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Yorkshire praised for sealing runners-up finish
Martyn Moxon praised Yorkshire’s spirit to shrug off the disappointment of missing out on the County Championship title and complete a convincing victory over Middlesex to seal runners-up spot.
Yorkshire’s director of cricket was delighted with the way the side secured an 80-run victory in their final Headingley match of the summer to oust third-placed Middlesex from the £235,000 prize money.
Dismissed for 194 before lunch despite Gary Ballance’s brilliant 90, Yorkshire’s seamers responded by bowling out Middlesex for just 196 in 49.5 overs after they were set an unlikely victory target of 277.
Needing only to avoid defeat in this match to clinch second place, it was still an impressive display, with Steve Patterson taking his tally for the summer to 45 championship wickets by taking 3-50 while Jack Brooks wrapped up the tail with 4-33, including two wickets in three balls.
“This win is pleasing because it shows the character of the team even though they were bitterly disappointed,” said Moxon.
“It was a stop-start game with a lot of time lost and to remain focused and come up with a result is a credit to them.”
Resuming the final morning on 130-5, a lead of 212 runs, Yorkshire were grateful to Ballance for guiding them into a match-winning lead with a typically aggressive innings.
He hit 11 fours in his 113-ball knock and will have done his hopes of securing a place on England’s Ashes tour no harm in front of watching selector James Whitaker.
It quickly became clear that if Middlesex were to pull off a shock victory it would take Chris Rogers, their Australian captain, to score the bulk of the runs – and despite two slices of good fortune, he was on course to lead his side to a surprise triumph.
Rogers was given his first reprieve on 28 when he edged Ryan Sidebottom behind, only for umpire Nigel Llong to rule a no ball, and was then dropped by Adam Lyth at second slip off Liam Plunkett on 61.
But he added only four more runs before finally getting out, adjudged by umpire Llong to have been caught behind off Plunkett trying to force him off the back foot for 65.
It was not a decision that Rogers accepted in good grace as he appeared to stand in his crease questioning it for several seconds before reluctantly departing for the dressing room.
His demise sparked a collapse of six wickets for 62 runs in 19 overs, with Yorkshire completing their seventh win of the season shortly after tea.