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Yorkshire claimed a thrilling fourth win of the campaign over Warwickshire at Headingley as Steve Patterson and Matt Fisher starred with the bat to help them take a giant step towards Specsavers County Championship safety.
Bears off-spinner Jeetan Patel (six for 50) claimed his first five-wicket haul of the season to go with his first-innings century as the White Rose slipped to 96 for seven before lunch in pursuit of a 175 target.
But eighth-wicket pair Patterson and Fisher were the home heroes by sharing 78 inside 28 overs either side of lunch in this two-wicket win.
Yorkshire, who started day four on 56 for three, claimed 21 points from their fourth win of the campaign, secured with 53.4 overs remaining when Patterson cut Chris Wright for four to move to 44 not out off 78 ballsYorkshire have moved to 145 points ahead of next week’s final round clash with champions Essex at Chelmsford, which starts on Monday.
Patel picked up the first three wickets of day four, including key man Gary Ballance for 21 as the first of those.
He trapped the left-hander lbw pushing forwards as the hosts fell to 71 for four in the 28th over, the sixth of this tense final day.
Patel, who bowled unchanged from the Kirkstall Lane End, claimed his fourth wicket of the innings when Ian Bell took a fine catch diving to his left at leg slip to help remove Jack Leaning – 86 for five in the 36th.
Tim Bresnan then holed out to deep mid-wicket off the New Zealand bowler in the next over to record his sixth duck of the Championship season.
Ryan Sidebottom then had Andrew Hodd caught at slip low down by Patel. At that stage, Yorkshire still needed 79 more with only three wickets left.
But Patterson and Fisher lifted the mood amongst the Headingley faithful, with grumbles soon turning to cheers.
Patterson was particularly strong on the back foot through the off side as he and Fisher helped to take the score to 141 for seven at lunch, needing 34 more.
Both men have endured frustrating seasons. This was Fisher’s first appearance of the season, and he celebrated with five wickets in the first innings and also hit 37.
Patterson has been left out of the side at times, but he impressed with four wickets in the second innings.
Their half-century stand came up inside eight overs immediately after lunch as Patterson cover drove Patel for four and got three much squarer shortly afterwards.
Fisher finished with 15 as he was caught at leg slip at the death before Yorkshire’s Ryan Sidebottom, injured for this match, was clapped on to the field by his team-mates in a guard of honour after victory had been confirmed.
Yorkshire held their nerve to come through another hard fought day against Warwickshire and make inroads into a target of 175 on day three at Headingley, although they did lose three wickets.
The White Rose still have work to do, but they are just about on course to secure a potentially relegation saving Specsavers County Championship victory having closed on 58 for three, needing 119 more.
The pitch is no minefield for the batsmen, although has offered assistance for seam and spin bowlers throughout the match added to swing.
Should the hosts complete a 21-point win, it would be the ideal reposte to relegation rivals Middlesex’s three-day success against Lancashire at Lord’s.
Somerset would then need to turn their game around against Surrey at the Oval to avoid going into next week’s final round as the favourites for the drop.
They host Middlesex at Taunton, while Yorkshire travel to Chelmsford to face newly crowned champions Essex.
Steve Patterson was Yorkshire’s standout bowler today with a season’s best haul of four for 46 from 26 overs, including the wickets of Ian Bell and top-scorer Jonathan Trott for 59.
Having endured a largely frustrating season through selection and loss of form, the 33-year-old was at his miserly best as the hosts prised out nine Warwickshire wickets.
He claimed all four of his wickets today, while Tim Bresnan finished with three.
Warwickshire started day three on 49 for one, trailing by 28, and they advanced largely through captain Trott and Tim Ambrose’s 49.
Their innings took a similar path to Yorkshire’s first innings in that a number of players got starts without converting. Opener Liam Banks hit 29, Matt Lamb added 25 and Alex Thomson 20.
Patterson struggled in last week’s high-scoring draw against Surrey at the Oval and had only taken 14 wickets in seven matches prior to this fixture.
But this year’s Headingley beneficiary struck once in the morning and twice in an afternoon session which was interrupted by 20 minutes through rain, meaning the loss of one over from the allotted 96. He added his fourth after tea.
Jack Brooks made the initial breakthrough to get Banks caught behind before Patterson also had Bell caught by Andrew Hodd for 14, although via inside edge, as the score slipped 109 for three in the 36th over of the innings.
Trott reached 50 off 72 balls just before lunch.
Trott was then the first of four afternoon wickets to fall when trapped lbw by Patterson, who got Lamb the same way shortly afterwards as the score fell to 161 for five after 58 overs, a lead of 84.
Bresnan then struck three times in four overs either side of tea to really break the back of Warwickshire’s resistance.
He bowled all-rounder Thomson and had Ambrose caught low down at first slip by Alex Lees before the break.
When he had Chris Wright caught at mid-off following a miscue after tea, the Bears were 230 for eight in the 78th over, a lead of 153.
Patterson’s fourth came with the new ball when uprooted Jeetan Patel’s middle stump before Ben Coad had Ryan Sidebottom caught at second slip to wrap up the innings with his 50th first-class wicket of the season.
Yorkshire’s pursuit of their target was not without incident in the final 22 overs of the day as the visitors continued to fight hard.
Adam Lyth was trapped lbw by Sidebottom and Lees edged behind off Patel as the score slipped to 25 for two.
Ballance pulled Patel for six over mid-wicket before Kraigg Brathwaite was caught at short-leg off Patel in the day’s final over.
Warwickshire fought hard with ball and then bat to enjoy a hugely encouraging second day in this intriguingly poised Specsavers County Championship match with Yorkshire at Headingley.
