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LVCC REPORT: Chelmsford win seals second spot

— 15 September 2012

Yorkshire beat Essex by a crunching 239 runs to celebrate promotion, but Derbyshire’s win against Hampshire saw the second division title go to Derby. Many congratulations to them on their excellent season – we will see them again in division one in 2013.




Yorkshire beat Essex by a crunching 239 runs to celebrate promotion, but Derbyshire’s win against Hampshire saw the second division title go to Derby. Many congratulations to them on their excellent season – we will see them again in division one in 2013.

It was the first time that Yorkshire had recorded three consecutive Championship victories since wins over Somerset, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire were notched in April / May 2005, another promotion year.

It was also the first time that a Yorkshire side has gone through an entire Championship summer unbeaten since 1928.

Yorkshire took first blood when Tom Craddock prodded the 19th ball of the day to Phil Jaques at point and Steve Patterson had put Yorkshire on the march to their third consecutive Championship win and the second division title.

With the score on 74 Mark Pettini (17) was caught brilliantly by Gary Ballance at leg slip off Rafiq, one handed to his right. A piece of fielding that underlined why the coaching staff had named him the club’s Fielder of the Year 2012. Two balls later Ryan ten Doeschate played a pull shot not worthy of the name to Moin Ashraf and lobbed a tame catch to Andrew Gale at mid-on.

Derbyshire had bowled Hampshire out for 198 and required 196 to win the second division title. Two quick wickets on the stroke of lunch saw them slip to 45-2 to keep Yorkshire’s title hopes alive.

Essex lunched at 104-5 but that became 109-6 in the second over after the break when James Foster nudged Rafiq to Jaques at short leg.

Adam Wheater hit a six on to the unfortunate head of a Yorkshire supporter in the upper tier to my right. She retired to the medical centre after her husband attempted a catch and dropped the ball on her head. Trouble ahead there methinks!

Wheater though attempted a reverse sweep and edged behind and Graham Napier was out third ball to Rafiq when he was caught by Phil Jaques to give the off-spinner career best figures of 5-50.

Rafiq had taken 3-65 in the first innings and scored 53 and an unbeaten 75 in an incredible match. A star has been born this summer.

The score became 148-9 as Topley edged Patterson to Lyth at second slip who held on with both hands diving to his left and Patterson finished matters at Chelmsford when he bowled Tymel mills next ball to secure a win by 239 runs. It was fitting that Patterson had the final say in a season when his 48 wickets have ben vital in Yorkshire’s successful promotion battle.

All eyes then turned to Derby who were 97-2 needing 196 to secure the division two title. A third wicket fell there as the Yorkshire players waited on the Chelmsford balcony.

It was a wait permeated with celebrations, hundred metre challenges to Callum the coach driver and happy faces. The fact that Derbyshire got home by four wickets to take the title changed nothing.

It’s been a summer of performance, achievement and high entertainment (despite the weather) and the Yorkshire team deserve to let their hair down tonight and enjoy their success.

You can all be very proud of all of them.

Thanks for reading my match reports this year. It’s been a pleasure to cover a summer where the team have done exactly what they said they would – play attacking, positive cricket and get themselves back into division one at the first time of asking.



Yorkshire faced a nervous wait at the end of day three as bad light held off a Glamorgan victory over promotion rivals Kent. But when the Welsh side scampered across the line to win by 7 wickets Yokrshire’s season long goal of securing promotion back to the top flight was secured. Now we return to Chelmsford to see if Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale will lift the second division trophy!

In a game Yorkshire now have to win, and hope Derbyshire don’t beat Hampshire, if they are to be crowned division two champions tomorrow, Essex began their chase for 338 in a minimum of 109 overs by losing two wickets as they closed on 28-2.

You cannot keep Azeem Rafiq out of the game. With his fourth ball he had Jake Mickleburgh caught at short-leg for 2 and Steve Patterson had Tom Westley caught behind as the Tykes took a hold in Chelmsford.

An excited Andrew Gale said: “Brilliant. That’s what we set out at the beginning of the year to do, to get back in the first division. Obviously we’ve still got a job to do tomorrow. We want to turn up and go up as champions.”

He added: “We’ve done everything we can to give ourselves that opportunity in this game, but it’s very pleasing that we’re over the line and we’ll be back in the first division next summer.”

“We said we wouldn’t mention last season from the start of the season and we haven’t done,” he insisted. “The cricket we played last year is not a patch on what we’ve done this year. We’ve dominated most of the games and we’re unbeaten and I guess we’ve put right what we did wrong last year.”

