YORKSHIRE maintained their position as the leaders of the LV= County Championship by easing past Sussex by nine wickets at Scarborough, their sixth win of the season.
With second-placed Nottinghamshire beating Northamptonshire at Wantage Road, they were only able to extend their lead at the top by a point to six with three matches left. But every little helps.
Andrew Gale’s side clinched a maximum haul of 24 points by bowling Sussex out for 230 just before tea on day four after they had started the day at 98-4 in their second innings and still 27 runs in arrears.
That left Yorkshire a target of 106 in the last 39 overs of the day, one they achieved for the loss of only Alex Lees for 46 inside 21.
At exactly the same stage of the season last year, Yorkshire lost to Durham here, a result which ultimately cost them the title.
“We learned some really good lessons from that game last year,” said coach Jason Gillespie.
“When we had our foot on the throat, we had to keep it there. We don’t let the opposition off the hook. We did that with the bat in this match. We were under a little bit of pressure, but we fought back.
“Then with the ball, they had some partnerships, but we were patient. They were the lessons we learnt from last year. The lads are in a really good place.
“To come back and win by nine wickets after being 9-2 having put them in and they’ve scored over 360, it’s an incredibly pleasing result. That just shows there’s a lot of belief in the camp.”
As Gillespie said, patience definitely was the key attribute Yorkshire needed as Luke Wright’s third century of the season, an excellent 113, ensured they went wicketless until the penultimate over of the morning session.
The England limited overs man shared 127 for the fifth wicket with Steffan Piolet (32) before the latter was trapped lbw by Steve Patterson to leave the score at 175-5, a lead of 50.
Wickets then fell regularly through the afternoon as Patterson, Tim Bresnan (3-60) and Adil Rashid all struck twice.
Wright, trapped lbw propping forward to Bresnan, was the first of Sussex’s last four wickets to fall for just 29. Bresnan is now just two wickets away from 400 in first-class cricket having posted 4,000 first-class runs earlier in this match.
Yorkshire made extremely light work of the 106 target, a pursuit which they started shortly before tea. Lees and Adam Lyth, who finished with 39 not out, took a liking to James Tredwell’s off-spin, hitting him for three sixes between them either straight or over straight mid-wicket.
The first of Yorkshire’s three remaining matches is the Roses clash against relegation-threatened Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford a week on Sunday. They then face Notts at Trent Bridge in their penultimate match and Somerset at Headingley in the season’s final week.
LV= County Championship division one
Yorkshire v Sussex
Sussex First Innings 368 (E Joyce 130).
Yorkshire First Innings 493 (K S Williamson 189, J M Bairstow 77, T T Bresnan 61).
Sussex Second Innings
L W P Wells b Sidebottom 0
C D Nash c Bairstow b Brooks 15
E C Joyce lbw b Sidebottom 5
C Cachopa c Lyth b Bresnan 7
L J Wright lbw b Bresnan 113
S A Piolet c Williamson b Patterson 32
B C Brown lbw b Patterson 0
J C Tredwell c Sidebottom b Bresnan 26
S J Magoffin b A U Rashid 18
L J Hatchett c Gale b A U Rashid 4
M E Hobden not out 0
Extras (b7 lb2 w1) 10
Total (79.1 overs) 230
Fall: 1-8 2-20 3-20 4-48 5-175 6-175 7-201 8-218 9-223.
Bowling: Sidebottom 11-2-26-2, Brooks 15-2-68-1, Bresnan 17-2-60-3, Patterson 16-8-24-2, A U Rashid 19.1-6-40-2, Lyth 1-0-3-0.
Yorkshire Second Innings
A Lyth not out 39
A Z Lees c Hatchett b Hobden 46
K S Williamson not out 15
Extras (b4 lb2) 6
Total 1 wkt (20.1 overs) 106
Bowling: Magoffin 5-2-13-0, Hatchett 7-0-31-0, Tredwell 4-0-32-0, Hobden 3-0-22-1, Wells 1.1-0-2-0.
Yorkshire (24pts) beat Sussex (6pts) by 9 wkts
Division one table
P W L D Ba Bo Pts
Yorkshire 13 6 1 6 38 36 200
Nottinghamshire 13 6 3 4 45 33 194
Warwickshire 13 6 4 3 33 35 179
Somerset 13 4 2 7 32 34 165
Sussex 13 4 4 5 33 32 154
Middlesex 12 4 4 4 27 30 139
Durham 11 2 2 7 28 29 124
Lancashire 12 2 4 6 19 32 113
Northants 12 0 10 2 19 23 52