Yorkshire’s bid for a second successive LV= County Championship victory was thwarted by Will Young led Northamptonshire at Wantage Road, the county having to settle for a draw.
Steve Patterson and co needed to take 10 wickets on day four to back up last week’s opening round Division One win at Gloucestershire.
Set 499 late on day three, Northants started the final day on 56-0. And while they slipped to 79-3 inside 50 minutes of play, they had enough to hold on for the draw thanks to New Zealand opener Young’s determined 96.
As Northants impressively finished on 318-7 from 119.4 overs, including an unbeaten 62 for Lewis McManus, Yorkshire ended with 13 points to take into Thursday’s clash with Kent at Headingley – their first home game of 2022.
Haris Rauf and Matthew Revis (3-57 from 20.4 overs) shared five wickets with their seamers, though Yorkshire’s hard-working attack was just not able to combat a pitch which had become increasingly slow and low.
George Hill’s career best 151 during day three, the 21-year-old’s maiden first-team century for Yorkshire, was the standout performance of a dominant away display missing only the final piece of the jigsaw.
The visitors will be frustrated that they gave Young a life on three late on day three, when Harry Duke parried a sharp chance behind the stumps off Rauf.
Young, set to be with Northants for the full season, followed a first-innings 33 with a much more meaningful contribution as this fixture proved to be the only draw in either division this weekend.
Young lost his opening partner Ricardo Vasconcelos in the fifth over of the day, the 29th of the innings, when he fended Rauf to Hill in the gully (66-1).
Emilio Gay was then unable to keep down another Rauf ball shortly afterwards, only guiding it into the hands of Dom Bess at short-leg.
And when Saif Zaib edged a delivery behind slanted across him by Revis, Northants were 79-3 after 34 and looking a long way from the draw.
But Young was able to dig in with the help of Rob Keogh, his fourth wicket partner with whom he shared 99 through until the latter stages of the afternoon.
Captain Steve Patterson exhausted a range of bowling options in the bid for a breakthrough, including the off and leg-spin of Adam Lyth and Dawid Malan to support the more senior twirler Bess.
The skipper also employed a number of short catchers in front of the wickets in order to force a mistake.
And it ended up being Hill, with his canny seamers, who claimed wicket number four with his very first ball, in the 73rd over.
He forced Keogh (48) to offer up a simple catch to Patterson at short cover, where the captain was on his knees and held on comfortably.
That proved the first of two wickets in seven overs immediately before the new ball as Bess also trapped Luke Procter lbw playing to leg, leaving Northants at 195-5 in the 80th.
They reached tea at 212-5 from 88 overs, with 32 remaining.
Yorkshire had a new ball with only eight overs of use. But, unfortunately, they just weren’t able to make inroads with the regularity required, despite the wicket of key man Young not long into the evening.
Facing Revis, he inside-edged one onto his stumps as he attempted to leave alone, leaving the score at 236-6 with 26 overs remaining.
The 29-year-old fell agonisingly short of a third century in his last four innings for club and country.
But he would have no doubt been more satisfied with the end result, as wicketkeeper Lewis McManus and seam bowler Matt Kelly, Northants’ other overseas player, shared 78 in 22 overs for the seventh wicket.
Hampshire loanee McManus posted a 103-ball fifty, while Australian Kelly pulled Rauf for a couple of sixes on the way to 42.
Revis returned to york Kelly as the score fell to 314-7 with four overs remaining.
Though McManus and Gareth Berg held on to ensure their side a 12-point haul when the players shook hands with two balls remaining in the day’s allotted 96 overs.