But, as we headed into day three we needed three pairs of eyes. One for Chelmsford where the Tykes knew a win secured promotion, one for Cardiff where anything other than a Kent victory secured a Yorkshire promotion and the final pair for Derby where if the hosts didn’t score 250 or more a subsequent Yorkshire win would secure them the second division title. I was feeling dizzy already and that was not my version of team motivation!

Adam Lyth and Gary Ballance resumed at 44-3 and played very sensibly for the first half hour. An edged four and then a sublime cover drive from Lyth took the lead passed 200.

It had been a fairly sedate start to the day, but then Kent lost three wickets in 14 balls after a promising start and as Lyth went to fifty in 103 balls including 7 fours the sky looked very blue over the Ford County Ground.

Lyth then turned the spin of Tom Westley off the middle of the bat straight into the hands of Jake Mickleburgh at short-leg before Ballance cut at Westley to see Mickleburgh dive to his left at point to take a terrific diving catch. At 108-5 the lead was 243.

Kent were still five wickets down at Cardiff and Derbyshire went past 250 to ensure that if they went on to beat Hampshire they would be champions.

The Yorkshire lead at Chelmsford had stretched to 245 by lunch, but Andrew Hodd was caught behind off Craddock in the first over after the break. While Anthony McGrath and Azeem Rafiq were rebuilding, Derbyshire were 275 all out with a lead of 3 runs on first innings against Hampshire and Kent were showing fight with a fifty-plus sixth wicket stand against Glamorgan.

McGrath advanced and stroked Westley over long-on as the Tyke’s lead stretched towards 300 and finally there came better news from Wales that the Kent sixth wicket stand of 91 runs had been broken and Kent were 33 runs adrift with 4 wickets left.

Rafiq, on 33 was dropped at point off Topley as Derbyshire took a second Hampshire wicket to tighten their grip on the second division title.

McGrath pulled Topley for his 5th four to reach fifty in 145 balls. Two swept fours from Rafiq off Craddock took him within a shot of a second fifty in the match. He had to wait until after tea when Yorkshire were 205-6 with a lead of 340 and McGrath unbeaten on 57.

McGrath got the evening session underway with a full blooded pull off Mills and then Rafiq turned Napier through leg for a single that brought up his fifty in 98 balls which had included 4 fours.

Kent lost two wickets in three balls with a lead of only 24 runs. McGrath, on 68, found Wheater at deep square when top edging a pull off the new ball and Steve Patterson was bowled by Tymel Mills. But Kent lost their 9th wicket and their lead was only 37. A 10th wicket stand kept us waiting but Kent finally lost their 10th wicket and Glamorgan needed only 61 runs to ensure Derbyshire and Yorkshire were promoted.

Sidebottom and Rafiq received a message from the dressing room and opened their shoulders for some late merriment which saw Rafiq unbeaten on 75 when the declaration came setting Essex 388 to win in a minimum of 109 overs. Graham Napier finished with a match analysis of 9-119.

The day ended with bad light taking the teams off the field at the SWALEC. but they returned to ensure a Glamorgan win and Yorkshire celebrations. It will be a relatively dry night in the Yorkshire hotel though as the team prepare to come back strongly on Friday to see if they can finish top of the pile. At Derby, Hampshire ended 142-6 in their second innings and lead by 139 runs.

Thanks for your messages of support on the Twitter feed. The support for the Yorkshire side is unrivalled on the county circuit and, at the first time of asking, we’re back up where we belong!



After a day one of promotion stalemate, day two moved on at a frenetic pace as wickets fell and Yorkshire took control of their game against Essex at Chelmsford. The Tykes have chosen an excellent time to move to the top of the division two table for the first time this summer.

If you had written the perfect script for the Yorkshire team on the second morning, they were pretty much word perfect in their interpretation.

The early stars were Azeem Rafiq, Steve Patterson and Moin Ashraf who played out a first scene which saw the Tykes reach 312 and secure a valuable third batting point. That meant that if three bowling points followed a Yorkshire victory in the game would ensure promotion.

Rafiq had reached his fifty in 120 balls which included one four. It was a really dogged effort which was ended on 53 with an atypical lacklustre drive to Graham Napier which was edged to Foster behind the stumps. At 299-9 nerves were jangling as Ashraf walked in to bat, but Patterson has contributed valuable late order runs and did so again.

