Yorkshire joined rivals Lancashire at the top of the Division one table after defeating their Roses counterparts in comprehensive fashion, whilst Middlesex climbed to fourth after claiming their first win of the season at the Merchant Taylors’ School.
Two England men combined to bowl the White Rose to victory over arch-rivals Lancashire at Headingley. Adil Rashid (4-17) and Tim Bresnan (4-36) ripped through the Red Rose batting line-up to guide the hosts through to a comprehensive 175-run success. Starting the day just one wicket down and needing 349 runs for victory, the visitors Lancashire would’ve had their eyes on a draw. They suffered a nightmare start though losing a further four wickets in the morning sessions to collapse to 98/5, at that point they would’ve bitten your hand off for a draw. In poor light, the hosts decided to bowl their spinners early on and they were rewarded early when Adil Rashid had youngster Haseeb Hameed caught behind for 20 to claim his first wicket of the innings. The very next over fellow spinner Adam Lyth struck to remove the other set man, Luke Proctor who found the reliable hands of Tim Bresnan to leave the Red Rose wobbling at 55/3. Bresnan then turned provider striking twice in quick succession to leave the hosts well and truly on top at the lunch break. He first bowled Steven Croft for five, before trapping Alviro Petersen leg before just before the interval. Liam Livingstone and Karl Brown offered some resistance sharing 63-runs for the sixth wicket before Rashid swung the tie back in the host’s fashion. The England Test hopeful had Livingstone caught by Liam Plunkett for 24 to bring an end to the riposte. Eight runs later the leg-spinner was off celebrating again, this time, inducing an edge from Tom Bailey to give Andrew Hodd a simple catch behind the stumps. That left Lancashire staring down the barrel and their slump continued as they lost their last three wickets for a single run as Rashid and Bresnan combined to mop up the tail. New Zealander Neil Wagner edged through to Hodd off the bowling of Bresnan to fall for 2. The main resistor Brown couldn’t hold out any longer as hit Bresnan to Ballance to fall for a dogged 51 that included six boundary fours. That left Rashid with the honours of winning the Roses match for the hosts trapping Kyle Jarvis leg before wicket for a duck to guide the hosts to a massive win over their near-neighbours. Rashid finished with match figures of 7-54 to continue his fine form in Roses matches.
Elsewhere, Middlesex picked up an innings success over a disappointing Hampshire at Northwood. After racking up a mammoth total of 463/3 in their first innings with centuries from Adam Voges, John Simpson and Dawid Malan the hosts then ripped through the visitors batting line-up not once, but twice to seal a first success of the season. Toby Roland-Jones and Tim Murtagh did the damage in Hampshire’s first effort collecting four wickets apiece to leave their south coast counterparts well behind on first innings and having to bat again. The weather threatened to save the visitors but the rain cleared on the final day to allow James Fuller to collect his first five-fer for Middlesex and bowl his new county to victory. There was a little more resistance from the visitors in their second innings with Jimmy Adams striking a dogged 78 which included 11 fours but when he fell a mini slump soon followed as Hampshire lost three wickets without a run being added. James Franklin removed the dangerous Adams leg before to bring an end to a 63-run stand between the opener and wicketkeeper Adam Wheater, but Fuller struck twice in two overs to firmly put the hosts back on track. He first removed Wheater for 25 having the former Essex man caught by Adam Voges, before removing Tino Best – whose nightmare game continued falling for a duck. Ryan McLaren and youngster Mason Crane took the score past two hundred but in truth, the visitors were never likely to save the game. Crane (21) fell to Fuller to become the former Gloucestershire man’s fifth wicket before Ollie Rayner had James Tomlinson caught by James Franklin to seal a deserved success for the Londoner who dominated throughout.
Meanwhile, in Division Two, Gloucestershire produced a quite brilliant run chase to bag a thrilling five-wicket win over Worcestershire at New Road. The Bristolians were rewarded for a positive declaration on the third day, they declared behind the eight ball but bowled their rivals out for 239 to leave the West Country boys needing 315 to win. Craig Miles (5-54) and Liam Norwell (4-70) ripped through the Worcestershire lower order during the final day’s morning session to leave the visitors with 70-overs to chase down a mammoth total. Their chase didn’t get off to an ideal start losing form batsman Chris Dent cheaply to leave Gloucestershire on 9/1. Skipper Gareth Roderick and first innings centurion Graeme van Buuren recovered the situation and in quick time too leading the visitors to 60/2 after 12 overs when Roderick found the safe hands of Alexei Kervezee to fall for 30. That brought the experienced Australian Michael Klinger to the crease, not a bad man to have in the middle when a big total is required in limited time. Indeed, the hard-hitting Klinger struck eleven fours and a couple of sixes on his way to a memorable century. But when wickets clattered around him with Van Buuren (42), Hamish Marshall (10) and George Hankins (1) all falling within 32 runs of each other, it looked as though the hosts would be victorious. But that brought the impressive young all-rounder Jack Taylor to the middle. With time running out Taylor and Klinger went big, and complimented each other magnificently. In the fading light they attacked the spinner of Worcestershire, in particular Taylor who smashed six sixes during his 72-ball stay at the crease. Adding to those sixes he struck a further eleven boundary fours as he reached a rapid century to help his side home to victory to finish unbeaten on 107. After a brief break for bad light the Bristolians returned to the middle requiring a further 27 to win, they got a wriggle on and finished it in style. Needing 5 to win from a Brett D’Oliveira over, Klinger hit a four from the second ball of the match before smashing the very next ball for six to spark wild celebrations on the field and in the Gloucestershire dressing room as the West Country boys climbed up to second spot.
Elsewhere, Kent and Leicestershire were further frustrated by the weather as yet more heavy rain fell in Canterbury. After losing much of the third day, no play was possible on the final day. It meant Kent didn’t have the chance to capitalise on leaders Essex dropping points in Northampton as the hosts were forced to settle for a draw. The Spitfires remain 11 points behind their local rivals Essex in second spot, whilst Leicestershire’s eight points collected from their visit down south leaves the Foxes in fifth.
Reports by David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
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