Yorkshire gave the strongest possible signal that they are hell bent on winning the LV County Championship by beating Warwickshire by six wickets with 14 balls to spare in a real thriller which earned them a standing ovation at Headingley Carnegie.
Set 200 in 37 overs after a stunning unbeaten 127 from Rikki Clarke had threatened to blow them off course, they reached the line through a sparkling 80 from Jacques Rudolph and a tremendous unbeaten 64 from Jonny Bairstow.
This victory stretched their lead over Nottinghamshire at the top of the Division 1 table to 21 points – and the two main contenders for the title have yet to play each other twice.
Adil Rashid, Richard Pyrah and Steven Patterson each took a wicket this morning, and Warwickshire were 270-6 at lunch, a lead of 98. Jamie Troughton had still not returned to the crease after being struck on the head by a bouncer from Tino Best the previous evening, when he was forced to retire hurt.
Clarke was 51 and Ateeq Javid 37 when Warwickshire resumed on 193-3, only 21 in front, and 17 had been added when Rashid collected his fourth wicket of the innings by having Javid caught by wicket-keeper Gerard Brophy for a career-best 48.
Pyrah was given a burst at the football-stand end in place of Best – and he produced a great delivery with the new ball which plucked out Tim Ambrose’s off-stump to make Warwickshire 231-5. At the other end Patterson came very close to having Steffan Piolet lbw, but he made no mistake with his next delivery when the batsman again got his legs in front.
Next in was the hard-hitting Neil Carter, but Yorkshire also had to remove Clarke, who was playing another gutsy innings: the former England all-rounder was still there at lunch on 78, having carefully accumulated 27 runs more during the morning session.
Carter was lbw to Rashid for 17 soon after lunch to give the leg-spinner his fifth wicket, but still Yorkshire could not shift Clarke – who now found a reliable ally in Imran Tahir. A scorching straight drive off Best brought Clarke his century off 235 balls with six fours and two sixes, and 75 were added in 13 overs for the eighth wicket before Tahir lofted Patterson to Anthony McGrath at mid-off and was out for 41.
Just when it appeared that Yorkshire were doomed to a draw they were given fresh hope by the unnecessary running-out of Boyd Rankin, and although Jamie Troughton came in as last man after retiring hurt yesterday he did not last long, edging Patterson to Rudolph at second slip. Clarke was unbeaten on a majestic 127 from 256 balls, with eight fours and three sixes.
Rashid returned figures of 5-137, and Yorkshire were set 200 to make to win in a minimum of 37 overs. They were dealt an early blow when Adam Lyth was caught at second slip by Clarke in the second over of the innings from Rankin.
The early setback did not deter Yorkshire, and Rudolph and Anthony McGrath made smooth progress to 47, when McGrath was lbw to Rankin. Now Bairstow strode out to play a delightful innings and ensure that the runs kept on coming.
Rudolph greeted Darren Maddy by off-driving his first ball four four, and Bairstow took consecutive leg-side boundaries off Imran Tahir before the South African hurried to his 50 from 64 balls with seven fours. Yorkshire needed 116 off 16 overs when the last hour began - and the third-wicket pair had taken their stand to 80 when Rudolph was run out by Rankin while attempting to scamper a second, his 80 coming from 91 deliveries with nine fours.
Now Gerard Brophy joined Bairstow, who drove Maddy for six in an over which cost 13 – but with 39 needed from seven overs Brophy was bowled off his legs sweeping at Tahir.
Yorkshire were 161-4, and the runs came at a gallop as Bairstow and Rashid unsettled Warwickshire with the speed of their running between wickets and the quality of their strokeplay. It was obvious who the winners would be when seven were required with three overs left – and the winning boundary came from Bairstow, who swept Tahir to the rope.
Bairstow’s 64 contained seven fours and a six and came off 61 balls. Rashid compiled 14 from 13 deliveries with one boundary.
Extended Live Picture Gallery From Headingley Carnegie: VAUGHN RIDLEY
Yorkshire enforced the follow-on after gaining a first-innings lead of 172, but the visitors refused to capitulate – and had reached 193-3 to put them 21 in front by the time rain ended play with 10 overs remaining.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid claimed all three wickets to fall, but for the second time in the match Yorkshire were held up by Rikki Clarke who was unbeaten on 51 following his 46 not out in the first innings. Steven Patterson took the last three first-innings wickets to fall to finish with 4-57, and Rashid also bagged four.
Light rain caused a 17-minute delay in the morning before Warwickshire were able to resume their first innings on 221-7, Rikki Clarke on 19 and Neil Carter 12. Patterson and Rashid shared the attack – and in the same over Carter appeared to survive a sharp return catch to Rashid and had more good fortune when Adam Lyth could not quite cling on at short-leg.
