Yorkshire claimed their third successive LV= Insurance County Championship win by just one run in remarkable fashion shortly after tea on day four against Northamptonshire at Emerald Headingley, with captain Steve Patterson taking the winning wicket.
The White Rose, defending a 220 target, started the final day needing six wickets, but Wayne Parnell’s 33 threatened to snatch an away win.
Northants were 94-4, needing 126 more, and they fell to 206-9 during an afternoon which was interrupted by rain for 50 minutes from 2.40pm.
Patterson then had Parnell caught behind by Jonny Tattersall to seal a success celebrated with understandable gusto.
David Willey, Patterson and Duanne Olivier all claimed wickets to secure a 20-point haul and end a match of significant drama at 3.45pm.
South African all-rounder Parnell, the standout performer from both sides, did not deserve to be a loser having earlier taken five wickets in each innings.
This was only the second one-run win in Yorkshire’s Championship history.
Yorkshire have beaten Kent and Sussex away, added to this result and the opening round draw against Glamorgan here. They remain second in the Group Three table, six points behind Lancashire.
The Roses pair now have breathing space from the chasing pack.
That aforementioned tension was evident through a shortened fourth day, played out under a mix of overcast and sunny skies. It could only have been enriched by the presence of a crowd.
Both sides refused to give an inch in their pursuit of valuable points.
The White Rose struck twice in the opening hour of play as Northants fell to 136-6, with Willey forcing Luke Procter to feather behind to Jonny Tattersall for 27 and Steve Patterson trapped Tom Taylor lbw for one.
The latter wicket came four balls after a controversial moment when Taylor – on one – had edged Willey low to Tom Kohler-Cadmore at first slip in the day’s 11th full over – the 39th of the innings.
Replays suggest it was a clean catch after umpires Nick Cook and David Millns had given the batsman the benefit of the doubt. It led to a bit of angst between the players.
Northants lost their seventh wicket on 146 when Saif Zaib edged Duanne Olivier low to Kohler-Cadmore at slip for 25, leaving Northants at 146-7 in the 45th over.
Parnell and Gareth Berg chipped away at the target during the remainder of the morning, reaching lunch on 174-4 with 46 more needed for Northants to win on this ground for the first time in 31 years.
Berg took two boundaries off a Jordan Thompson over to move into the teens having been dropped by Tattersall off Olivier on four. Willey could have run Parnell (16 at lunch) out on six.
Yorkshire will be frustrated at being unable to build sustained pressure.
Parnell was dropped on 17 by Kohler-Cadmore at first slip off Patterson inside the opening 15 minutes of the afternoon.
However, they still created chances.
Willey got Berg caught behind for 16 moments later as Northants fell to 178-8, needing 42.
Parnell and Simon Kerrigan (12) took the target to 14 with a 28-run stand for the ninth wicket, the latter stages of which was played out in fading light under the floodlights.
But Olivier broke that partnership when he had Kerrigan caught at second slip by Adam Lyth as the score fell to 206-9 in the 71st over.
Rain immediately arrived and forced the players off the field, adding to the tension.
Last man Ben Sanderson and Parnell picked up boundaries off Olivier just after the resumption to help take the target down to just two.
But Patterson, as he so often does, stepped in at just the right time and Tattersall impressively held on and sunk to his knees in relief as much as joy.