Yorkshire’s cricketers will go into their next LV= Division One game away at Nottinghamshire on August 21 with a ten-point lead over the nearest challengers Sussex after their absorbing match against Warwickshire ended in a frustrating draw on Monday evening.
The visitors needed 174 runs off 36 overs to inflict would have been only a second County Championship defeat on Andrew Gale’s men but bad light, quickly followed by rain, ruined the prospect of a tense run chase when Varun Chopra’s men were only three for no wicket.
Overnight rain meant that play did not get under way at Headingley until 2.40, but when the mopping up operations were complete, the home side lost their last three wickets for 23 runs to be bowled out for 180. Chris Woakes and Boyd Rankin were the destroyers with liberal use of the short ball paying dividends.
Woakes made the first breakthrough when his full length delivery uprooted Ryan Sidebottom’s off stump when the veteran seamer had made nine, and the international seamer finished with 5-42, his first such haul of the season.
Rankin then picked up Steve Patterson, caught by short leg Westwood for 10, and he polished off the innings too, inducing Jack Brooks to fend his second ball to Keith Barker at leg gully. The Warwickshire seamer, who many are tipping for England honours, took 4-29.
The draw means that Yorkshire have extended their lead at the top of the LV= Division One table to ten points over Sussex and 14 over Middlesex. Andrew Gale’s team have five matches to play, the next of them beginning away at Trent Bridge in about a fortnight.
And Gale was still confident that his bowlers could have improved that position still further by embarrassing the champions late on the final day.
“Even with the 30 overs that were left, if they had come out playing shots, our bowling attack could easily have got them 40-4,” he insisted. “We’ve seen against Derbyshire and Somerset here that it can be really interesting on fourth-day pitches.
“I said to the lads coming out to field that we had nothing to lose and a win would have put us ahead of the pack.
“The other results have gone for us,” he added. “Who would have put money on Derbyshire beating Sussex away? I think three wins will take us home but it depends who those wins are against. If we beat Durham at Scarborough and Sussex away each of those victories would be like two wins.
“But I thought our early batting in the second innings was a little bit soft,” said Gale. “We should have scored more runs than 180 really. We had our foot on the throat of the champions early on the third day and then we let them get into a commanding position.”
Yorkshire’s LV Division One= match against Warwickshire was set for an exciting finish on the final evening as the home side lost their last three wickets for 23 runs to be bowled out for 180.
That meant that Varun Chopra’s team need 174 off 36 overs to inflict a second Championship defeat of the season on the home side. An enthralling run-chase with none of the limited-overs restrictions is in prospect.
Chris Woakes and Boyd Rankin were the destroyers for the visitors after play got under way at 2.40. Woakes bowled Ryan Sidebottom for nine to finish with 5-42 while Rankin picked up Steve Patterson and Jack Brooks in three balls to take 4-29.
Heavy overnight and morning rain has prevented any play before lunch in Yorkshire’s LV= Division One match against Warwickshire at Headingley.
The rain stopped around eleven o’clock but that was too late to allow any cricket to take place in the first session of a match in which Yorkshire are under pressure.
Weather permitting, Andrew Gale’s team will resume on 148-7, a lead of just 141 runs over Warwickshire. Play is expected to restart at 2:40 pm.