Yorkshire’s hopes of reaching the Bob Willis Trophy final were ended during the third day of their last round North Group clash with Leicestershire at Emerald Headingley.
The White Rose county’s chances of finishing top of the North are high given their dominant position against the Foxes, while pre-game leaders Derbyshire are struggling at Lancashire.
But, unfortunately, they won’t be able to do it with enough points to finish as one of the two best group winners who advance to the Lord’s final later this month.
Ninety points is looking like being the magic figure, and to get there Yorkshire needed to reach 400 in their first innings and win this game.
In reply to Leicester’s 124, however, they were bowled out for 252, losing their last five wickets for 15 runs in 29 balls having had half-centuries for Harry Brook, Jonny Tattersall and Jordan Thompson.
All-rounder Thompson had a day to remember as he continues his progression at pace.
Added to a 101-ball 62, he later struck twice in an over and three times in all as Leicester closed on 78-5 from 26 overs of their second innings – the last 16 were lost to bad light.
Yorkshire’s pursuit of 400 in their first innings was hurt by wickets falling in clusters at the start and end.
Starting the day on 36-2, Will Fraine and Tom Loten both fell to left-arm quick Dieter Klein as the score slipped to 46-4 before improving trio Brook, Tattersall and Thompson led an impressive recovery either side of lunch.
Brook was particularly fluent on his way to 53, emphatically pulling Klein for six and sublimely on-driving Ben Mike for four.
He shared 75 with Tattersall before lunch, and then Tattersall and Thompson added 116 for the sixth wicket either side of the break, taking the score to 237-5.
At that stage, hopes of final qualification had been raised, with both Tattersall and Thompson calmly taking advantage of an attack struggling for line and length.
But things turned around dramatically in a 29-ball period during the second half of the afternoon, with off-spinner Arron Lilley claiming three of five quick wickets.
Mike uprooted wicketkeeper Tattersall’s off-stump for 71, leaving Yorkshire 237-6 in the 65th over of the innings, before ex-Lancashire spinner Lilley had Thompson lbw and also removed Matthew Fisher and Duanne Olivier.
Mike wrapped up the innings in the 69th over when Coad was superbly caught by a diving Sam Evans, signalling an early tea with Yorkshire’s lead at 128.
Despite now being unable to qualify for the final, topping the North Group would be a very worthwhile consolation prize as to rubber-stamp this side’s improvement during the shortened 2020 summer.
Thompson’s development with bat and ball is the prime example, and he added to his excellent day after tea with three wickets in as many overs.
Coad made the initial breakthrough when he trapped Sam Evans lbw (4-1 in the third over).
Thompson then had the other opener Hassan Azad and Harry Dearden both caught behind in the 14th over, the former down leg-side, as the score fell to 35-3. Then, in the 18th, on-loan Essex batsman Rishi Patel chipped a catch to Jack Shutt at cover (47-4).
Fisher also struck to get Harry Swindells caught behind in the 22nd over – 53-5 before bad light curtailed play at 5.40pm.
Yorkshire’s players, meanwhile, wore black armbands following the death of director of cricket Martyn Moxon’s mother on Monday.