Yorkshire v Warwickshire (day three): Gale thrilled as Yorkshire triumph to boost title hopes

Yorkshire's Adil Rashid appeals successfully for LBW against Warwickshire's Keith Barker.
Yorkshire's Adil Rashid appeals successfully for LBW against Warwickshire's Keith Barker.
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Yorkshire beat Warwickshire by 48 runs in a fiercely fought contest at Headingley to haul themselves into third spot in the Specsaver County Championship table, just one point behind second-placed Somerset and with a game in hand.

The victory, completed within three days, enhances their chances of a third consecutive title win, and also keeps them in with a shout of scooping all three of the major domestic trophies.

Yorkshire's Jack Brooks

Yorkshire's Jack Brooks

Warwickshire, who were above their opponents before the game began, were handicapped through Sam Hain having to bat lower down the order after damaging a shoulder when crashing into the terracing in a futile attempt to cut off a boundary shot from Andrew Hodd.

Both Rikki Clarke and Jeetan Patel bowled outstandingly well in the second innings but a long and courageous knock of 70 by Yorkshire opener, Alex Lees, guided his side to a final score of 150 and an overall lead of 228.

After losing early wickets, Warwickshire were bowled out for 180 but not before offering some strong resistance.

Warwickshire had one over to bat before lunch and Andrew Umeed bagged a pair when he was lbw to Ryan Sidebottom’s third ball.

Soon after the interval, Warwickshire found themselves 14-3 as Varun Chopra and Ian Bell were lbw to consecutive balls from the fired-up Jack Brooks.

But Jonathan Trott and Tim Ambrose, who survived a sharp catch behind the stumps on nine, rallied Warwickshire with a fighting stand of 91 which defied the spinners and caused Yorkshire to bring back their pacemen after tea.

The move soon paid off because Ambrose (36) pushed at Sidebottom and was magnificently caught by Jack Leaning diving far to his right at third slip.

Trott was out in the next over from Brooks, top-edging a catch to the jubilant bowler. The former England man had hit 59 from 107 deliveries with seven fours and his departure brought in Hain at 109 for five with 120 still required.

He and Clarke added valuable runs before Patterson picked up the important wicket of Clarke who left the field shaking his head at the lbw decision.

Rashid was brought back at 145 for six with 84 wanted and in consecutive overs he had Keith Barker lbw and Patel smartly stumped as he was lured out of his crease. Warwickshire were sinking fast and Wright was lbw to Rashid for eight but Hain and last-man Oliver Hannon-Dalby kept their side afloat long enough for the extra half hour to be claimed. Nine balls into it, Hain edged Rashid to Lyth at slip for 35, the leg-spinner mopping up with four for 29.

Yorkshire just had their noses in front when they began the third day on 78 for five, 156 ahead, with Lees on 39 and Adil Rashid three. Two early boundaries for Rashid off Clarke eased the home nerves but with 21 added Rashid was picked up at short leg by Hain during a marathon spell from Patel which began at five o’clock the previous afternoon from the Kirkstall Lane end.

Lees completed a solid half-century off 137 balls with eight fours but Bresnan, in aiming a slog-sweep at Patel, skied a catch to mid-on where Keith Barker calmly took it after shielding his eyes from the sun.

Wright struck two important blows for Warwickshire when he had Hodd caught behind and then obtained a similar result against Lees, driving airily outside off-stump to be ninth out. He had battled away for 254 minutes, receiving 198 balls and hitting six fours.

Brooks launched a six over mid-wicket off Patel but before he could cause further damage the bowler had Sidebottom snapped up by Clarke without scoring, Patel and Clarke each finishing up with four wickets.

A jubilant Andrew Gale said: “This was a fantastic win, not many games finish inside three days at Headingley. It was an excellent pitch and tough to bat on but if you put the ball in the right areas you got your rewards.

“It doesn’t often take spin at Headingley but it did in this game and we are now right back in the mix and breathing down Middlesex’s neck. We now have the attack going that won us the Championship last year and Sidebottom and Brooks are the guys who perform well at Headingley. If we have a good run in we can have one of the best Championship years seen for a long time.

“Adil Rashid is ruthless and not many tail-enders can pick his googly. When you have them six down you bring on Rash the Hoover to get the job done.

“There is a real buzz around the club now. Some clubs have nothing to play for at this stage and we have a chance of three trophies.”