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May 5, 2012
Yorkshire 447 (Bairstow 182, McGrath 90) beat Leicestershire 116 and 309 (Boyce 122, Patterson 5-77) by an innings and 22 runs
There were stages during the final day at Scarborough when Yorkshire looked like suffering a nightmare week as Leicestershire's opener Matthew Boyce scored a career-best 122 in a valiant bid to snatch unlikely. But, four days after Ajmal Shahzad's shock departure, Yorkshire have something to cheer about.
They are celebrating a first win of 2012, completing an innings and 22-run success in the latter stages of the penultimate session. Steve Patterson returned an innings haul of 5 for 77 and career best match figures of 8 for 94 as Yorkshire won for only the fourth time in 22 four-day matches.
Shahzad was accused of failing to conform to the team ethos by chairman Colin Graves at Thursday's press conference, a fast bowler who did not see his role in the side as the man to build pressure by racking up the maidens and "owning the zone" as his former captain, Andrew Gale, likes to say. In other words, he lacks patience and wants to make things happen.
Patience was just the virtue Yorkshire required here after some ferocious weather on day three - rain, bad light and even sleet all halted play on Friday - had put their celebrations on hold.
"We saw there was a massive issue earlier in the week, which we dealt with - we move on now," said Yorkshire's first-team coach Jason Gillespie, who oversaw his first win in charge of the county. "There's massive unity here, and the result speaks for itself. There is a real strength of belief in that dressing room tonight."
There was a feeling of inevitability about a Yorkshire win this morning, which Boyce eroded minute by minute, run by run. He shared century stands for the fourth and sixth wickets with Josh Cobb and Wayne White, who scored 69 and 67 respectively. As Cobb and White counter-attacked with some eye-catching stroke play, the latter lofting Joe Root over long-on for six just after lunch, Boyce was in accumulative mood and happy to underpin the innings.
Boyce, a left-handed opener with an open stance, was at his strongest driving square of the wicket in posting his fourth first-class century and his first since last May. When he reached three figures off 250 balls - the slowest century in English first-class cricket this summer in terms of balls faced - Leicestershire were 252 for 5 in the 86th over, trailing by 79 runs with 50 overs left in the day. They had a glimmer of hope.
Anthony McGrath, however, got rid of White caught and bowled before Ryan Sidebottom struck twice with successive deliveries in the 94th over when he trapped Robbie Joseph lbw and yorked Boyce, leaving the score at 284 for 7. Adil Rashid and Patterson polished off the tail inside another ten overs.
"It was a real challenge for us today because a couple of their lads got stuck in," said Gillespie. "I thought Boyce was excellent. He played a really good innings as well as Cobb and Wayne White chipping in. But the most pleasing thing was that the lads stuck to their game plan. We were patient and kept building the pressure. We knew that if we stayed diligent then the chances would arrive."
Just as Yorkshire were wrapping up the win, their new overseas fast bowler Mitchell Starc was due to land in the UK ahead of his initial five-week spell as their overseas player. The 22 year-old Australia left-arm quick will make his debut against Gloucestershire at Bristol next week, where he could link up with Tim Bresnan, who bowled only 27 overs in the match as he eased himself carefully back into the season.
"I've spoken to Andy Flower and Geoff Miller, and there's a chance we might have Tim playing just to get some more bowling," confirmed Gillespie.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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