Durham v Yorkshire: Yorkshire go top after thrashing title rivals
YORKSHIRE have beaten Durham by an innings and 47 runs to go top of the County Championship.
The visitors took the final six wickets in 85 minutes on the final morning as Durham collapsed from 244-4 overnight to 302 all-out.
Steve Patterson struck in the day’s fifth over when he bowled Gordon Muchall for 26.
Yorkshire then made maximum use of the second new ball as Durham disintegrated at a rate of knots.
Ryan Sidebottom trapped Mark Stoneman for 131 and then John Hastings for seven.
Jack Brooks had Ryan Pringle caught at long leg by substitute fielder Ryan Gibson for 22 before pinning Jamie Harrison for two, the pace man rounding off the innings by having Chris Rushworth caught behind.
Brooks finished with 4-66 from 18.4 overs, while there were two wickets apiece for Patterson, Sidebottom and Adil Rashid.
Victory has sent Yorkshire 11 points clear at the top with a game in hand.
Chris Waters’ day three report
“IT’S always harder the second time around,” sang Lady Gaga.
She was referring to rekindling a romantic relationship, but she might as well have been referring to events at Chester-le-Street, where Yorkshire were made to work hard after enforcing the follow-on.
After dismissing Durham for 208 in reply to 557-6 declared, Yorkshire were held up as the leaders reached 244-4 at stumps at the end of day three, 105 behind.
However, Yorkshire remain strong favourites to record a win that would see them leapfrog their opponents.
With a minimum of 166 overs left in the match when Durham began their second innings, the hosts at least showed they will not go down without a fight, which is precisely how it should be when the first and second-placed sides lock horns.
It is precisely how it was, indeed, when the teams met in the Championship last year, when Durham twice escaped after being forced to follow-on.
At Chester-le-Street, they were 201 behind on first innings and closed the match on 100-4, aided by weather interruptions.
At Headingley, they were 195 behind and ended the game on 323-8, the weather again playing a part along with some determined batting and dropped catches, but it will take something special for lightning to strike again.
Not that it will necessarily be a cakewalk on Wednesday for the visitors on a flat pitch and in temperatures once more set to reach the high 20s.
The dry details of the scorecard do not convey how sapping it was for the bowlers on Tuesday in uncomfortably hot and humid conditions.
True, a brisk breeze provided a smidgen of respite for players and spectators – but only a smidgen.
After a long day in the dirt, as they say in the trade, there might be one or two stiff bodies in the Yorkshire camp tomorrow morning as they face a test of their fitness as much as anything else.
Ryan Sidebottom, 37-years-old and only just returned from a calf injury, will not relish the rising thermometer.
Nor will Tim Bresnan, now the wrong side of 30, who has spent most of the match on the field after scoring a magnificent, career-best 169 not out in the Yorkshire innings.
Andrew Gale, the Yorkshire captain, has options, with Jack Brooks, Steve Patterson and Will Rhodes providing further pace bowling weaponry to complement the leg-spin of Adil Rashid.
But this is a game of patience for Yorkshire as they chase a potentially pivotal win.
After Durham started the day on 140-5, needing another 268 to avoid the follow-on, Bresnan’s influence by no means ended with the bat.
The sixth-wicket pair of Scott Borthwick and Ryan Pringle successfully negotiated the first 45 minutes, stretching their stand to 88, before Bresnan captured two wickets in two balls.
Borthwick was caught behind by Jonny Bairstow, who then held John Hastings off a rising delivery.
Jamie Harrison denied Bresnan the hat-trick.
Brooks then took two wickets in quick succession.
Harrison’s off and middle stumps were flattened – a sight almost as spectacular as the nearby Lumley Castle, a picture in the sunshine – and Chris Rushworth caught behind.
When Rashid rounded off the innings by trapping Graham Onions lbw, the last five wickets had fallen in 45 minutes.
Pringle walked off unbeaten on 69, his career-best, made from 131 balls with 12 fours.
Trailing by 349, Durham successfully negotiated a six-over period before lunch to reach the unexpected heights of 33-0.
After the break, openers Mark Stoneman and Keaton Jennings coped with everything Yorkshire threw at them as the visitors toiled in the sapping heat.
It took the wily Rashid to end the stand just before tea, Jennings pushing to Alex Lees at silly mid-off after adding 116 with his opening partner.
Yorkshire struck again moments before the break when Borthwick drove lazily at Patterson and was caught behind.
After tea, Collingwood flashed hard at Rashid and edged to Bresnan at slip, but Stoneman continued on his merry way.
The 28-year-old left-hander progressed to his fourth hundred in his last nine first-class innings against Yorkshire, reached from 155 balls with 13 fours and a pulled six off Bresnan towards the Don Robson pavilion.
Stoneman (116) added 45 with Mark Richardson, who was well caught by a tumbling Bairstow off Brooks.
YORKSHIRE’S Jack Leaning, meanwhile, is one of six players shortlisted for this year’s LV=Breakthrough Player Award.
Leaning, who has scored 685 Championship runs at 68.50, is joined on the list by ex-Yorkshire pace bowler Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Craig Miles (Gloucestershire), Tom Curran (Surrey), Luke Wood (Notts) and Alex Davies (Lancashire).
The shortlist was chosen by David Parsons, the England and Wales Cricket Board Performance Director, ex-England batsman Mark Butcher, and Yorkshire first team coach Jason Gillespie.
In August, the panel will add two wildcards to the list before the award is decided by the public.