At the end of a 150th anniversary season which has been filled with good things – and the occasional disappointment – Yorkshire’s cricketers showed the necessary grit to draw their final match against Surrey at the Oval.
Facing a deficit of 200 runs after the home side had declared on 634-5 declared, Andrew Gale’s men were in some trouble on 133-5 when Kane Williamson was caught at slip by Vikram Solanki off Gareth Batty for a well-made 71-ball 60.
But Gary Ballance and Andrew Gale restored their side’s fortunes with a determined stand of 65 in 23 overs and then Ballance and Rashid took their side to safety with an unbroken stand of 67 for the seventh wicket.
In the process of that match-saving partnership Gary Ballance ended perhaps the most memorable week of his career by becoming the first Yorkshire batsman for six years to make a century in both innings of a County Championship match. The 23-year-old finished on 108 not out to follow his 148 in the first innings and his selection for England’s Ashes tour on Monday.
However, matters had not looked anything like so rosy for Ballance’s county side in mid-morning when Yorkshire had slipped to a perilous 21-3.
Adam Lyth was taken at second slip by Solanki when he failed to get fully behind a ball from Tim Linley for just four and Phil Jaques then played on to Matt Dunn for a single one when essaying a drive.
That left Andrew Gale’s side on 11-2 in the sixth over but eleven balls later Alex Lees was caught behind by Steven Davies off Linley for 11.
Williamson and Jonny Bairstow shepherded their side to 67-3 at lunch with Jonny Bairstow playing fluently to get to 29 and Williamson undefeated on 18. Bairstow had earlier taken four successive boundaries off Tom Jewell.
On the resumption, however, Yorkshire soon lost Bairstow for 35 when the England batsman played back to Tom Linley and was given out lbw by Ian Gould.
There followed a relatively secure 49-run stand between Williamson and Gary Ballance, but any idea that Yorkshire’s survival would be straightforward were quickly abandoned when the New Zealander Willliamson was surprised by a turning ball from Batty and ballooned a catch off the shoulder of the bat to Vikram Solanki running round from slip.
Earlier Adil Rashid had become the holder on an unwanted record when he conceded 227 runs off his 55 overs in Surrey’s first innings 634-5 declared. No Yorkshire bowler has gone for as many runs in an innings. Surrey’s 18-year-old Dominic Sibley was eventually yorked by Ryan Sidebottom for 242, made off 596 balls in 599 minutes with 24 fours and two sixes.
Yorkshire’s batsmen spent the last afternoon of the County Championship fighting to avoid defeat against already relegated Surrey – and there is still more work for Andrew Gale’s men to do in the evening session at the Oval.
Resuming on 67-3 after lunch Yorkshire soon lost Jonny Bairstow for 35 when the England batsman played back to Tom Linley and was adjudged lbw by Ian Gould.
There followed a relatively secure 49-run stand between Kane Williamson and Gary Balance, but any thoughts that Yorkshire’s survival would be straightforward were quickly dispelled when the New Zealander Willliamson was surprised by a ball from Batty and ballooned a catch off the shoulder of the bat to Vikram Solanki running round from slip.
That left Yorkshire on 133-5 and by tea Ballance and Andrew Gale had extended that to 170-5, leaving Yorkshire still with a deficit of 30 runs and five wickets in hand.
Yorkshire’s batsmen face a tough fight to save their final game of the season against Surrey after conceding a 200-run first-innings deficit and then losing three wickets on the fourth morning of their LV= Division One match at the Oval.
In the first hour of the session Surrey added 62 runs to their overnight score of 572-4 for the loss of Dominic Sibley who was yorked by Ryan Sidebottom for 242, scored off 596 balls with 24 boundaries and two sixes.
When Surrey declared on 634-5 Steven Davies was 46 not out.
Yorkshire’s second innings began poorly and got worse. Adam Lyth was caught at second slip by Vikram Solanki off the bowling of Tim Linley for just four and then Phil Jaques played on to Matt Dunn for one when attempting a drive.
That left Andrew Gale’s side on 11-2 in the sixth over but worse was to come eleven balls later when Alex Lees was caught behind by Davies off Linley for 11.
From 21-3, however, Yorkshire recovered to 67-3 at lunch with Jonny Bairstow batting fluently on 29 and Kane Williamson undefeated on 18. Birstow had earlier taken four successive boundaries off Tom Jewell.