Scorecard 

Yorkshire have reached the halfway stage of their Vitality County Championship match against Northamptonshire knowing they have a realistic victory chance at Wantage Road following a hard-fought second day’s play.

The visitors have the edge in their seventh fixture of the Division Two campaign, with Northamptonshire responding to their first-innings 362 all out with 301 all out.

Yorkshire dominated the first two sessions of the day before a hugely frustrating home fightback was led by captain and centurion Luke Procter as his side recovered from 181-7 through the evening. The left-hander finished unbeaten on 116 off 201 balls.

Four debut wickets for the impressive Vishwa Fernando (4-48 from 19 overs) and a half-century from Jordan Thompson were Yorkshire’s standout contributors on day two, which ended with them at 0-1 from three balls second time around. Nightwatchman Dom Leech fell.

Each of Yorkshire’s six-man attack struck, including Adam Lyth with his part-time off-spin, but their position of strength was significantly eroded as Northamptonshire’s last two wickets both added half-century partnerships; Procter with both Ben Sanderson and Jack White. 

Yorkshire started the day by advancing from 312-7, including Thompson’s entertaining 53.  

Vishwa Fernando

By John Heald. Vishwa Fernando dismisses Ricardo Vasconcelos for his debut wicket in Yorkshire colours and his 300th in first-class cricket.

 

Sri Lankan Test quick Fernando, the left-armer who is playing his first of three Championship matches as the county’s short-term overseas signing, claimed 3-47 from 18 overs. Matthew Revis struck twice – his first two wickets of the summer. 

For the first two sessions, all of Yorkshire’s bowlers contributed to build significant pressure. 

George Hill made the initial breakthrough when he had in-form opener Emilio Gay caught low down at second slip by Lyth for 32, leaving the score at 56-1 in the 12th over.

Tall left-hander Gay (693) is the division’s second leading run-scorer, so getting him relatively cheaply was a huge boost for Shan Masood’s side and opened the door for a six-wicket afternoon.

While Procter remained steadfast, wickets fell around him, including two in the last three overs before tea.

During the latter stages of the morning, play was momentarily halted when a swarm of bees or wasps swept across the ground, forcing the players and umpires to drop to the ground to avoid being stung. 

Jordan Thompson

Picture by John Heald. Jordan Thompson celebrates his morning fifty.

Back to the cricket, and Fernando claimed the second Northamptonshire wicket to fall when Ricardo Vasconcelos, the hosts’ other left-handed opener, top-edged a pull behind to Jonny Tattersall, falling for 34 – 94-2.

Revis then strengthened their position with two wickets in four balls across two overs.

He had Indian overseas batter Karun Nair, a man with a Test triple hundred to his name, caught at first slip by Hill and George Bartlett caught at third by Fin Bean.

Both wickets fell with the score on 116, and Northamptonshire were four down in the 33rd over.

Dom Bess, briefly on as substitute fielder for Fernando, then had a hand in wicket number five (154-5) 10 overs later. Rob Keogh, on 28, pulled Leech down towards wide long-leg, where Bess took a superb low catch on the run.

Lyth had a day to remember yesterday with a 35th first-class century, his 109 underpinning Yorkshire’s commanding first-innings effort. And you can generally count on him to contribute with the ball – the stereotypical golden arm.

Luke Procter

Picture by John Heald. Luke Procter en-route to his century today.

So it was no surprise to see him strike when he was brought on inside the last 15 minutes of the session.

Wicketkeeper Lewis McManus drilled his off-spin to mid-on, where Thompson held on, before the fielder turned wicket-taker in the next over as Justin Broad edged to Hill at first slip – 181-7.

Amidst all of this, Procter reached his fifty off 109 balls, and he and eighth-wicket partner Sanderson frustrated Yorkshire during the first half of the evening. 

Their first port of call was to avoid the possibility of having to follow-on by reaching 213, which they did amidst a 50-run partnership which was broken when Fernando trapped Sanderson lbw for 25 (231-8).

The same man then had Siddharth Kaul caught at third slip by Bean – 243-9. 

Then it was the turn of Procter and White to frustrate Yorkshire, the former reaching his first century since the 2022 season off 183 balls. They shared 58 for the 10th wicket, their side’s highest partnership of the innings before White was caught by a juggling Leech at wide long-leg off Fernando to end the innings and leave Yorkshire with one over to face before close in their second innings. 

Adam Lyth

Picture by John Heald. Adam Lyth bowling today.

Unfortunately, nightwatchman Leech edged Sanderson to fourth slip to cap a frustrating evening.

Yorkshire started the day by taking 18 runs came off the first two overs, and the visitors sailed beyond the 350-mark for a third batting bonus point shortly afterwards.

Thompson, who started the day on 14, took them to that mini milestone with a cover driven six off ex-Yorkshire junior Ben Sanderson. His fifty came up within the next 10 minutes, off 47 balls.

Thompson and Revis shared 80 for the seventh wicket. However, they were part of a late collapse which saw Yorkshire lose their last three wickets in nine balls for the addition of only one run. 

Revis and Thompson were trapped lbw by Sanderson, while Dom Leech was bowled without scoring by Keogh’s off-spin sandwiched in between. 

Still, Yorkshire would have been happy with their total, a theory rubber-stamped by their excellent work with the ball.

Dom Bess

Picture by John Heald. Dom Bess starts his celebrations after a superb catch to help Dom Leech remove Rob Keogh.

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