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McGrath and Yorkshire target pole position
Yorkshire are determined to seal LV= County Championship promotion in style.
Not content with clinching second place in division two, they want to reel in leaders Derbyshire during their final two matches, starting with Glamorgan at Headingley tomorrow.
Last week’s win over Gloucestershire at Scarborough has put them four points clear of closest rivals Kent and 19 points behind Derby, who have led the way for the majority of the rain hit campaign.
As more and more days were washed out – Yorkshire have had 13 this summer – their chances of gaining promotion seemed to be slipping away.
But Anthony McGrath scored a memorable 76 not out to chase down 314 with only two wickets in hand during Friday’s enthralling fourth day.
Their fate is now in their own hands with fixtures against struggling Glamorgan at home and Essex at Chelmsford to come. And with Derby facing Kent and Hampshire during the next fortnight, the title race is still open.
“Even though it’s been such a disastrous season weather-wise, it’s looking like we’ll have a really exciting end to the season with the Champions League to look forward to as well,” said McGrath, who has enjoyed a profitable summer batting down the order.
“Our main aim is to make sure we go up, whatever the position. But if we can do it as champions, that would make it all the more sweeter.
“We’re 19 off Derby at the top, and they’ve got two really tough games. If the weather’s nice and we get eight full days, you can’t rule us out of catching them. We wanted it to be in our hands going into these last two games. That’s what we’ve got.”
McGrath has played 12 of the 14 Championship matches this season, dropping down the order from number three after a golden duck in the opening match against Kent.
He has scored 523 run from 14 innings at a notable average of 47.54. He has scored hundreds against Hampshire and Derbyshire at Headingley, a 90 against Leicestershire at Scarborough and Friday’s unbeaten 76.
“That knock was probably more enjoyable than either of my hundreds because of the situation in the game,” he added. “It’s a different role for me, but I’ve enjoyed it.”
In the Champions League, Yorkshire will face Sri Lanka’s Uva Next at Johannesburg on October 9 and Trinidad and Tobago at Centurion a day later.
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