Yorkshire edge thriller by one run as Steve Patterson ends Northants resistance

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Nick Hoult
·3-min read
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Yorkshire's Jordan Thompson & Steven Patterson celebrate - ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX
Yorkshire's Jordan Thompson & Steven Patterson celebrate - ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX

The county championship continued to throw up exciting climaxes starting with Yorkshire beating Northamptonshire by one run at Headingley, the first time since 1976 they have won a first-class match by such a margin.

Northamptonshire’s last pair of Wayne Parnell and Ben Sanderson needed 14 runs to win when the rain came and left them stewing for an hour on the task ahead.

Sanderson relished the challenge of beating Yorkshire, a team that released him ten years ago. He struck his second ball for four when play resumed and Northamptonshire looked in control, Parnell turning down singles as he set himself to guide his side home in a match in which he had taken ten wickets. But with two to win Steve Patterson, the Yorkshire captain, found the right length and just enough movement to draw Parnell forward and edge behind to end a patient 33 from 102 balls. Northants were 218 all out, falling just short of only their sixth win at Headingley since the Second World War and suffering their first one run defeat in championship cricket.

Northants will rue Yorkshire’s last two wickets adding 98 on Saturday, which made their run chase just that bit more challenging in seaming conditions. When in-form opener Ricardo Vasconcelos was run out by Northampton born David Willey for 41, the match tilted Yorkshire’s way. Vasconcelos hit 185 as Northants chased down 355 to beat Glamorgan last week, and the rest of the middle order struggled to make up for his loss.

Yorkshire's Adam Lyth celebrates as Yorkshire claim a one run victory over Northamptonshire - Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com /https://www.swpix.com 
Yorkshire's Adam Lyth celebrates as Yorkshire claim a one run victory over Northamptonshire - Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com /https://www.swpix.com

This was a fine game and proof four day cricket can prosper in April given good pitches and a bit of dry weather. Matches have generally reached a natural conclusion rather than requiring timed declarations and there has been a good balance between bat and ball. The eight points for a draw has promoted better batting pitches, and bowlers are generally having to work harder for wickets, shifting the domestic game slightly more towards what life is like in Test cricket. More than 2 million have logged on to the digital streams this season already; county cricket is taking its chance to breathe in England’s absence.

The conference system has also given teams like Northants an opportunity to play against better sides. This was their first match against Yorkshire since 2014.

Yorkshire are now second in group three, with Lancashire top and two Roses matches to come before the conferences are regrouped after ten rounds.

Parnell’s second ten wicket haul of his career (10 for 144) was the cornerstone of Northamptonshire’s performance. At 149 for eight in their second innings Yorkshire were just 121 ahead but Willey hit 41 not out and just nosed his side ahead.

Northants resumed on 94-4 yesterday but in good seam bowling conditions lost three wickets in the first hour and it became tense as Tom Taylor stood his ground for a low catch before being given out lbw to Patterson soon after, not happy with the decision. Parnell rebuilt the innings, and Yorkshire dropped two catches as he added 32 with Gareth Berg. When Simon Kerrigan edged to slip, Sanderson walked out to join Parnell. Sanderson’s cover drive and a flick down leg for four from Parnell left Yorkshire fielders with hands on their heads but with two runs to win Patterson led from the front to make the decisive strike.