were pretty much all the significant developments on the final day. Tom Kohler-Cadmore completed his maiden first-class century as a Yorkshire player – well-deserved, too – and Yorkshire made the 43 they had needed overnight to claim a fifth batting bonus point.
It is the first time this season that Yorkshire have collected all five and will give them a much-needed sense of stability ahead of a contest that could decide the fate of both counties. It leaves them still next to bottom of the Division One table, still behind Lancashire, but only by one point and with a game in hand.
A Roses match is always an occasion but next week’s encounter at Headingley, the latest in terms of starting date in the rivalry’s history, thus has more riding on it than most. If there is a positive outcome, whoever wins probably sends the other one down.
Certainly, in Lancashire’s case, a victory looks imperative, with only Hampshire at the Rose Bowl to follow. Yorkshire, who won handsomely at Old Trafford in July even with James Anderson in Lancashire’s line-up, are unbeaten in the last five first-class Roses matches.
“It’s a massive game,” first-team coach Andrew Gale said. “The ones that come after will be big too, but in the context of things, with both of us where we are in the table, the Lancashire game is huge.
“But we have come away from this game after a difficult few weeks having played well, winning the key passages of play. Tom Kohler-Cadmore showed what a good player he is and the batting display overall was really solid.
“The lads have got a spring in their step again and we know if we play well over a long enough period of time at Headingley we will win the game. Maybe there is a little bit more pressure on them with one game less to come but they are a good side and they will be confident too.”
That aforementioned half-hour was the most exciting of the match, the crucial 110th over – bowled by Samit Patel, which Yorkshire began still needing seven for 400 – a contest all of its own.
A single from Kohler-Cadmore preceded a dot ball before Tim Bresnan took a comfortable leg-bye, then Kohler-Cadmore, giving himself room to go inside out against the left-arm spinner, was bowled leg stump. It meant that, with five still needed, new batsman Matthew Waite – playing in only his third first-class match – effectively had to score off his first ball, if only to get Bresnan down to the striker’s end for the last one.
The two batsmen conferred in the middle, where the 22-year-old presumably said something along the lines of ‘leave it to me’ to his senior partner. Confidently stepping down the pitch, he drove his first ball through the covers for four and the next past mid-on with the same outcome. Job done. “That’s what you get with young players,” Gale said. “He was fearless.”
Waite, who later swept Patel for consecutive sixes, had been Yorkshire’s most effective bowler, also, which would make his omission against Lancashire look a little harsh, although with Steve Patterson likely to return after injury and Ben Coad a possible too Yorkshire may have to decide between him, the legspinner Josh Poysden and the pace of Mathew Pillans, the new arrival from Surrey, who conceded 128 runs in 30 overs in this match without taking a wicket.
One selection not in doubt is Kohler-Cadmore, who rounded off his fifth career first-class century by pulling and glancing Harry Gurney for consecutive fours before raising his bat towards the Yorkshire balcony, where all the players and coaching staff had lined up to applaud what had been a measured innings of high quality.
Patel, who had not bowled as many overs in an innings since sending down 60 of Durham’s 171 in a September match at Chester-le-Street in 2009, showed patience of a different kind to come through such a long test of his mental agility and was rewarded with 6-114, his best figures in the Championship since his career-best 7-68 against Hampshire in July 2011 and, slightly surprisingly, given his aggregate, only the fifth five-wicket haul of his career.
The last of the six, neatly enough, was his 300th first-class wicket for Nottinghamshire as Jake Libby, fielding under the helmet on the off-side, snapped up a catch to dismiss Jack Brooks, to be followed quickly by a first for the county for Libby’s occasional offspin as Bresnan, whose 82-ball half-century had been important in winning the extra point, was well taken at mid-on for 80, his highest Championship score for two years.
Nottinghamshire, whose left-arm seamer Harry Gurney left the field mid-over after feeling tightness in a calf, faced 31 fairly meaningless overs in what remained. Jack Brooks did not bowl for Yorkshire, who felt it better to give him more rest ahead of next week. Matthew Fisher and David Willey, who also missed this match, will be assessed over the weekend, although Gale is reluctant to take risks with anyone’s fitness, even with so much at stake.