Act two began with Patterson in the thick of it once more. Yorkshire’s leading man bowled Jake Mickleburgh as he prodded uncertainly to see the top of his off pole rocked back. Azeem Rafiq had Tom Westley lbw to his first ball of the day and Mark Pettini was lbw to a fired up Ashraf to reduce the hosts to 32-3 at the lunch break.

Act three saw Rafiq, generating turn and always with the confidence to flight his off-break, caught the edge of a backfoot push from Owais Shah and the Tyke’s fans were munching on their popcorn in contended fashion.

But every good movie has an antagonistic nemesis and the first to audition for the role was Ryan ten Doeschate who decided that attack was the only form of defence. He reached his fifty in 74 balls including 5 fours and 2 big sixes into the river off Rafiq. His milestone arrived shortly after James Foster was lbw to the deserving Patterson and Essex were 97-5 after the fifth wicket had added 63 runs in 21.2 overs. 

Adam Wheater (16) miscued a pull to Gale off Sidebottom and the visitors were in the box seat as the rain fell at both Cardiff and Derby. By tea Essex were 138-6, were top of the ‘in running’ table and had a lead of 174 runs.

After the interval Yorkshire were on fire as the movie reached a high octane action scene. First Azeem Rafiq saw ten Doeschate (62) slog sweep him high to Gary Ballance on the midwicket boundary. Ballance judge the catch beautifully with his feet an inch inside the ropes.

Ashraf dismissed Graham Napier (20), edged low to Adam Lyth at slip, and Reece Topley was lbw first ball. Tymel Mills kept out the hat-trick ball and then hit Rafiq for six with his side tantalisingly close to reaching the 163 required to avoid any possibility of being asked to follow on. 

Jason Gillespie told me later that Yorkshire had no intention of asking Essex to bat again. The wicket was not easy to bat on and the Tykes wanted to bowl last on it. A second Mills six banished Gale’s chances anyway.

Mills ended unbeaten on 20, a career best, as Tom Craddock edged Ashraf to Lyth at second slip. Ashraf had bowled with real intent and ended with a season’s best 4-36, the last three in 21 balls, as Essex succumbed for 177, a lead for Yorkshire of 135 runs.

When bad light lost the last seven overs of the day Yorkshire were 44-3 and had extended their lead on a pitch that was getting tougher to bat on by the hour to 179 runs.

Joe Root lobbed a simple catch to Pettini at midwicket, Phil Jaques edged a drive to Shah at slip and Andrew Gale cracked a catch to Pettini at point to give Napier 3-14 overnight.










Yorkshire 16* 4 0 0 11 0 178
Derbyshire 16* 5 2 0 8 0 176
Kent 16* 4 2 0 9 0 170

With Derbyshire rained off at 167-5 during the afternoon the situation there was that a Yorkshire win and Derbyshire failing to score 250 would see the Tykes champions.

In Cardiff Kent were collapsing to 170 all out in reply to Glamorgan’s 390. Yorkshire six bonus points in Chelmsford meant Kent had to win to deny the Tykes promotion. Kent’s last 8 first innings wickets had fallen for 33 runs as Robert Croft grabbed 5-31 in his last first-class game before retirement. After being asked to follow on Kent closed on 33-2 and were still 187 runs adrift of their Welsh adversaries. 

The movie was action packed and never disappointed throughout day two. I just hope it’s not a film that has one of those devastating twists in the tail.



There was plenty of incident across the three important fixtures in the promotion race on day one, but we end the play none the wiser. None of Yorkshire, Derbyshire or Kent particularly stole a march on their rivals so we gead into day two at Chelmsford with Yorkshire right in the thick of it still.

At 284-8 at the close in Chelmsford the Tykes will be quietly happy with their day’s work, particularly after recovering from 166-6 at one stage.

At Derby,  Hampshire frustrated the hosts by recovering from 59-4 to post 272 and then reduce Derbyshire to 50-3, so Derbyshire collected 3 bowling bonus points but have a lot of work to do in that match. Hampshire’s mathematical hopes of promotion went as soon as Yorkshire passed 200. In Cardiff, Glamorgan had a good day with the bat, ending on 334-8 with Kent collecting 2 bowling bonus points.










Derbyshire 16* 5 2 0 8 0 176
Yorkshire 16* 4 0 0 11 0 174
Kent 16* 4 2 0 9 0 169
Hampshire 16* 4 4 0 7 0 151

After winning the toss Andrew Gale sat back as Adam Lyth continued his sublime form by hitting 67 from 69 balls including 11 fours. He scored the vast majority of the Tyke’s runs after Joe Root fell early, leg before to Graham Napier, when the score was 4.

