Yorkshire lose ground in title race after Durham cruise to Festival victory

Yorkshire v Durham.Gale dodges a bouncer. Picture Richard Ponter 133530g
Yorkshire v Durham.Gale dodges a bouncer. Picture Richard Ponter 133530g

Jason Gillespie’s Yorkshire lost ground in the LV County Championship division one title race after Durham spoiled the party and secured a potentially huge win at the 127th Scarborough Cricket Festival.

Yorkshire were always on the back foot after Durham’s huge 573-9 first up, centuries coming from Durham trio Mark Stoneman, Ben Stokes and Michael Richardson.

Yorkshire v Durham.Bairstow bats.Picture Richard Ponter 133530a

Yorkshire v Durham.Bairstow bats.Picture Richard Ponter 133530a

Yorkshire could only muster 274 all out in reply, only Kane Williamson’s 84 and 82 from England’s Jonny Bairstow denting the formidable Durham target.

The away side enforced the follow on and looked like they were going to cruise to victory after Scarborough’s Adam Lyth, who signed a new contract just before the game, departed for 10.

But Phil Jaques and Kane Williamson set about trying to get the Tykes back into the crucial clash and they managed to survive into this morning before falling for 152 and 97 respectively.

Bairstow and Ballance were guilty of getting themselves set for a big total before falling for 34 and 26, and the game seemed to be slipping out of Yorkshire’s grasp.

Former Durham and England man Liam Plunkett rallied somewhat, hitting five fours on his way to 42 before he fell to spinner Scott Borthwick, caught behind by Phil Mustard.

When Jack Brooks departed just before the tea interval, Durham knew they would be chasing only 121 for the victory from the final session of the encounter.

That seemed a long way off for the away side when Ryan Sidebottom enduced an edge from Stoneman from the first ball of the innings and Williamson pouched safely.

Durham eventually cruised home though, with Keaton Jennings anchoring the innings with 17 from 44 balls.

Borthwick was in fine form with the willow, making his way to 65 from 85 balls, hitting 12 fours and one maximum en route.

Will Smith (27no) and Ben Stokes (11no) eased Durham home for the loss of three wickets, dealing Yorkshire’s title hopes a huge blow.

One positive to come out of Yorkshire’s disappointing loss is the turnout at North Marine Road.

Just shy of 19,000 fans turned out over the four days, much to the delight of Scarborough Cricket Club chairman Bill Mustoe.

Mustoe said: “It has been a great turnout and we think it might be the biggest for a long time here.

“It’s certainly the biggest since I came as chairman 12 years ago, which is great news for us.

“The Festival Dinner returned this year and we had a good turnout for that too, so there are a few positives to take.”