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Shorter format a bonus for promoted Yorkshire
Review of season
Performing strongly in the LV= County Championship is, and always should be, Yorkshire’s number one priority.
But it was their displays in the Twenty20 format that sprinkled 2012 with a bit of stardust.
Yorkshire were always expected to gain promotion from Division Two and it was only the fact that almost 2,500 overs were lost due to rain that gave it a real sense of achievement, even though they missed out on the title to Derbyshire.
It was a major shock to see Yorkshire get relegated in the first place; an even bigger shock, for example, than it was to see defending champions Lancashire suffer the same fate only a couple of weeks ago.
You would have been given long odds on them failing to bounce back at the first attempt at the start of the season. That said, there were still a number of impressive performances this summer from players both young and old.
The loss of so many overs, including 13 full days, undermined their chances and it was therefore an impressive achievement for them to win their last three matches against Gloucestershire, Glamorgan and Essex knowing that anything less could see them facing another year in tier two.
Early-season displays from Jonny Bairstow ensured he made his Test debut, while Joe Root looks set to follow suit on November’s tour of India on the back of a brilliant 222 not out on a sticky wicket against Hampshire at Southampton in July.
Gary Ballance and Azeem Rafiq impressed enough to gain places on England’s Performance Programme tour of India in the same month.
Steve Patterson led the bowling attack expertly with 48 wickets at a 20.81 average, while Moin Ashraf enjoyed success during the second half of the summer on the back of starring in Twenty20.
Phil Jaques returned to the club after six years away and was leading run-scorer with 792 from 15 matches, including two hundreds.
And at the grand old age of 36, Anthony McGrath proved his doubters wrong with two hundreds, a 90 and a fantastic unbeaten 76 to help clinch a vital, narrow win over Gloucestershire at Scarborough.
Winning the Championship in 2013, the club’s 150th anniversary year, is now a realistic goal.
At the tenth time of asking, finalists Yorkshire finally cracked it in Twenty20.
They may not have won the competition but came within a whisker helped by some exhilarating fielding displays and star returns from overseas duo Mitchell Starc and David Miller.
A tally of nine wins was more than anybody else in the country and they will fly out to South Africa a week on Tuesday to mix it with the world’s best domestic teams in the Champions League as a result.