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Yorkshire's county title hopes hit by weather
YORKSHIRE captain Andrew Gale admitted his frustration at another day restricted by weather interruptions that allowed Durham to edge clearer in the title race.
Only 42.1 overs were possible at Headingley as Yorkshire, put into bat, reached 109-3 while Durham were extending their lead at the top of LV= County Championship Division One by dominating their match against Nottinghamshire.
It left Gale and Yorkshire clinging to slim hopes of securing the title in their 150th anniversary season despite fighting back from slipping to 1-2 with a 97-run third wicket partnership between Gale and Kane Williamson, their New Zealand overseas batsman.
“We can’t do anything about the weather, but it’s always going to play a major part at this time of year and it looks like Durham are getting more play than us again,” said Gale.
“It is difficult because the lads are looking at their phones and have one eye on what’s going on, particularly when Notts were bowled out for 78 by lunch, but we are trying in this game to get a result.
“It’s not been a great day and if things go as they are doing, Durham might have it wrapped up pretty soon, which will be gutting. With the run they are having, what can we do? We’re playing good cricket ourselves but we’re not bowling teams out for 70 every week.”
Rain and bad light restricted Yorkshire’s opportunities after having a potential victory chase washed out against Sussex at Hove on Saturday and it also spoiled an impressive fightback after Adam Lyth fell lbw to Corey Collymore in the second over and Phil Jaques edged Tim Murtagh behind in the next over.
It brought Gale and Williamson together and they battled through impressive new ball spells from Middlesex in ideal seamer-friendly conditions to give Yorkshire a platform.
Williamson was the more cautious of the pair and progressed to 14 off 79 balls before Yorkshire, conscious they needed to be positive if they were to keep pace with Durham, began to accelerate and added 50 in ten overs leading up to an early stoppage for rain in early afternoon.
He showed his attacking intent by pulling Collymore for successive boundaries shortly before a three-hour rain delay.
Just four overs after returning from the rain interuption, Gale chased a full length Collymore delivery that was angled across him and edged behind for 66, leaving him 15 runs short of 1,000 championship runs this summer, and six overs later play ended through bad light.
While Yorkshire did not have the best of fortunes on the pitch, they can at least look forward to some stability next season after all-rounder Richard Pyrah became the 11th new player this season to sign a new deal until 2015.
“He is the ultimate professional that works hard on his game and makes excellent contributions both with the bat and the ball,” said Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s Director of Cricket.
“His fielding is amongst the very best on the county circuit and his presence in the dressing room is vital in our success over the years ahead.”
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