Yorkshire clinch promotion in Championship

Yorkshire have the chance to claim the LV= County Championship Division Two title after their promotion to Division One was confirmed today.

Glamorgan’s win today meant Kent could not catch Yorkshire who head into tomorrow’s final day against Essex battling with long-time leaders Derbyshire for the title.

Yorkshire will take the crown if they win and Derbyshire fail to get victory against Hampshire.

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Their first task is to bowl Essex out a second time after leaving them a target of 388.

Yorkshire declared their second innings on 252 for eight with Adam Lyth making 51 and Azeem Rafiq hitting an unbeaten 75.

By the close, Essex had already lost openers Jaik Mickleburgh and Tom Westley in moving to 28 for two.

Lyth and Garry Ballance soon made it clear that occupation of the crease rather than a concerted effort to score freely was their main aim this morning.

When they resumed their partnership, Yorkshire were already 179 runs ahead and time was very much on their side to consolidate their position and press for victory.

Only a couple of runs came from the first six overs from Graham Napier and Reece Topley before they started to find the gaps to increase the tempo.

Even so, they needed 28 overs to put together a stand of 59 before Lyth, having just reached his second half-century of the match, was removed with the total on 95.

His effort, which contained seven boundaries, was brought to an end by off-spinner Westley as Mickleburgh pulled off a superb catch at short leg from a firm stroke.

It was Westley who got rid of Ballance for 27, thanks to another fine catch as Tom Craddock held on to a fierce shot at point.

When Craddock struck with his leg-spin to remove Andrew Hodd immediately after lunch with the help of wicketkeeper James Foster, Yorkshire were 111 for six and still short of a 250 overall lead.

But Anthony McGrath and Rafiq were to take the game away from Essex with a century partnership.

During it, both batsmen completed half-centuries. McGrath’s arrived from 145 balls and contained five fours while Rafiq’s came off 98 deliveries and included four fours.

It was his second of the game although he was lucky to escape on 33 when Craddock put down a far from difficult chance at backward point.

The stand was broken after it had yielded 110 in 41 overs when McGrath swung Napier to Adam Wheater on the square leg boundary. His 68 from 179 balls included eight boundaries.

McGrath’s departure arrived during the first over of the new ball and in the next Tymal Mills beat Steve Patterson for pace with the total on 222.

By then, however, Yorkshire were over 350 ahead and, with Rafiq leading the way, they went on to establish an advantage of 387 before the declaration arrived to leave Essex having to survive 11 overs before the close.

They failed to do so, losing Mickleburgh to a catch at short leg by Phil Jaques off Rafiq and Westley who was caught behind off Patterson.