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Yorkshire bid thwarted by rain
Yorkshire’s bid to claim a first LV= County Championship division two win of the season against Essex was thwarted by rain at Headingley yesterday.
After Thursday’s opening day was abandoned without a ball bowled, the majority of the contest’s final two sessions were washed out after Andrew Gale’s bold declaration had left the visitors chasing 262 from a minimum of 74 overs.
Ajmal Shahzad had whipped out openers Alviro Petersen and Billy Godleman, both trapped lbw, before lunch to reduce the score to 7-2, but play was halted not long into the afternoon with Essex on 26-2 in the 12th over.
Yorkshire take seven points from their second successive draw, with first-team coach Jason Gillespie saying: “I’ve been pleased with how the lads have applied themselves.
“There’s been a couple of ups and downs, but there’s been a lot of really pleasing things happen in this game.
“We had a chat and addressed a couple of things we can be sharper at, but things are certainly moving in the right direction now.”
Yorkshire had started the day on 144-2 in their second innings, leading by 191, after Ryan Sidebottom had taken 5-30 from 24 overs during Saturday’s third day as Essex were bowled out for 199 in their first innings.
Ravi Bopara strengthened his claim for a place in the England Test team for the forthcoming West Indies series with a superb 117 not out.
Joe Sayers fell for 45 to the first ball of yesterday’s play when he edged an attempted cut at David Maters behind to James Foster, but Gale was quickly into his stride in the search for quick runs.
The Yorkshire captain had hit Tom Westley for six over long-on just two balls into his innings in the latter stages of day three, and he repeated the dose off Greg Smith’s medium pace yesterday morning.
When Gale declared on 214-4, he was unbeaten on 48 off 52 balls having helped add 70 runs in a little over an hour’s play with Jonny Bairstow (24) and Gary Ballance.
It was just unfortunate that, having given the first example of the attacking cricket promised when Gillespie first arrived at the club in December, the rain had the final say.
“Galey’s declaration was outstanding,” added Gillespie, who was keen to stress the decision had been made solely by the left-hander.
“It was very positive and forward thinking, and it shows just what we’re about.
“We had to take into account the weather and conditions. But, having said that, we probably wouldn’t have batted on too much longer than we did had it been a clear blue-sky day.”
Yorkshire, who have all-rounder Tim Bresnan available for their next two four-day matches, face Kent at Canterbury, starting on Thursday.
The White Rose could get a clearer indication today of how long it will take to complete the signing of Mitchell Starc when Australia announce their team for the third Test against the West Indies.