Saturday, 10 September 2011
Tykes restore some pride with 6 wicket win
Yorkshire have beaten Somerset by 6 wickets after their best display of the season ended the summer on a high. It is the first Yorkshire win at Headingley for 14 months and the season is still alive...JUST!
Yorkshire's chase started well as Joe Root and Joe Sayers added an 85 opening stand before Root was lbw to Alfonso Thomas for 46. Root has made the most of his chances in 2011 and ended his Championship summer with 937 runs to his name.
Yorkshire grabbed 4 wickets in 12 balls for 2 runs to end Somerset's second innings at 132 all out as Ryan Sidebottom stormed to career best figures of 7-37 in 13.5 overs. Yorkshire required 203 runs to win which was not going to be easy on a pitch assisting the seamers.
Adam Lyth drove uppishly passed mid-on, only for the fielder there, Arul Suppiah to launch himself and take a mid-air catch to his right. 11 balls later Joe Sayers was caught by Peter Trego to his left at first slip by Murali Kartik for 35 and Yorkshire found themselves 103-3.
Jonny Bairstow joined Anthony McGrath requiring 38 runs for 1,000 Championship runs in the season - his Lions runs had ensured he was already past the 1,000 first-class runs in a summer for the first time.
At tea Yorkshire were 151-3 with Bairstow on 29 and McGrath 19 with 52 runs required to end the season with a win. It was becoming a bittersweet experience watching the final session of the match with Yorkshire showing how well they could play one couldn't help wondering how the season could have been so different.
The home matches against Lancashire, Hampshire, Sussex and Notts and the away Roses game came to mind. Games where Yorkshire could, should or nearly won. Add 4 wins and another draw to the current league table and the arrival of the win over Somerset could have seen celebrations of a top end finish.
Instead, news that Worcestershire had lost to Sussex meant they require just 1 point from their match against Durham next week to ensure Yorkshire's relegation. Sport can be cruel and the margins between success and failure so small.
McGrath drive through the covers to go to 23 and then flashed a drive, edged to Barrow at 3rd slip but the ball went through the fielders hands to the boundary. A cover drive that followed made it three boundaries in three Kirby deliveries and Yorkshire were in sight of the finishing line. There was no wonder Kirby was looking fed up - he was bowling beautifully with scant reward.
McGrath has just hit top form as the season ends. He crunched a pull through mid-wicket off Thomas and only 20 runs were required.
Bairstow drove Kirby for 2 runs to go past a thousand Championship runs in the season for the first time in his career. Three successive boundaries by Bairstow off Thomas took Yorkshire within one shot of victory and Bairstow to fifty from 63 balls with 8 fours.
McGrath was on 44 when he tried to end the match with a six which would have taken him to his personal fifty, but instead he edged behind.
It was fitting that Ballance hit the winning boundary and Bairstow was there with him unbeaten on 53 as Yorkshire sealed a win by 6 wickets.
If Worcestershire fail to get a point next week to reprieve the Tykes I'll run naked eat my hat, but where there's hope...
|MATCH SCORECARD||CLICK HERE|
|LV=CC POINTS TABLE||CLICK HERE|
|DAY 1 VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS||CLICK HERE|
|DAY 2 VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS||CLICK HERE|
|DAY 3 VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS||CLICK HERE|
|LEEDS WEATHER||CLICK HERE|
|YCCC TWITTER FEED||CLICK HERE|
|BBC RADIO COMMENTARY||CLICK HERE|
DAY THREE REPORT
Yorkshire failed to record a single batting point on Day 3 against Somerset and that will be their downfall when the final Championship table is on view next week. Worcestershire are heading for defeat against Sussex with 4 bonus points in that match so additional Tyke batting points would have ramped up the pressure.
For Ryan Sidebottom, who has so far taken 8 wickets in the match after two recent 5-fors and well over 50 wickets in this year's Championship, it is a bittersweet end to the season: "It's nice from a personal point-of-view, but it's all in vain I think at the moment. If we can come away with a win tomorrow it may mean something for next year, but it's been a bitterly disappointing season and we've not played consistently well as a team."
