ANDREW GALE confessed to feelings of deja vu after Yorkshire gained a vital victory in their relegation fight.
The county’s first team coach drew a parallel between the nail-biting two-wicket win over Warwickshire and last season’s dramatic title decider against Middlesex.
“It felt like Middlesex last year all over again,” said Gale, who was captain when Yorkshire slipped to a 61-run defeat at Lord’s last September. “The heart was racing once again but, luckily, we were on the right side of the result this time.
“It’s a massive win for us, and it gives us a chance of staying in the division. We’re not home and dry yet but, daft as it sounds, we could still probably finish as high as second.”
Yorkshire, who have climbed one place to fourth, go into their final game against Essex at Chelmsford on Monday 14 points behind second-placed Surrey and 18 points above second-bottom Somerset.
Had they lost to bottom club Warwickshire – which seemed likely when they slipped from 71-3 to 96-7 chasing 175 – they would have been left with a mountain to climb. But an eighth-wicket stand of 78 between Steve Patterson and Matthew Fisher proved decisive.
It’s a massive win for us, and it gives us a chance of staying in the division. We’re not home and dry yet but, daft as it sounds, we could still probably finish as high as second.Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale
“Fish had a great game,” commented Gale. “He’s had to wait a long time for his chance and has been chomping at the bit, reminding me that he’s fit and ready to go.
“We felt in the last few weeks that he’d really hit his straps in the second team, and it was the right time for him to play.
“We knew he had ability with the bat, but to do it in a pressurised situation like that was outstanding.”
Gale also praised Patterson’s contribution. “Patto has always showed a lot of guts over the last five or six years whenever we’ve needed him,” he said.
“He really stood up there and performed, and I’m really pleased for him.”