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Jon Culley at Northampton
August 1, 2012
Yorkshire 249 (Jaques 75, Daggett 3-64) v Northamptonshire
With Steve Harmison gone home to Durham clutching his side and Ryan Sidebottom still nursing his injured calf back to full working order, Yorkshire had not imagined it would be their batting giving them a headache. All out just before the scheduled close, their frustrations were compounded by missing a second batting point by a single run. They had no one to blame but themselves.
Apart from the snorter from David Willey that gave Adam Lyth very little chance in the fifth over of the morning, looping off the bat handle to gully, almost every dismissal was self-inflicted, the most galling of which from Yorkshire's viewpoint was the error of judgment by Andrew Gale, of all people, that led Phil Jaques to be run out for 75.
There will not be a better example all season of good work undone. Jaques and the Yorkshire captain had constructed a fine partnership -- barring one bad miss by David Sales at second slip when Gale was on 24 and a more forgivable one by a back-peddling mid-on when Jaques was 59 - and had put on 104 over 42 overs in which at times they had required considerable patience in the face of tight, disciplined bowling.
Then Gale, pushing the ball firmly towards the fielder at mid-off, decided somewhat rashly to call a quick single and while he (or rather, Jaques) was unlucky that Lee Daggett should break the striker's stumps with a direct hit, it was only asking for trouble.
On another day it might have been a minor setback, regrettable but soon forgotten. On this occasion, however, it was the trigger for a series of unfortunate events for Yorkshire as Yorkshire gave away one wicket after another.
Only four balls later, Gale popped up a gift return catch to Daggett, who would play a major part in their undoing. Jonathan Bairstow, who could do with making a point or two after slipping behind a little in the England pecking order, began as if that were his intention, but after a couple of nicely-timed boundaries off the excellent Willey he also came unstuck against Daggett -- Lancashire-born, as it happens -- who had him lbw playing across the line.
A third wicket went Daggett's way when Richard Pyrah, who may be out of this match on Thursday if Tim Bresnan is released by England, attempted a horrible pull and instead top-edged to point.
Given that Joe Root had been careless earlier, following a wide one as Oli Stone, an 18-year-old seamer playing in only his second first-class match, claimed a wicket with his second ball, it was building into the kind of calamitous day Yorkshire cannot afford. The contenders in the Second Division promotion race are bunched tightly now and it is no time for mistakes.
Yet none of the remaining batsmen heeded the example Jaques had set and chose aggression over patience with the same result. Gary Ballance, Adil Rashid and Azeem Rafiq all threw away their wickets with poor shots. Steve Patterson, who will carry the heaviest burden among the seam bowlers, applied himself rather more diligently, scoring 25 off 49 balls to nudge the total towards a second batting point, so it would have been particularly frustrating for him to see the last man fall on 249.
Jaques, who spent a season with Northamptonshire in 2003, was suitably diplomatic when asked about the run out, yet conceded that Yorkshire had been the architects of their own downfall.
"There was a bit of that today but that happens sometimes," he said. "We worked really hard this morning to set things up so it was disappointing not to cash in on it.
"Some of the guys will think about the shots they played but it was just one of those times where it all seemed to happen on the same day. We tried to dominate but it was a wicket that was tough to bully people on. It was more one where you had to scrap and graft for every run and this afternoon we maybe left ourselves a bit short."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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