This battle at the foot of Division One has seen the already relegated Bears land a number of punches against a side who are in danger of joining them in the bottom two.
After bowling their visitors out for 219 on day one and reaching close at 62 for one, Yorkshire’s passage to a lead of 77 was far from simple.
Warwickshire then reached close at 49 for one from 16 overs, a deficit of 28.
Yorkshire lost wickets at regular intervals throughout the day – three in the morning, four in the afternoon and two in the first half of the evening in being bowled out for 296 with 20 overs remaining in the day. Four overs were lost to bad light.
Adam Lyth top-scored with 62 as he advanced from 35 overnight, while Tim Bresnan’s 47 was the best of a quartet of useful contributions.
Captain Gary Ballance made 28, Jack Leaning 36 and Matt Fisher 37.
Chris Wright, off-spinner Jeetan Patel and Boyd Rankin were Warwickshire’s standout bowlers on a pitch offering something for everyone.
Wright and Rankin finished with three wickets and Patel two as a few loose shots aided their cause.
Night-watchman Steve Patterson was caught at slip off the third ball of the day from Ryan Sidebottom before Wright bowled Alex Lees through the gate with late in swing.
When Lyth played on trying to pull Rankin’s third ball of the morning, Yorkshire were 115 for four in the 40th over of the innings.
The hosts lost two quick wickets after lunch to even give Warwickshire a glimmer of a first-innings lead, with Ballance and Andrew Hodd caught behind off Patel and Wright as the score slipped to 179 for six in the 61st.
But Bresnan shared two important, if not sizeable, stands with Leaning and Fisher – 49 for the seventh wicket and 36 for the eighth.
He fell three short of a fifty in the penultimate over of the afternoon when he lost his leg stump sweeping at Patel with 264 on the board in the 86th.
Yorkshire’s pursuit of a third batting point for reaching 300 became a tense affair after tea, and it ended in failure.
Fisher posted his first runs in first-class cricket, although he lost Jack Brooks caught at slip off Rankin as the score fell to 289 for nine.
Seven runs later, he chipped a return catch to Rankin.
Yorkshire’s seamers then tested the Bears batting resolve under the Headingley floodlights, and they came through in reasonable health.
Liam Banks offered a low chance to Leaning at third slip off Ben Coad on nine, although Coad switched ends to Kirkstall Lane and was rewarded shortly afterwards when Dom Sibley played across one and was lbw as the score slipped to 35 for one in the 12th over.
Banks will begin day three on 22 and Jonathan Trott on nine.
Jeetan Patel’s third first-class century and Matt Fisher’s five for 54 in his first Specsavers County Championship match of the season were the standout displays on an enthralling first day between Yorkshire and Warwickshire at Headingley, with the hosts in command.
Patel led a spirited Warwickshire fightback having lost six morning wickets, although they were still bowled out for 219.
Relegated Warwickshire opted to toss and won it before slipping to 49 for six inside 29 overs, with new ball pair Jack Brooks and Ben Coad striking twice apiece.
There was no elaborate help on offer for the all seam White Rose attack early on, just enough to ensure their probing lines were rewarded before lunch.
Yorkshire are in danger of joining Warwickshire in Division Two, and they wrapped up the innings during the first half of the evening before closing on 62 for one from 23 overs.
The hosts came into their penultimate match of 2017 just a point clear of second-bottom Middlesex.
And while they are still ahead of the game, things could have been even better following the particularly dominant morning.
As it was, they were frustrated by New Zealand off-spinner Patel, who drove well through the covers and also enjoyed fortune as he found third-man a productive area on the way to 100 off 112 balls, including 17 fours.
This was his second hundred against Yorkshire.
Patel shared 96 for the seventh wicket with Ian Bell, whose 51 was the Bears next best score and only his fourth fifty of the Championship season. Bell reached 19,000 first-class career runs in the process.
Yorkshire did not bowl as well in the afternoon, although Fisher struck twice in the 50th over to get Bell and Chris Wright lbw as the score fell to 151 for eight.
The 19-year-old, who claimed the last four wickets, had earlier got debutant opener Liam Banks caught behind to mark his first wicket of a frustrating season.
Patel, 37-years-old, and Boyd Rankin then shared 66 for the ninth wicket either side of tea. Patel had reached 50 off 47 balls.
Yorkshire have handed a debut to West Indies Test opener Kraigg Brathwaite, and he made 18 before edging Wright to first slip late on.
Opener Banks and all-rounder Alex Thomson, who made 13 and nought respectively, are making their first-class and Championship debuts.
Brooks made initial breakthrough when he had Dom Sibley caught behind in the ninth over, leaving the score at eight for one, before getting Jonathan Trott superbly caught at second slip by Adam Lyth for one in his next.
Fisher got Banks before Matt Lamb was also caught behind off Steve Patterson to hand wicketkeeper Andrew Hodd his third catch and leave the score at 34 for four in the 18th.
Tim Ambrose was Lyth’s second victim at second slip as Coad picked up his first with 47 on the board in the 25th over. It was soon 49 for six when the seamer bowled Thomson.
Patel reached his fifty first having overtaken Bell in the late twenties before the former England man’s fourth of the campaign came off 121.
Following the departures of Bell and Wright to Fisher, Rankin reached double figures for only the second time in nine innings this year and proved an unlikely ally with 21 not out.
Patel was lbw to Fisher the ball after reaching his century off 111 balls – 217 for nine in the 69th over – before Ryan Sidebottom was bowled by the same bowler in his next over to leave Yorkshire with 23 overs to bat before close.
Lyth pulled a couple of sixes to increase the home side’s stranglehold on a game which they are desperate to win. He will begin day two on 35.