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Time for D-day for Yorkshire
10:20am Saturday 18th August 2012 in Sport
YORKSHIRE are heading for a decisive day in their fight to win promotion from Division Two of the LV=County Championship.
Although nothing will be decided by 6pm tonight – the final outcome of their match with table-topping Derbyshire may well go a long way to determining where the county will be playing their cricket next season.
Ahead of day four, the Falcons are on 233 for eight in their first innings.
That is still 38 runs short of the follow-on target and, if they cannot reach it, then the door will be open for Yorkshire to pick up their first win in the four-day game since May.
“It’s a massive first session for us,” admitted captain Andrew Gale last night.
“We need to get two wickets as quickly as we can.
“Since the start of the game we have probably won the important periods in the match.
“But that will count for absolutely nothing if we don’t enforce the follow on. That’s the only way I can see us actually winning this match.”
The very fact that Yorkshire still have a chance of claiming victory is testament to their admirable battling qualities.
After posting 420 in their first-innings on Thursday, a superb performance from former England man Ryan Sidebottom (pictured left) led the way with the ball yesterday at Headingley.
Sidebottom took three wickets for the loss of only nine runs in a brilliant opening seven-over spell.
But a dogged fight-back from the determined visitors appeared to have put the contest on course for a draw.
Wes Durston was central to it with a fluent 84.
Ross Whiteley and ex-Yorkshire player David Wainwright then carried on Derbyshire’s diligent efforts, either side of a 24-over rain delay.
Together, they helped the Falcons reach 174 for five.
Whiteley was ousted by Steve Patterson, though, for 35 as a gripping day’s play took another dramatic twist.
On-loan Andrew Hodd took the catch to make it four on his debut for the county, with more action to follow in the fading light at Headingley.
By the close, two more wickets had been taken, thanks to home spinners Azeem Rafiq and Adil Rashid.
Tom Poynton (25) and Tony Palladino (0) were the men to go, to leave Yorkshire in a position where they could still go on and win this match ahead of the final day.
Wainwright, who was dropped by Adam Lyth late on last night, may well be the first hurdle to overcome.
He’ll resume on a gutsy 45 not out, with Tim Groenewald yet to score.