Gale forces his way into record books as game ends in a draw

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Tykes skipper Andrew Gale continued his epic innings at North Marine Road on Saturday as he and his Yorkshire side set a fresh batch of records on the final day of the LV= County Championship division one match with Nottinghamshire, which ended in a predictable draw.

The Yorkshire captain, on 159 overnight when the score was 358-4, went on to make 272, the highest county score by a player at the Scarborough ground, eclipsing Jacques Rudolph’s 220 back in 2007 against Warwickshire.

It was also the 13th highest score in the county’s history and the third highest since the Second World War, and gave the crowd plenty to cheer about in a match that petered out after Gale’s dismissal early in the afternoon session.

The only ones to exceed it since were Darren Lehmann’s 339 against Durham in 2006 and Martyn Moxon’s unbeaten 274 against Worcestershire in 1994, Yorkshire’s current director of professional cricket watching Gale fall just two runs short of his own score.

Gale’s splendid effort contained 62 runs more than he had made in his previous nine Championship innings this season and his knock lasted just shy of nine hours, coming off 404 balls and included 25 fours and four sixes.

The end for Gale came when he miscued Samit Patel - shortly after hitting him dismissively for a four and a six - high towards point and wicketkeeper Chris Read dashed to catch the ball close to the ground, although it looked at one stage as if the former England keeper had misjudged the catch.

Soon after, Gale declared at 572-8, Yorkshire’s highest score against Nottinghamshire, overtaking their 562 at Bradford Park Avenue in 1899.

That gave them a first-innings lead of 129 with a minimum of 46 overs remaining and the visitors were 105 for one when a halt was called.

Gary Ballance had already completed his own century when the morning session began, his fifth-wicket stand with Gale being worth an unbroken 237, and when it went past 252 it beat Yorkshire’s previous best stand for any wicket against Nottinghamshire by Doug Padgett and Brian Close at Trent Bridge in 1959.

By the time Ballance was out for a career-best 141 off 265 balls with 19 boundaries the stand was worth 297, Yorkshire’s third highest for the fifth wicket against any county and the highest since 1899. Ballance was caught behind flashing at Paul Franks.

Adil Rashid, boasting a Championship average of 254.50 and with centuries in his last three matches, drove Luke Fletcher to cover before he had scored, but wicketkeeper Andy Hodd then joined Gale in a seventh-wicket alliance of 121.

Gale was visibly tiring and could have been out to any one of four consecutive balls from Ajmal Shahzad on 199 before turning a single to long leg and he was unbeaten on 203 at lunch with Yorkshire on 462-6.

A mid-wicket six for Gale off Patel hurried him to 247 which made him the top-scoring Yorkshire batsman in a match at North Marine Road and taking him beyond Len Hutton’s 241 for Players v Gentlemen in 1953.

There was sufficient time left in the game for Gale to go beyond Yorkshire’s highest individual score of 341 by George Hirst in 1905 but any such thoughts vanished with his dismissal to Patel, Gale receiving a standing ovation from around the ground as the exhausted skipper made his way back to the pavilion.

Yorkshire were 552-7 upon his departure and the innings continued until Hodd was caught by Harry Gurney for a tidy40 to bring Patel his third wicket.

There was brief hope of Yorkshire causing an upset when the out-of-touch Alex Hales fell lbw to Steve Patterson with the score on six and Ed Cowan should have gone in the next over from Ryan Sidebottom but he was badly dropped by Scarborough’s Adam Lyth at second slip.

Cowan and former Tyke Michael Lumb then successfully applied themselves to the task of batting until 5pm when the draw was agreed with Nottinghamshire on 105-1 in 24 overs, Cowan hitting the last two balls of the match from Alex Lees for fours to reach 53 while Lumb remained unbeaten on 47.

Check our website later tonight for Gale’s reaction after today’s record-breaking achievement