Yorkshire hardly came out of their rain-hit Championship match with Northamptonshire smelling of roses but an improved bowling performance on the final day brought them a couple of bowling bonus points and in the end they were more than happy to leave Wantage Road with ten points from the draw, writes David Warner.

It meant that they were able to hang on to the Second Division's third promotion place - something which appeared unlikely when their bowlers failed to contain Northants' rampant batsmen on the second day before bad weather spoiled the game as a contest.

Yorkshire captain Anthony McGrath, still on a high after receiving news of his unexpected inclusion in the Test squad, was in agreement with his opposite number Mike Hussey that the best way forward was for both sides to get as many bonus points as possible out of the game in the limited time available rather than attempt a contrived result.

Northants resumed on 311-2 with Phil Jaques 183 not out and he soon went to his double century off 265 balls with 26 fours and a six but Matthew Hoggard and Ryan Sidebottom both bowled with greater vigour than earlier in the match.

Hoggard, fortunate to make the Test squad in view of his indifferent bowling this season which at the time of his inclusion had brought him a total of two Championship wickets for 190 runs, had David Sales caught at second slip and also brought Jaques' monumental innings to a close on 222 when the left-hander tried to steer a ball to third man and was lbw.

Jaques batted for 342 minutes, faced 301 balls and struck 16 fours and two sixes in compiling the highest score on a home ground by a Northants' batsman in matches against Yorkshire.

Sidebottom, who has more than double the number of Championship wickets of any other Yorkshire bowler this season, took a good return catch to send back Jeff Cook before trapping Toby Bailey lbw.

No sooner had Northants advanced to 402-6 and obtained a fifth batting point than it began to rain. The hosts declared and when it dried up, Yorkshire enjoyed some batting practice before the game fizzled out.

Michael Vaughan was able to flex his muscles ahead of the Test by smacking an unbeaten 64 from 56 deliveries off mainly harmless bowling, 60 of his runs coming from 15 boundary shots and the remaining four from singles.

Matthew Wood helped him put on 104 for the first wicket before falling lbw to Monte Panesar's first ball for 33 and the rain came back soon after McGrath got to the crease, leaving Yorkshire without a win in Northamptonshire since 1984.

Updated: 10:27 Monday, May 19, 2003