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Elements conspire to deflate Yorkshire's title nudge
Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale admitted he was a frustrated cricketer after rain and bad light led to his side’s vital LV= Championship division one game against Sussex being drawn.
As the players shook hands on the pavilion balcony at Hove, news came through that Durham were on the verge of beating Derbyshire and the league leaders’ eventual nine-wicket win means second-placed Yorkshire must make up a 27½-point gap over the last two games if they are to win the title.
“It’s very frustrating because the weather’s prevented us taking full command of the game and taking full points,” said Gale, as he reflected on four days in which bad light had been a constant concern.
“I do think that light is one part of cricket that needs attention. For the umpires not to have some sort of technology for the light is ridiculous and it’s something the ECB needs to look at.”
However, Gale defended his decision to set up a run-chase on Saturday when Yorkshire’s rarely-used bowlers sent down 32 overs from which the Sussex batsmen, chiefly Chris Nash and Rory Hamilton-Brown, plundered 285 runs.
That left Yorkshire needing 333 in 64 overs to win the game and they had reached 81-2 when the weather closed in.
“It was an option to try to bowl them out but I thought our best chance of wining was chasing down a total,” said Gale.
“It was a good pitch and if we’d let the game take its natural course and then not got wickets in the first hour, I’m sure Sussex wouldn’t have set up a game.
“I thought the run-chase was going well. We were never going to get the full 64 overs in and I told the boys to treat it as a 50-over chase really.”
But Gale acknowledged the results as Derby and Hove had left his side with the toughest of battles as they prepare for this week’s home game against Middlesex and their final match at Surrey.
“It’s looks like we have a tough mountain to climb and I’m pretty gutted really,” he admitted.
“Durham have played some good cricket over the last month. The run they’ve had has been brilliant and we haven’t matched that.
“So it’s theirs to lose, but this is professional sport and you never know. If they slip up and we win, there might be a ten-point deficit going into the last game. We won’t be giving up that’s for sure.
“And I’m happy with the way the team’s gone about things. After Scarborough I was looking for a reaction from the players and I think we’ve seen a reaction from them.”
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