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2018 standouts - Brook's maiden First-Class ton

— 23 January 2019

As we count down to the start of the new season, in a new weekly feature, we look back at some of Yorkshire’s highlights throughout last summer, be it great wins or memorable individual performances……

It was in another sport which the phrase “You cannot be serious!” was coined. But it just about sums up Yorkshire’s stunning win over champions Essex at Chelmsford in early May.

In fact, to claim victory having been bowled out for 50 before lunch on day one, it is still hard to believe even now.

But that victory owed a lot to young star in the making Harry Brook, seamer and captain to be Steve Patterson and England ace Jonny Bairstow, who all contributed heavily to stun Anthony McGrath’s men.

Essex tasted defeat in Championship cricket for the first time since September 2016.

Amazingly, there was a very slim chance that this game could have been wrapped up on day one.

  • After Yorkshire’s early collapse, Essex were restricted to 142 all out on the stroke of tea, with 31 overs remaining in the day. Instead, what followed is best described as the Bairstow and Brook show.

    The visitors closed on 161-2, a lead 69, with Bairstow promoted to open in a bid to counter punch and hitting a typically boisterous 50 off 44 balls.

    Brook, batting at three, also took the aggressive option in posting his maiden first-team century, a superb 187-ball 124 in which he took a particular shine to the off-spin of former South Africa Test bowler Simon Harmer, a man central to Essex’s title success the summer previous.

    It was an innings at the centre of some early seen promise for teenager Brook, who many believe will breakthrough into the England side in future years.

  • In the end, Yorkshire posted 329 all out and set their hosts 238 to win.

    Patterson had missed the start of the season with a broken finger, only to hit the ground running on his return.

  • He claimed all four wickets as Essex closed on 97-4, including his 350th career scalp, and twice more early on day three as the score slipped from 114-4 to 146 all out, bringing about a 91-run victory that will live long in the memory.

    For Patterson, he finished with career best figures of 6-40.

    For Yorkshire, this was their lowest first-innings winning total for 96 years when they beat Sussex at Hove in 1922 having been bowled out for 42.

    As we head into 2019, we are likely to see some brilliant, breathtaking and perhaps unbelievable cricket. However, it would be a surprise if we see anything like this fixture again anytime soon.

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