|Scorecard:||Yorkshire v Warwickshire|
|Event:||LV County Championship 2013|
DateLine: 5th August 2013
John Ward at Headingley, Day 4
Result: Yorkshire (302 and 180) drew with Warwickshire (309 and 3/0).
The anticipated bad weather duly condemned the match between Yorkshire and Warwickshire at Headingley to a draw, although just enough play was possible to give hope of an interesting finish, although the odds would have favoured Warwickshire, who had been set 174 runs to win. If there were any heroes of the day, they were the Warwickshire seamers Chris Woakes and Boyd Rankin, who finished off the Yorkshire innings before the batsmen could make the game safe for the home side.
With a wet night and morning, local opinion was that the entire final day of the match might be rained off. Against expectations, though, the weather stayed dry after mid-morning and play was able to start at 2.40, with enough time left for 48 overs according to the regulations. Yorkshire began the day at 148 for seven, 141 runs ahead, and therefore at a disadvantage. Warwickshire needed to take the last three wickets quite quickly in order to have a crack at a reasonable target.
Andy Hodd and Ryan Sidebottom were the overnight batsmen, and defended securely for a while. Then Sidebottom played a superb leg-side clip off Woakes to the boundary, only to let the exhilaration go to his head. He tried the same stroke to his next delivery, to find that this was a yorker that evaded his crooked bat and knocked over his stumps for nine, the total being 157 for eight.
At the other end Boyd Rankin was getting some sharp lift from the pitch, but was for quite a while not accurate enough to force the batsmen to play many of them. When he tightened up, he had Steve Patterson caught off the glove for 10, reducing Yorkshire to 180 for nine. The last man Jack Brooks was able to put up no sort of fight, feebly fending off his second ball to leg slip, and the innings was over for 180.
Hodd was still there, unbeaten with 14 off 64 balls, a gallant innings of defiance in the face of disaster, played by a man from Sussex but worthy of a Yorkshireman. Woakes had bowled superbly to take five wickets for 42 runs, while Rankin, sometimes lethal and sometimes inconsistent, took four for 29. Warwickshire had 36 overs to make 174 to win, just under five an over – in modern times none too difficult a target if they kept their wickets intact – and if the weather held. Heavy rain could be seen in the south-western sky.
Bad light arrived first, and suddenly, in fact after only two overs, in which Warwickshire’s openers had scored three runs. Within ten minutes the light was quite acceptable, though, but the slightest of drizzles kept the players from returning. It never quite stopped, and all reasonable chance of a result had gone when the match was abandoned as a draw soon after 4.30.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 John Ward)