Yorkshire clinch County Championship title
Ryan Sidebottom bowled Yorkshire to their first County Championship title in 13 years against his old club Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge this morning.
Veteran seamer Sidebottom finished with six for 30, and nine wickets in the match, as Yorkshire bowled their hosts out for 177 to win by an innings and 152 runs and confirm the 32nd championship in their proud history.
It was a personal triumph too for Sidebottom, Yorkshire-born and the sole survivor in this team from his native county’s last title-winning season but also twice a winner in the same competition in his seven years with Nottinghamshire.
Sidebottom put Yorkshire on the fast track with two wickets in successive overs, after Notts had resumed under initially cloudy skies on the final day of this LV= Division One fixture.
He swung one past nightwatchman Gary Keedy’s defensive bat to hit off-stump, and doubled up with a more significant breakthrough - home captain Chris Read caught-behind to a very good delivery which nipped away off the angle.
He and Yorkshire then had to wait another half-hour for their next step to glory, Luke Fletcher pushing forward and edging compliantly to second slip, Whitby’s Adam Lyth.
There was still no shifting James Taylor (75) yet.
But Joe Root’s decision to replace Jack Brooks with Adil Rashid at the Radcliffe Road end brought immediate reward, Jake Ball misreading the leg-spinner to go lbw.
Then, shortly after 11.30am, Sidebottom administered the final blow - with his fourth wicket for six runs in 7.2 overs when Taylor advanced to him and smashed a drive on the up straight to point.
England batsman Root was leading Yorkshire in the absence of club captain Andrew Gale, banned by the England and Wales Cricket Board for this match and the last one of the summer in two weeks’ time after his on-field spat with Lancashire’s Ashwell Prince at Old Trafford.
Root, 23, has had many highlights for his country already - but this achievement is still one he will never forget.
“This is obviously very special ... to get this opportunity is very memorable,” he said.
“I didn’t expect to captain the side.
“But unfortunately it came about, in bad circumstances, and it’s credit to Galey that the way he has captained the side made it very easy for me this week.
“For a big club like us not to have won anything for such a long period of time is obviously very frustrating.
“I think the lads deserved it - they have played exceptionally well all year in all departments.
“The guys put in some great performances with bat and ball - which meant they captained themselves - and I only had to do tinkerings here and there.”