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Yorkshire County Cricket Club struggle to get on top
Yorkshire’s hopes of boosting their promotion push with a third LV= County Championship division two win of the season declined markedly during a damaging evening session against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.
Northants’ eighth-wicket pair David Willey and David Murphy shared 73 inside 18 overs to recover their side from 231-7 in reply to 249 as play was only possible during the morning and evening due to rain yesterday.
Either side of a lost afternoon session, the White Rose county dragged themselves back into the match in the morning before their good work was undone by Willey in particular.
Willey’s career-best 76 led his side to a total of 352 and a lead of 103.
Yorkshire closed on 5-0 from four overs of their second innings, with Adam Lyth three not out and Joe Root two.
“We asked for a response from the lads in the morning, and I thought we bowled fantastically well to get us back in the game,” said Tykes skipper Andrew Gale.
“Then the last session, we weren’t quite on it.
“We played well in patches, but over four days of cricket we need to play better than that.
“They are in front of us at the moment, but a good first session and we could go past them.
“I don’t know whether they will then want to set a game up. If we lose early wickets, the game’s thrown into their court. They will believe they can still win the game naturally.”
Moin Ashraf and Adil Rashid struck twice apiece in the morning as Northants slipped from 175-3 at the start of the day, with Rashid finishing with 5-105 from 31 overs.
It was the former England leg-spinner’s first five-wicket haul since April 2011.
Ashraf struck twice in two balls to get Rob Newton caught at second slip and Andrew Hall lbw for a golden duck in the 63rd over, missing out on a hat-trick as a quick yorker just missed James Middlebrook’s leg stump.
Former Yorkshire spinner Middlebrook was trapped lbw by Rashid in the 72nd before Stephen Peters, who posted an excellent 107 off 227 balls, was brilliantly caught by Root at short-leg off the same bowler.
Peters connected sweetly as he pulled a Rashid short ball, only to see Root somehow cling on at point blank range.
Thirty seven overs were lost as heavy rain arrived just before lunch, only allowing a restart at 4.30pm with just 33 overs left in the day.
And, despite Rashid trapping Murphy lbw for 20 and bowling Willey, it was emphatically the home side’s session even though Yorkshire did at least claim a third bowling bonus point.
Willey impressed with controlled aggression as he hit seven fours in 91 balls before Azeem Rafiq wrapped up the innings by getting Lee Daggett caught at slip.