He admitted it was hard to put a finger on the reasons why Yorkshire have frustrated this term but admitted: "We've lost wickets in clusters and as a bowling unit we've not taken it by the scruff of the neck when we've had the chance."
And as for the future, Sidebottom admits coming straight back up into Division One is not going to be a formality: "We've got to work hard and try and come back next year. It's still a very tough league as everyone is fighting to play in Division One."
Yorkshire's quest for batting points got off to the worst possible start on Day 3 when Joe Root was lbw to one that nipped back from Alfonso Thomas for 17. Joe Sayers then pushed a defensive bat at Steve Kirby and the former Yorkshire paceman had Yorkshire's skipper lbw for 3. Two wickets in the first couple of overs and Plan B was in operation.
Anthony McGrath pushed at a tremendous swinging Kirby delivery and was gone for a duck. Jonny Bairstow drove at Kirby but was spilled at 4th slip by Alex Barrow when on 3 and the score 41-3. It was not easy to bat in damp conditions against a moving ball from a 10.30am start and with a little bit more luck Somerset could have made even more headway.
Bairstow and Adam Lyth were riding some luck and interspersing the odd play and miss and edged stroke with shots of serious quality. One Bairstow drive to the mid-off boundary showed why his star is rising rapidly. But with the score on 60 Bairstow slashed a drive in Adam Dibble's first over and was caught by Arul Suppiah at point for 16.
Gary Ballance made 13 before edging Thomas behind to reduce Yorkshire to 106-5 before Lyth reached his fifty off 76 balls - how the Tykes had missed his in-form prowess this season.
Worcestershire had been dismissed for 220 and were 153 runs behind Sussex on first innings so the Pears had secured 4 bonus points in that match. Were they to lose that game, Yorkshire would be one point plus whatever batting bonus points they could secure ahead of Worcestershire, were they to go on and beat Somerset. The ifs and ands of Yorkshire struggle were getting more bleak by the tumbling wicket.
Adil Rashid went next after he had made 10 when he misjudged a leave alone against Kirby who got the ball to swing in late and clean up his stumps. That dismissal signalled lunch which Yorkshire will have eaten aprehensively at 121-56.
Lyth who had played so well all morning for 52 played his first truly airy shot of the day and was caught behind by Buttler off Thomas. Ajmal Shahzad aimed a forcing shot off the same bowler and was gone for 6 and at 133-8 Yorkshire had lost 3 wickets for 20 runs either side of lunch.
Richard Pyrah and Ryan Sidebottom have been two of Yorkshire's never-say-die players this summer and they were not ready to be beaten. There fifty partnership in 81 balls arrived with a sweet straight drive by Sidebottom against Murali Kartik as the Tykes edged towards a first batting point. Sidebottom then tried to put Kartik over mid-wicket and skied to James Hildreth at 1st slip for 27.
Moin Ashraf joined Pyrah with 14 runs required from the 10th wicket to gain a single batting bonus point. When Ashraf was the last man out to give Thomas his 5-for they were still 5 runs short.
It would not be Yorkshire without a heroic fightback in a crucial fixture and as, with may times this summer, it was inspired by Ryan Sidebottom. He dismissed Barrow, Suppiah, Jones and Trego as he took 4-34 from 12 overs to restore White Rose faith in the match. Hildreth fell to Ashraf and McGrath took the key wicket of the impressive Buttler to reduce Somerset to 78-6 and a lead of 148.
Anyone critical of Yorkshire this season should concentrate on the batting and bowling and certainly not the fight and application. Having followed them home and away this summer there were very few times when heads have dropped and the players have not given wholehearted effort. Their problem has been consistency with bat and ball and that has to be remedied over the winter months.
Meschede (30*) and Thomas (25*), Somerset's equivalent of Chanderpaul for annoyance value in this game, saw Somerset through with an unbeaten 46 run partnership to close on 123-6.
