Yorkshire v Essex, Headingley, 4th day April 22, 2012

Petersen dismissal alerts England

Yorkshire 246 (Jaques 126, Mills 4-62) and 214 for 4 dec. drew with Essex 199 (Bopara 117*, Sidebottom 5-30) and 26 for 2

Sometimes patterns can be discerned in the most rain-hit of matches. Another lbw decision for Essex's South African Alviro Petersen encouraged whispers from his former club, Glamorgan, that his record proves he is particularly vulnerable to this mode of dismissal: England seam bowlers will take note.

After all the grumblings about how the counties are allowing South African players to warm up before the Test series, few stop to consider that any bowlers worth their salt will be passing their findings around the county circuit. Petersen might not be batting himself out of form, but playing himself out of the series.

Yorkshire lived up to their promise of a positive approach to their cricket this season by setting Essex a generous target on the final day of the Division Two championship match at Headingley only for the game to peter out into a draw because of rain.

Yorkshire's captain, Andrew Gale, asked Essex to make 262 in 74 overs and they were soon struggling as Ajmal Shahzad fired out openers Billy Godleman and Petersen lbw with only seven scored. Petersen, according to sources at Glamorgan, his county last season, is vulnerable to lbw decisions -- England seam bowlers will take note.

At 26 for two in 11 overs, heavy rain began to fall and a couple of hours later the game was abandoned as a draw. Yorkshire could talk contentedly of how an enterprising declaration was influenced by their new coach, Jason Gillespie, but it all lacked substance as the miserable April weather continued.

Shahzad showed more consistency than in a first innings where ill luck had been matched with wayward moments. He had Petersen lbw well back in his crease then in his next over removed Godleman in identical fashion.

Yorkshire entered the final day on 144 for two, leading by 191, and Essex claimed a wicket off the first ball as Joe Sayers aimed a cut at David Masters and was caught behind for 45 off 127 balls with five fours. It was no bad thing Sayers had scored 45 from 45 overs the previous evening, excessive caution, however much one might talk of anchor roles, confidence-building innings and stability.

Gale and Jonny Bairstow showed more enterprise as Yorkshire added 70 in 12 rain-interrupted overs. After including three boundaries in his 24, Bairstow hit a ball from Smith to Adam Wheater at deep square leg and Gale would have departed for 31 had the substitute fielder, Charl Willoughby, held a straight forward chance at long-off. Gale had reached 48 from 52 balls with two fours and two sixes when he declared.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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