Cricket stumps: Yorkshire achieve remarkable run chase to seal win

Centuries from Phil Jaques and Gary Ballance saw Yorkshire to a four-wicket LV= County Championship win over Gloucestershire at Bristol, having been set 400 for victory.

Jaques hit 160 and Ballance 121 not out as the visitors achieved the second highest successful run-chase in their history.

The outcome was rarely in doubt after Yorkshire began the day on 30 for one.

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Adam Lyth (36) and Tim Bresnan (38) made valuable contributions, but it was the fourth-wicket stand of 203 between Jaques and Ballance which broke Gloucestershire hearts.

The home side had appeared well in the game when taking two wickets during the morning session. Ian Saxelby pinned Lyth lbw, while Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale threw the bat unnecessarily to be caught off Young for 21.

It was 148 for three at lunch with Jaques on 73 and Ballance on nine. They batted with increasing assurance throughout the afternoon session, adding 121 runs with few alarms.

Jaques reached his century with the total on 201 in the 61st over. The Australian left-hander paced his innings perfectly and had faced 160 balls, hitting 13 fours.

He was on 141 at tea and added a further 19 before being bowled off an inside edge by Will Gidman. By then he had been batting for five hours and 43 minutes, facing 256 balls and extending his boundary count to 17.

There was a glimmer of hope for Gloucestershire when Anthony McGrath was well caught by the diving Chris Dent at second slip off Gidman for six and the scoreboard read 328 for five.

But by then Ballance was well on course for his hundred, reached with a pulled six off Gidman after he had faced 209 deliveries and hit nine fours.

Bresnan calmed any Yorkshire nerves with a breezy 38 off 34 balls, with six fours and a six. By the time he was bowled by Young only 17 were needed.

Ballance was in no mood to hang around. He finished the game with four, six, six off left-arm spinner Young as Yorkshire reached their target with 20 balls to spare.

Gloucestershire’s attack, deprived of David Payne and James Fuller by injury, did not prove up to the task on a slow pitch.

Skipper Alex Gidman had no regrets about agreeing to the contrived target, after Yorkshire yesterday forfeited their first innings to allow the hosts to set them 400 in 110 overs.

Yorkshire took 19 points to the home side’s four and look a solid bet for a quick return to the First Division.