Yorkshire CCC coach Ottis Gibson proud of team despite weather scuppering hopes of County Championship win over Sussex
There was no play possible due to rain on the final day at Headingley, resulting in a draw.
Persistent rain throughout the morning – heavy at stages – meant promotion-chasing Sussex were the happier of the two sides as they maintained their unbeaten start to the Division Two campaign with a ninth draw added to a win in 10 games.
They even jumped up into second place in the table as a result, two points clear of Worcestershire and Leicestershire, who are both locked on 111 points.
Yorkshire had driven this fixture, their ninth, and would have been confident of wrapping up a second win. However, it was by no means a foregone conclusion.
Sussex would have resumed on 236-7 in their second innings, leading by 88. With all-rounder Fynn Hudson-Prentice unbeaten on 43 with Jack Carson for company on 19, they would have been hopeful of setting up a tricky chase.
As it was, umpires Paul Baldwin and James Middlebrook abandoned the day at 12.30pm having called for an early lunch at midday.
Yorkshire take 11 points from their sixth draw to Sussex’s seven and maintain sixth place in the table on 91 points.
This is the second time this season against Sussex that weather has denied Yorkshire a final day victory pursuit. At Hove in April, they would have started day four needing 63 runs to win with seven wickets in hand. But that was washed out as well.
Yorkshire face runaway league leaders Durham at Scarborough from Tuesday, while Sussex have a free week to prepare for the Metro Bank One-Day Cup at the start of next month.
“I don’t even know what to say! I’m really proud of the way we’ve played, especially yesterday,” said head coach Gibson.
“Last year when I came (to the club), I can remember having a conversation around sometimes having to risk losing in order to win.
“Yesterday morning we sort of forecast how it was going to be, and I thought we did everything we possibly could to try and win the game yesterday.
“Credit to Sussex for the way they played, but I thought my boys were excellent in trying to push the game and get a result.
“The old cliche in sport, ‘Control the Controllables’. We did exactly that. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. This is at least the third time that the rain has put paid to some really good play from us. But we’ll keep going.
“I’ve said to the players just now, ‘Real credit to them’. Quite often a coach has a feeling or an idea. But yesterday it was Ben Coad who came up with the idea that we went for. And everybody bought into it and tried hard.
“Durham (Scarborough, next week) have proven themselves to be the best team in the division. They’re playing really well and are very positive.
“We had a nail-biter up there at Chester-le-Street (one-wicket defeat), and we know that over four days we can push them if we play the way we have been playing the last couple of games.”
Sussex coach Paul Farbrace – who used to be in charge of Yorkshire’s second XI between 2012-13 – said his players’ efforts once again showed the honesty and commitment they had shown all season.
“I think we’re making progress, but we’ve also got to be realistic,” said the former England coach.
“The thing we talked about right at the start of the season was expecting to win. I said the reason we had to talk about winning was that we’d only won game a season for the previous three years.
"We need to be ambitious and talk about winning and about expecting to win.
“What we’ve seen after 10 games is that we’ve got a group of players who are very honest and committed, they work hard.
"But, actually, they don’t quite know how to win.
“That’s not being disrespectful to them as players, it means they lack the experience.
“We have to stop making excuses about them being young and say, ‘Well, there’s one or two starting to put their hands up’. James Coles at 19 has been one of our standout players since he got into the team.
“Yes we could look at the weather early part of the season and say, ‘There was probably the Leicester game, Worcester, Gloucester when we got into good positions.
“But the Yorkshire game at home, we probably would have lost. This one here, we sneaked away with a draw when Yorkshire would have fully expected to win had it stayed dry.
“We might have another couple of wins in the win column, but – by the same token – we might also have another couple of defeats in the defeat column.”