Yorkshire trail by 194 runs and a win is possible, but even if that were to transpire Worcestershire need just 1 more point to seal the Tyke's fate and that could come tomorrow if they battle back for a draw in their current fixture, or more likely next week against Durham.
JAMES BUTTLER at HEADINGLEY
DAY TWO REPORT
Yorkshire's quest for Division One safety may be on a life support machine, but it lives on. They are 20-0 on Day 2 in reply to Somerset's first innings 265 all out and will need to make swift progress on Day 3 if they are to reach 400 within 110 overs to secure maximum batting points for the first time this season and retain their hope of forcing victory in their final Championship encounter of the season.
In the other significant matches at the wrong end of the table Worcestershire have earned 3 points against Sussex as they ended Day 2 on 199-7 in reply to Sussex's 375 and Hampshire have collected 4 points against Lancashire after they closed on 229-5 in reply to the Red Roses 388.
Yorkshire's match has effectively become a 3-day fixture after a further 52 overs were lost to rain on Day 2 after 55 went missing on Day 1. Play did not commence on Day 2 until 1.45pm after heavy overnight rain and the odd morning shower led to another morning watching the Headingley covers and the hard working groundstaff.
On the resumption Joss Buttler glided Moin Ashraf to the mid-wicket boundary on the first and fifth balls of the day to bnotch his half-century in 42 balls. His innings had included 11 fours which led press colleagues to comment that he dislikes running as much as your online cricket correspondent.
Buttler would run no more either as Richard Pyrah produced a full pitcher that nipped back and beat his confident blade. He was on his way for 52 and Somerset were 151-4 wuth more rain threatening to fall at any time. When it came there were two short interruptions before the 'proper' rain arrived at 2.45pm with 50 overs still to play.
Tea was taken early and the umpires promised to inspect at 3.35pm. Play recommenced at 4pm with 36 overs left to play and Ryan Sidebottom soon took Barrow's edge and Anthony McGrath took an excellent catch low to his right at 2nd slip and Barrow was gone for a career best 69. Four balls later Sidebottom took Meschede's edge for 0 and Bairstow took a smart chance to his right behind and Somerset were 178-6.
Yorkshire's day would get better. Peter Trego scored 31 from 44 balls including 6 fours as he threatened to counter, but he was bowled by Shahzad and Adam Dibble was lbw for Sidebottom a duck. Sidebottom struck again when he had Murali Kartik lbw for 5.
At 215-9 Shahzad caught Thomas's edge only to see the ball fly at catchable height between Bairstow and Adam Lyth at 1st slip. Lyth shelled Kirby on 10 just after Somerset had secured their second batting point and then Rashid just missed with a shy at the Kirby's stumps at the non-striker's end.
Yorkshire's failure to kill sides off was coming back to haunt them. Lyth repeated his drop off Pyrah, this time with Thomas on 40 and the duo passed their fifty partnership in 78 balls shortly afterwards.
The next ball Thomas was bowled around his legs by Rashid for 49 and Somerset were 265 all out.
The stand out performer for Yorkshire had been Sidebottom who had taken 4-14 on Day 2. Any young seamer at the Club cannot fail to learn from the 33-year-old left-armer who took his first-class season tally to 55 wickets.
Possibly more important to Yorkshire than the 50 runs added after the first chance went begging were the 12 overs used up by the Somerset 10th wicket partnership. These were now denied to Yorkshire as they sought maximum batting points and the win.
At the Close Joe Root was unbeaten on 15 and Joe Sayers on 2 as Yorkshire progressed their reply to 20-0, 245 runs behind.
JAMES BUTTLER at HEADINGLEY
DAY ONE REPORT
Hampshire have picked up 2 bowling points against Lancashire who recovered to 337-7 and Worcestershire also have 2 bowling points against Sussex who were 289-8 on Day 1 of the penultimate round of LV=County Championship fixtures. Somerset have made 140-3 in a rain reduced Day 1 at Headingley, so it's one point more for Yorkshire and their hopes of avoiding relegation from Division One will at least still be alive tomorrow morning when this match resumes at 10.30am.