The breakthrough came at 337 when Carter drove Patterson hard and straight to Tino Best, who made no mistake at deep mid-off. Six runs later Clarke played Rashid to Jonny Bairstow at mid-wicket, but the simple catch went down.
Soon after this chance went begging, Richard Pyrah pulled off a stunning catch to get rid of Imran Tahir – who cut hard to cover point, where Pyrah flung himself to his right to grasp the ball one-handed. Clarke shielded last-man Boyd Rankin as much as possible, but he had not scored when Patterson pinned him lbw, leaving Clarke unbeaten on a polished 46 from 112 balls with seven fours.
The uncertain weather probably had something to do with Yorkshire’s decision to enforce the follow-on, and Patterson was immediately in action again, sharing the new ball with Oliver Hannon-Dalby, while Tino Best was not called upon. Hannon-Dalby should have had a wicket in his second over, but Rashid at second slip could not hold on to the sharp chance offered by Ian Westwood.
Rashid was bowling as early as the seventh over on an increasingly helpful pitch. The ploy paid off, because he soon dismissed Darren Maddy who played all round a delivery and was comprehensively bowled. Just before lunch Azeem Rafiq joined Rashid, and the pair could be expected to do a lot of bowling during the afternoon.
Richard Pyrah, bowling from the Kirkstall Lane end, was hit for a couple of fours by Westwood in the first over after lunch, and Yorkshire were just beginning to get a little anxious when Rashid struck in consecutive overs to leave Warwickshire on 83-3.
Botha was caught low down by wicket-keeper Gerard Brophy for 24, the second-wicket stand being worth 56 in 16 overs, and Westwood was lbw for 42 from 80 deliveries with five fours. Clarke, a thorn in Yorkshire’s flesh in the first innings, drove Rafiq over long-on for six before a glorious straight drive brought him four off Best.
Warwickshire had advanced to 129 when Jamie Troughton had to retire hurt. He was struck on the front of the helmet by a bouncer from Best, and after several minutes of on-the-field treatment he had to go off with a bruised forehead. Troughton was replaced by Ateeq Javid, and he and Clarke took Warwickshire through to tea, when they were 142-3 and only 30 in arrears.
Troughton returned from his hospital check-up after tea, and although he suffered a cut and bruising above his right eye he will be able to resume his innings at some stage on the last day. Clarke continued to defy the bowlers – reaching his half-century off 94 balls with four fours and two sixes. Javid gave him sound support, and the pair were still together when a heavy shower ended play for the day with 10 overs remaining.
Pictures From Headingley Carnegie: VAUGHN RIDLEY
DAY TWO REPORT
Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid rapped back with four wickets after a century opening stand for Warwickshire who closed Day 2 on a shaky 221-7 in the LV County Championship match at Headingley Carnegie in reply to Yorkshire’s first-innings 425.
Warwickshire still need 55 to avoid the possibility of the follow-on.
Gerard Brophy departed for 103 – the highest of his two centuries for the Club – and at lunch Yorkshire had advanced to 417-8. They began the day on 325-4 with Brophy on 92 and Adil Rashid 29, but the second ball from Neil Carter trapped Rashid lbw.
Brophy, who managed exactly 100 not out against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl three years’ ago, made it into three figures by steering Carter to the third-man boundary. He had batted for 168 minutes, striking 16 fours, but in the following over from Nikki Clarke he cut a ball straight into the hands of Ant Botha at point, and Yorkshire were 345-6.
Richard Pyrah, who came in at the fall of Rashid’s wicket, was now partnered by Azeem Rafiq, who had five runs credited to him as a result of a single and four overthrows - but having reached 12 he gave Steffan Piolet a gentle catch in the gully off Clarke.
Yorkshire were 386-7 at the 110-over stage, and Pyrah and Steven Patterson made sure that the score went beyond the 400 mark, although there were several stoppages while Pyrah received attention for a sickness problem. Patterson hit a couple of excellent boundary shots – and was unfortunate to be out when Piolet’s throw from short-third-man scored a direct hit at the bowler’s end before he could make good his ground.
Pyrah had advanced quietly to 39 by lunch when Tino Best was two – and looking as if he wanted to be in an aggressive mode after the interval. Yorkshire’s resistance did not last long after lunch - Best caught by Piolet off Boyd Rankin, and Oliver Hannon-Dalby becoming a victim of lmran Tahir before he had scored. The last wicket went down at 425.