Lyth finally edged Napier behind to make the score 86-2, which became 111-2 at lunch.

The situation seemed tailor-made for skipper Andrew Gale to restore his side’s dominance with a dogged rearguard, but Phil Jaques (38) fell three balls after the interval and the skipper, on 10, followed when he danced down the wicket to his Westley to leg and a leading edge found Mills at cover.

Gary Ballance and Anthony McGrath added 31 for the fifth wicket when Topley found a bit of extra bounce and a cross batted edge looped up to Mickleburgh at midwicket. Anthony McGrath edge Topley behind soon after, an edge that was not obvious and the elder statement of Yorkshire cricket did himself immense credit by walking, but the score was 166-6 and the visitors were being made to fight. 

The eyes were not just cast on a sunlit Chelmsford as the matches at Derby and Cardiff bore just as much relevance on the promotion battle. Hampshire had recovered to 226-6 after early Derbyshire wickets and Glamorgan were a mirror image of Hampshire, early runs before slipping to 243-6.

By tea there was an element of recovery at 190-6 with Andrew Hodd unbeaten on 12 and Azeem Rafiq 7 not out.

Yorkshire needed the pair to prosper, or at least enjoy a period of quiet where the scoreboard ticked periodically. At 3.50pm Rafiq pushed off the back foot for a single into cover which was cheered by a large traqvelling support as if it were promotion itself.

After the attacking flare of Lyth earlier the seventh wicket stand was comparitively pedestrian, but exactly what was required. A Rafiq four guided through gully notched the fifty stand in 19.5 overs.

A comedy of errors lead to Hodd’s unfortunate departure after he had played well for a composed 22. He attempted a sweep at Craddock, was hit on the pad and both batsmen fancied a single that wasn’t there. ten Doeschate loomed in from cover and Foster took the bails with Hodd out of the frame.

Ryan Sidebottom entered the game with a luscious straight driven four and the Essex took the new ball at 231-7. Sidebottom was in no mood to go down without a fight. He edged Topley for four, launched him through cover next ball and, next over, cracked Napier through extra cover for another boundary. The long-haired left-hander then launched Topley over mid-off and bonus point number two was secure.

Sidebottom was dropped by Mickleburgh at short leg off Mills and a bouncer next ball was gloved down the legside for four. Another smack through cover off Westley brought up the fifty partnertship for the eighth wicket in 14 overs.

The day ended on a frustrating note when Ryan Sidebottom gifted a return catch to Craddock’s final ball and walked off with 37 to his name.

There will be many twists and turns over the next three days, but Yorkshire are still in the thick of the promotion hunt.



Well here we go folks! One match and four days will decided whether Yorkshire play in division one or two next summer. We wish our players every good fortune as they travel to Chelmsford to play Essex.

With one game to play only six points seperates the three sides still in the hunt for the two promotion spots.

Derbyshire lead the way a point ahead of Yorkshire who have Kent five points behind them. With each team playing for a maximum of 24 points over the four days there are bound to be some twists, turns and bitten finger nails as the week progresses.

Derbyshire host Hampshire in the game that has attracted the SKY cameras, Yorkshire travel to Chelmsford and Kent are on the road to Cardiff to take on Glamorgan. It’s going to be a week where we report all three matches as Yorkshire could be crowned champions, but also could finish third.

You can follow all of the action on the Yorkshire CCC website, via the club’s twitter feed and via the BBC Radio commentary.

If you are travelling down to Chelmsford please remember that the match begins on Tuesday at 10.30am. Gates open from 9am and tickets are available on the gates priced at £16 Adults and £9 Juniors (under 18’s).

Hold on to your hats and keep those fingers crossed!!



Andrew GALE (capt), Joe ROOT, Adam LYTH, Phil JAQUES, Gary BALANCE, Anthony McGRATH, Andrew HODD (wk), Adil RASHID, Azeem RAFIQ, Ryan SIDEBOTTOM, Steve PATTERSON, Moin ASHRAF and Oliver HANNON-DALBY.


Tom Westley, Jaik Mickleburgh, Owais Shah, Mark Pettini, Ryan ten Doeschate, James Foster (capt/wk), Adam Wheater, Graham Napier, Tom Craddock, Reece Topley and Tymal Mills.