Yorkshire needed the cricket Gods to be in amenable mood as they prepared for their 4-day encounter with Somerset, but as rain fell in patches throughout the morning session it didn't appear divine intervention into their relegation plight was on the cards. No play was possible until 2.15pm when Yorkshire had won the toss and Somerset were asked to have first knock.
Ajmal Shahzad bowled his most accurate opening spell of the season and was rewarded with the wicket of Arul Suppiah, bowled for 8, and Somerset were 14-1. Tea was taken early with the score 56-1 as the rain came again, but great credit to umpires Jesty and Robinson, who did everything possible during the day to remain on the field of play.
The Tykes had to wait until the last ball of the 32nd over for the next wicket when Chris Jones was bowled by Moin Ashraf with the final ball of his 9th over and then with the first ball of his 10th he bowled James Hildreth who played across a full swinging delivery and Somerset were 88-3.
Joss Buttler joined forces with Alex Barrow and the latter went past his first Championship half-century in 109 balls with 7 fours. Buttler was being more brutal and at times he punished off the middle of the blade and others he was slightly more fortunate as he raced to 42 from only 37 balls with 9 fours.
The pair had added 52 for the 4th wicket when the rain came at 5.20pm to end proceedings for the day with 12 overs still to be bowled. We lost 55 overs to the weather on Day 1 - the latter part of this season has not been an Indian summer in any regard.
JAMES BUTTLER at HEADINGLEY
Yorkshire go into their final game of the season knowing that their Division One status is on the line and hanging by the thinnest of threads.
A win under the temporary leadership of Joe Sayers who continues as captain in the absence of Andrew Gale (broken arm) and Jacques Rudolph (returned to South Africa) would at least put pressure on their relegation rivals. Sayers impressed at Edgbaston last week with his attitude and command of the side who gave everything to fight for victory but had to settle for a draw.
The simple truth is that 99 times out of 100 Yorkshire would be relegated in the predicament they find themselves in, but while there is a chance the Tykes owe it to themselves and the supporters to give it everything they have.
A maximum points haul of 24 from the game against Somerset would mean that Worcestershire, who still have two games to play, would need just 10 points from their final matches to condemn Yorkshire to second division cricket in 2012.
Yorkshire’s biggest bonus points haul of the summer is 6 and they have been unable to grab maximum batting points for scoring 400-plus runs within 110 overs at any stage during the summer. 6 bonus points and a win against Somerset would leave Worcestershire requiring only 8 points from their two remaining fixtures.
Even if Yorkshire managed to overhaul Worcestershire, Hampshire are only 5 points behind and have a game in hand. Yorkshire could yet find themselves relegated as the bottom side.
But while there's hope Yorkshire will give it all they have. One thing never in doubt this season has been the fighting qualities of the Yorkshire team.
As this is my last preview of the summer I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and kind words as I've travelled around the country this year. Despite the disappointing season on the pitch thanks for reading the website and following the Club on facebook and through the Twitter feed. We've broken readership and follower records across the board and are putting other 'big' clubs to shame with the numbers following our social media channels.
I hope you have enjoyed the coverage half as much as I've enjoyed providing it! I just wish I'd been able to bring you better news at times!
It is the same 12 players that travelled to Edgbaston plus Richard Pyrah who has recovered from the shoulder injury that ruled him out of the second Warwickshire match.
Joe SAYERS (c), Joe ROOT, Adam LYTH, Anthony McGRATH, Jonny BAIRSTOW (wk), Gary BALLANCE, Adil RASHID, Ajmal SHAHZAD, Richard Pyrah, Ryan SIDEBOTTOM, Steve PATTERSON, Moin ASHRAF and David WAINWRIGHT.
THE CURRENT LV=CC DIVISION ONE POINTS TABLE
|A: Worcs (7th)||H: Sussex (6th)||H: Somerset (4th)||A: Lancs (3rd)|
|A: Notts (5th)||A: Durham (1st)||H: Warwicks (2nd)|