Yorkshire stay strong despite Fletcher five
Watch highlights of day one between Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire
By Callum Dent at Trent Bridge
Nottinghamshire seamer Luke Fletcher's second first-class five-wicket haul failed to take the shine off another dogged batting display from LV= County Championship title contenders Yorkshire at Trent Bridge.
Ever since losing heavily to Sussex on the opening week of the season, the Tykes' performances with the willow have been key to their charge up the Division One table, which they led by 10 points heading into this round of fixtures.
On day one of their latest game, they reached a healthy total of after being inserted by Chris Read on a green surface.
Despite Fletcher proving a constant threat en route to figures of 5-66, the White Rose battled hard and were boosted by 95 from opener Adam Lyth and Adil Rashid's 78.
Liam Plunkett and Andrew Gale also chipped in with 41 and 33 respectively, while Jonny Bairstow, who arrived in Nottingham at 2:15pm after being released from England duty, was unbeaten on 24 at stumps.
After finding runs easy to come by in the first three overs, Yorkshire were pegged back when Alex Lees played a loose drive and was caught behind off Harry Gurney for eight.
Phil Jaques, returning to the four-day side following an injury lay-off, strode to the crease and showed no signs of rustiness until Fletcher, in his seventh consecutive over from the Radcliffe Road End, trapped the left-hander in front for 19.
The hosts had their tails up and evergreen seamer Andre Adams was unfortunate not to snare a third scalp; he had two lbw appeals in as many balls turned down against Gale and then saw Lyth, on 33, dropped by Samit Patel low to his right at third slip.
Former White Rose paceman Ajmal Shahzad was introduced into the attack after 19 overs, but he was soon on the receiving end of an off-drive from Gale which helped Yorkshire move into three figures.
Lyth, particularly eye-catching on the front foot, replicated his captain's stroke in the next set of six to move to a classy half-century, his third of the first-class season.
However, Yorkshire's progress was checked in the fourth over after lunch when Fletcher struck with successive deliveries to leave the score reading 137 for four.
Gale could only feather a ball angled across him behind to Read and Kane Williamson fended one to Patel, who made up for his earlier mistake with a smart catch in the cordon.
That double strike stemmed the flow of runs for a time until Rashid, short of time in the middle recently, started to build up the confidence to play his free-flowing shots, frustrating close friend Shahzad with an array of well-timed off-side boundaries.
Fletcher again became the partnership breaker with Yorkshire on 202. After flicking the seamer off his legs for four, Lyth - with a century in sight - was tempted by a wide delivery and succeeded only in tickling through to Read.
Plunkett showed intent by opening the evening session with successive fours off Fletcher, while Rashid needed 109 balls to complete his first fifty since June.
The new ball came to Notts' rescue with 16 overs remaining as Fletcher trapped Rashid lbw, ending a stand of 79 with Plunkett, before leaving the field with cramp.
Although Gurney had Plunkett and Ryan Sidebottom both caught behind late on, Bairstow scored freely late in the day to keep further batting points in Yorkshire’s sights.