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Close report: Yorkshire v Warwickshire (Day four)

— 22 September 2017


All hail Steve Patterson and his eighth-wicket partner Matt Fisher!

They were the Yorkshire heroes with a brilliant and imperative partnership of 78 in 24 overs as the hosts chased down 175 to beat Warwickshire by two wickets on day four at Headingley.

This was Yorkshire’s fourth win of the season and secured them 21 points to give them significant breathing space at the foot of the Specsavers County Championship table.

The White Rose were in all sorts of bother at 96-7 before lunch on day four, with the Bears talismanic off-spinner Jeetan Patel claiming five of them.

But Patterson top-scored with 44 not out off 78 balls and Fisher added 15 as the win was secured with 53.4 overs remaining.

It means Yorkshire head to Chelmsford to face Essex in Monday’s final round clash with a significant cushion in their fight against relegation.

It is not 100 percent clear yet exactly how the Division One table will look given Somerset and Surrey are still playing at the Oval.

If Somerset get out with a draw, Yorkshire will be 13 points clear of them, while a defeat would make that 18.

They face Middlesex, who are also below Yorkshire in the table, at Taunton next week.

Bottom side Warwickshire, already relegated, gave Yorkshire a scare, particularly through New Zealand international Patel.

After his first-innings century helped them recover from 49-6, he took the first three wickets to fall today as the hosts slipped from 56-3.

Ryan Sidebottom also struck as the score became 96-7 before Fisher and Patterson put the cap on their excellent personal performances.

Fisher took five wickets in the first innings and hit 37 before Patterson claimed four second-innings wickets.

Here, they batted positively, with Patterson leading the way.

He forced a number of boundaries through the off side off the back foot and reached an innings-high score of 23 not out at lunch.

Yorkshire reached 141-7 at the break, needing 34 more for the win.

Patterson then drove Patel for four twice through the covers for four, with the half-century stand coming up inside eight overs immediately after the break.

Patel later conceded two lots of four byes in the 62nd over as the target became six, and Warwickshire conceded 40 extras.

Fisher was caught at leg-slip off Patel with two needed. Patel finished with 6-50.

Earlier, Patel trapped Gary Ballance lbw for 21, had Jack Leaning caught at leg slip (16) and Tim Bresnan caught at deep mid-wicket for a duck as he bowled unchanged from the Kirkstall Lane End having come into the attack last night.

When Sidebottom had Andrew Hodd caught low down at slip by Patel, Yorkshire still needed 79 to round off their home campaign in style.

But Fisher and Patterson turned the game around as they were backed by a vocal home support in the Leeds sunshine.

Not surprisingly, were both given a huge ovations on their way off the field having beaten a Warwickshire side who contributed so much to this fabulous game despite already being relegated.

Andrew Gale

“It felt like Middlesex at Lord’s all over again last year,” he said. “The heart was racing, but luckily we were on the right side of the result. It still gives us a chance to stay in this division.

“Fish has had a great game. He’s had to wait a long time for his chance. He’s been chomping at the bit, reminding me that’s he fit and ready to go. We just felt over the last few weeks he’s hit his straps in the second team, and it was the right time for him to play.

“His batting, we knew he had the ability. But to do it in a pressurised situation like that is outstanding.

“Patto has always showed a lot of guts. He’s been there throughout the last five or six years whenever we’ve needed him. He stood up and performed again, and I’m really pleased for him.

“The most frustrating part of the game was our first-innings batting. I thought we got ourselves into good positions and applied ourselves well. We had an opportunity to take the game away. Had we been going into the third innings of the game 150 ahead like we should have been, it puts the game to bed. That’s been the story of our year.

“It’s a massive win for us. We’re not home and dry yet, but as daft as it sounds, I think you probably still finish second. It’s that bizarre. We just have to go down to Chelmsford and continue some of the good work. I feel like we have played some really good cricket over the last three weeks. Had we played like that for the majority of the year, we wouldn’t be where we are.

“Ryan’s bowled this morning and feels ok. We will assess him again on Sunday. We’ve got to be sure given our situation that he’s 100 percent fit and can get through 30 or 40 overs.

“I thought that session on the first day was as well as we’ve bowled all year. We want competition for places. Ben Coad’s proved he can perform at this level this year, Matt Fisher comes in and takes five-for. There is competition for places, and it’s exactly what we need.”