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Jaques ton fires Yorkshire to victory
Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale has labelled his side’s stunning victory at Gloucestershire on Saturday as one of the best of his captaincy.
The Tykes made history in the west country – chasing down a victory target of 400 to pick up 19 points and go joint top of the second division in the LV= County Championship.
It’s the highest total that any county has ever successfully pursued at the County Ground since it first hosted cricket in 1889.
A jubilant Gale said: “Chasing 400 down is a brilliant effort. It’s up there as one of the best days of my captaincy, definitely.
“It’s a bold move. It shows that we’ve got confidence and momentum in the camp.”
His delight was entirely understandable.
Set 400 to win in what turned out to be 111 overs, Yorkshire reached their target with just 20 balls to spare.
Two players in particular got them over the line, with Phil Jaques scoring a splendid 160 and Gary Ballance hitting a six to win the game and close on 121 not out.
Gale added: “The way they timed their innings was beautiful and we take a lot of confidence from that. They made batting look easy at times.”
Despite this being only the third time in Yorkshire’s history that they have chased down a total of 400 or more to win, the most impressive aspect was the calm nature in which the Tykes went about their task.
Resuming on 30-1 with 370 to win from 96 overs, it was clear from the off that Yorkshire would need one outstanding individual contribution to win the game. They got two.
Joining forces with Yorkshire on 117-3 after Adam Lyth (36) and Gale (21) had perished, it didn’t take long for Jaques and Ballance to make their mark.
By lunch they had steered the Tykes to 148-3, before adding 118 unbroken runs in the afternoon to take hold of the game. Jaques passed 100 in this time, with the runs continuing to flow deep into the final session of the game.
The Australian’s 150 came soon after, before the duo’s stand of 203 came to an end when he was bowled by Will Gidman to make it 320-4.
Ballance had serenely made his way into the 90s by this time, though, and even though Anthony McGrath came and went quickly for six, there was little chance of the Tykes not winning the game by this stage.
Tim Bresnan’s cameo of 38 off 34 balls helped settle any nerves, with the asking rate quickly being reduced from 52 runs off the last 10 overs, to 17 runs off the last five.
Aptly, Ballance then finished the job, with successive sixes sealing a famous win.