Warwickshire have got off to some dreadful starts this season, but openers Ian Westwood and Darren Maddy were mainly untroubled by the Yorkshire attack. The runs built up steadily, Westwood reaching his 50 out of 66 off 51 balls with nine boundaries.
The stand had moved on to 128 before Yorkshire struck back - dismissing both openers in the space of two overs. First, Maddy was lbw to Hannon-Dalby for 35, and then Westwood departed in similar fashion to a quicker ball from Rashid for 66 from 95 deliveries with 11 boundaries. This double blow for Warwickshire brought in Ant Botha and Jamie Troughton, who survived until tea which came at 111-2.
The situation continued to improve for Yorkshire after tea as three wickets toppled in 10 balls to leave the visitors on 153-5. Rashid was responsible for two of them when he had Troughton and Botha giving catches to the alert Lyth at short-leg while at the other end Ateeq Javid stepped in front against Patterson.
Tim Ambrose and Clarke had moved the score to 186-5 when there was a half-hour break for rain. No overs were lost, and on the resumption Best was recalled and immediately rattled Ambrose’s middle stump. Warwickshire were 200-6, and eight runs later Rashid picked up his fourth wicket by having Piolet lbw off his boot.
Clarke and Carter were more than happy to bat out time.
Pictures From Headingley Carnegie: VAUGHN RIDLEY
DAY ONE REPORT
A great opening day for Yorkshire. Adam Lyth became the first batsman in the country to complete 1,000 First Cass runs on his way to 84, and Gerard Brophy was unbeaten on 92 as his side reached 325-4.
By lunch they were 119-1 with Lyth on 69 and Anthony McGrath 47, the second-wicket pair having added 114. Yorkshire again were without regular opening batsman Joe Sayers, still suffering from the illness which kept him out of last week’s Roses match.
Lyth needed 18 runs to reach the1,000 landmark when he opened the innings with vice-captain Jacques Rudolph after Yorkshire had won the toss – but he soon lost his partner, who edged Neil Carter to Rikki Clarke at first slip before he had scored.
McGrath settled in quickly, despite surviving a loud lbw shout against Carter, and Lyth made it to the 1,000 mark when he drove Boyd Rankin through the covers for two. Both looked in excellent form, Lyth cover-driving Clarke to the boundary and McGrath cutting Steffan Piolet to the rope.
Lyth had reached 42 when a leading edge off Clarke fell just short of Imran Tahir at mid-off. He completed his half-century off 82 balls with seven fours before hitting Piolet for consecutive boundaries to move Yorkshire on to 103-1 by the 26th over.
McGrath was given a life on 41 when he got a thick edge against Piolet and Clarke at second slip saw the ball go through his outstretched hands and on to the boundary. Generally, it had been very much Yorkshire’s morning, and at lunch they appeared to have every chance of building a large total.
Batting was much more of a struggle after lunch, but McGrath reached his half-century off 72 balls with six fours - his 10th score of 50 or more from his last 11 Championship innings.
Lyth leg-glanced Clarke for a rare boundary to move into the 80s before McGrath fell for 57 off 102 balls with seven fours, edging the deserving Carter to Maddy at first slip. His departure left Yorkshire on 153-2, and the second wicket stand had realised 148.
Adamwas on 81 when he edged his drive off Clarke to Maddy at slip – but the chance went begging. He was unable to take advantage of the miss, because in the next over from Carter he was lbw for 84 from 152 balls with 13 boundaries.
The new pair of Jonny Bairstow and Gerard Brophy could make only slow progress for a while, but they began to look more assured, and by tea they had taken the total to 192-3, when Bairstow was 12 and Brophy 23.
Bairstow accelerated the scoring after tea by striking Maddy for a sweet six to long-leg and following with an extra-cover-drive to the rope before taking consecutive fours off Tahir. Brophy reached 50 from 101 balls with seven fours, but with the fourth-wicket stand worth 100 Bairstow was lbw to Piolet for 44.
New batsman Adil Rashid hit a cracking cover drive for four at Boyd Rankin’s expense, and Brophy opened out with two off-side fours against Carter. There was just insufficient time for Brophy to complete his century – but his 92 contained 14 fours, and his unbroken stand with Rashid (29) had moved to 69 by the close.
PREVIEW: Jacques Rudolph will lead the White Rose County in Andrew Gale’s (England Lions) absence as table topping Yorkshire seek to strengthen their position in the upper echelons of the Division One title chase. Yorkshire are just one point clear of Nottinghamshire at the top, but Notts have two games in hand.
Yorkshire will be seeking revenge for their defeat to the Bears in the Friends Provident t20 over the next four days as they prepare to change back into LV County Championship mode.