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Yorkshire's Anthony McGrath leads charge to win over Gloucestershire
Yorkshire’s LV= County Championship promotion bid was given a major shot in the arm with a two-wicket win over Gloucestershire at Scarborough yesterday as Anthony McGrath starred with a brilliant 76 not out.
A meeting between the two captains before play brought about a scenario which left Yorkshire chasing 314 from a minimum of 84 overs to move up to second in division two with two matches left.
And, although on the face of it the offer seemed a generous one from Gloucester, it brought about a nail-biting finish after days two and three were washed out.
McGrath hit eleven fours in 98 balls to see his side over the line for a third win of the campaign with 16 balls to spare.
It meant the White Rose are now four points clear of Kent in third ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Glamorgan at Headingley.
“The feeling’s great in the dressing room after that win,” said Australian left-hander Phil Jaques, who top-scored with 79 off 123 balls.
“Both captains organised a really good game of cricket, and it means that two wins and we go up now. It’s as simple as that.
“The way Anthony went about it was amazing. It just shows what a player with 570-odd games behind him can do for a cricket team.
“He just oozed experience and class. He never got flustered at any stage.” The target was brought about by Yorkshire declaring their first innings on 61-2 in reply to 215 before Andrew Gale and Adam Lyth took the new ball and fed Gloucester’s opening pair Rob Nicol and Benny Howell 159 runs in 10 overs of their second innings.
Yorkshire’s chase began 85 minutes before lunch, which they reached in reasonable health at 82-1.
But things started to slip a bit in the midst of some loose strokeplay. Lyth and Joe Root both fell to loose shots, as did Gale, Gary Ballance and Jaques as Yorkshire fell to 205-5 in the 60th over.
Andrew Hodd and Adil Rashid both fell to Will Gidman, and the score was suddenly 267-7 in the 75th with 47 still needed from 9.5 overs.
But McGrath, out of contract at the end of the season, and Azeem Rafiq united for the eighth wicket to calm the nerves before the latter fell for 24 with two needed.
The pair had shared 45 in seven overs.