Jason Gillespie conceded Yorkshire had missed a chance to reclaim top spot in division one after their LV= Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Headingley finished in a draw.
Yorkshire’s first-team coach knew victory on the final day would have propelled his side over Somerset to reclaim the summit, but they were unable to capitalise on early wickets.
Resuming on 102-2 leading by 60, Nottinghamshire briefly fell into trouble when they lost three wickets in the morning, only for James Taylor and captain Chris Read to forge a 115-run sixth-wicket stand to effectively end Yorkshire’s hopes of victory.
Notts finally declared on 335-8, setting Yorkshire an unlikely victory target of 294 from 39 overs and both sides settled on the draw after they reached 53-3 after 31 overs.
“We didn’t have a problem with Notts not setting a target – it was out of our hands,” said Gillespie.
“I know Andrew Gale had a conversation and they thought the best chance of them winning the game was to put the game completely out of our reach and have a crack with their bowling attack.
“We had 31 overs and we backed ourselves to survive that. It was a target that was out of our reach and an unrealistic target to set.
“They were purely thinking they could do something special and knock us over inside 40 overs and that was their plan and it didn’t work for them.
“I think it is a chance missed and it goes back to the batting in the first innings.
“I still think the top six have to take the responsibility and get the job done. There is no point leaving it until number eight or nine. Pyrah came in and as well as he played, it’s not his job to score all the runs for us.”
Steve Patterson provided Yorkshire with early hope by claiming two wickets in an over, denying Michael Lumb his half-century when he was caught behind, before Samit Patel chipped to short mid-wicket to claim a pair in the match. When Riki Wessels also fell lbw to Tim Bresnan, leaving Notts on 154-5, 112 ahead, Yorkshire had a chance until Read and Taylor changed the match.
Yorkshire missed an opportunity to break the stand – Patterson failing to take a sharp return catch from Read, while Bresnan could have run out Taylor in the confusion that followed but threw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end where both batsmen were in their ground.
Taylor later became one of four victims for Bresnan, caught at square leg four short of his century, while Read’s aggressive innings of 75 off 94 balls, including nine fours and a six, was ended by the same bowler when he was caught in the deep.
After the declaration, Yorkshire had a brief period of anxiety, Alex Lees edging Andre Adams behind while Jack Leaning mis-timed a pull off the same bowler to mid-on.
Adam Lyth was caught at the second attempt by Adams at leg slip off Patel, but captain Andrew Gale and Jonny Bairstow batted out the remaining 13 overs to assure Yorkshire of second place in the table.
LV= County Championship division one
Yorkshire v Nottinghamshire
at Headingley Carnegie
Nottinghamshire First Innings: 205 (Bresnan 3-43, Brooks 3-74).
Yorkshire First Innings: 247 (Finch 45, Pyrah 45; Siddle 4-65, Patel 3-13).
Nottinghamshire Second Innings
A D Hales lbw b Bresnan 8
P A Jaques c Bairstow b Patterson 20
M Lumb c Bairstow b Patterson 49
J W A Taylor c Rashid b Bresnan 96
S R Patel c Rashid b Patterson 0
M H Wessels lbw b Bresnan 18
C M W Read c Rashid b Bresnan 75
P M Siddle not out 48
A R Adam c Finch b Patterson 0
A Shahzad not out 12
Extras (8b 1lb) 9
Total for 8 wkts declared (98 overs) 335
Bowling: Bresnan 27-2-112-4, Brooks 23-7-73-0, Patterson 25-10-57-4, Pyrah 11-2-32-0, Rashid 8-0-44-0, Finch 4-1-8-0.
Yorkshire Second Innings
A Lyth c Adams b Patel .13
Lees c Read b Adams 6
Leaning c Shahzad b Adams 15
Gale not out 5
Bairstow not out 3
Extras (6nb 5lb) 11
Total for 3 wkts (31 overs) 53
Bowling: Siddle 7-2-8-0, Shahzad 6-2-6-0, Adams 7-1-24-2, Patel 11-7-10-1.
Yorkshire (9pts) drew with Nottinghamshire (9pts)