The first double hundred of Alex Hales’ career helped Nottinghamshire into a position of strength on the opening day of their LV= County Championship match against Yorkshire at Trent Bridge.
The England international was unbeaten on 222 not out as the home side reached 393 for seven by stumps, having been invited to bat first. Hales scored his runs from 250 balls, with 37 fours and a 6 and having shared in a third wicket stand of 171 with James Taylor, who scored 59.
Steven Patterson, with two for 58 and Jack Brooks, two for 90, returned the leading figures for the Yorkshire bowlers on a tough day for the defending Champions.
Hales’ passed three figures for the tenth time in his career, spoiling the return of Andrew Gale, back skippering Yorkshire again after serving a four match suspension.
Gale rotated all seven bowlers at his disposal but all found it difficult to put the brake on Hales’ scoring.
In general, too much width was offered to the 26-year-old and he capitalised fully to reach his century from 131 balls and his 150 from 173.
Taylor was a perfect foil for his World Cup teammate, content to play the supportive role in reaching his own 50 from 89 balls, with 9 fours.
Yorkshire’s spirits were lifted just before the tea interval when Brooks struck twice in an over, snaring Taylor with an lbw decision and then providing enough temptation for Samit Patel to nudge one into the hands of Alex Lees at first slip.
Riki Wessels made 18 before falling just before the taking of the second new ball, guiding Nottingham-born Will Rhodes to second slip.
Hales went past his previous best of 184, made against Somerset in 2011, and then had his only two scares of the day, against the bowling of Patterson. An uppish chip to mid on was totally missed by Rhodes, who claimed he lost the flight of the ball.
On 197 a huge shout for lbw was turned down by umpire Russell Evans, to the dismay of the entire fielding unit. A four off Bresnan eased home nerves, though, and a standing ovation was duly afforded Hales for reaching the 200 landmark from 234 deliveries.
He will return on the second morning, after the final over of the day was cut short following the dismissal of Will Gidman, also caught in the slip cordon, off Patterson.
Nottinghamshire’s openers both made 27 before the visiting attack struck twice during the morning session. Steven Mullaney was given out lbw to Patterson, beaten by one that came back and missed the inside edge.
Brendan Taylor, who had scored centuries in both of his first class appearances this season, became a notable first scalp for Matthew Fisher, who at 17 years 161 days is Yorkshire’s sixth youngest debutant.