Yorkshire v Middlesex, Scarborough, 3rd day July 21, 2014

Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top

Jon Culley at North Marine Road

Yorkshire 253 (Lyth 117, Finn 4-81) and 400 for 5 dec (Gale 126*, Leaning 76) beat Middlesex 232 (Simpson 110, Malan 78) and 201 (Simpson 61, Rashid 4-27) by 220 runs

Yorkshire went back top of the Championship as Adil Rashid 's destruction of the lower order rapidly ended what had been prolonged Middlesex's resistance on the final day at North Marine Road. Rashid, as ever asked to switch himself on the instant a favourable pitch presents itself, bowled his legspinners superbly to exploit the bounce and turn. It was his run of four wickets that broke Middlesex.

"We knew it would take patience, we knew those 50-50 moments, the catches that do or don't go to hand, would have to go our way," Jason Gillespie said afterwards, relieved that Yorkshire's quest for 10 wickets on the final day had paid off.

Yorkshire's Australian coach is not one to betray doubt but there must have been moments when he wondered if the luck was going to be with Middlesex. Their task, in theory, was to score 422 runs to win after Yorkshire's overnight declaration; in practice it was to survive 96 overs somehow and escape with a draw. At tea, it appeared they might just pull it off, leaving Yorkshire still behind key rivals Nottinghamshire in the race for the title, their game in hand gone.

Middlesex had given up chasing even before lunch, adding only 17 to their total in the final 11 overs of the morning session, reaching the interval at 89 for 2. Their resistance suffered a further setback when Chris Rogers was out to a brilliant one-handed slip catch by Adam Lyth, one of seven he took in the match, and a jubilant Steve Patterson struck with the very next ball, pinning Paul Stirling leg before.

Rogers had been the force behind an improbable Middlesex victory at Lord's in April, contributing a double hundred to a record-breaking run chase, and to see him walking back to the pavilion for 44 gave Yorkshire a sense that the day was going to go their way. Middlesex were not to be brushed aside that easily, however, and reached the next haven, the tea interval, with no more casualties. At 155 for 4, with 33 overs left, it was Yorkshire who were starting to feel twitchy.

Now it was Eoin Morgan and John Simpson who were threatening to puncture their bubble. Morgan, digging deep to find his self-denial mode, was as resilient as Rogers could have wished, with Simpson equally so. Simpson offered a difficult chance to short leg on 28 that Jack Leaning could not cling on to but no clear chances were offered.

Yorkshire's resolve was under examination as much as Middlesex's but though it took almost 30 overs for the fifth-wicket pair to be prised apart the breakthrough came, in the fourth over after tea and it sparked a Middlesex collapse in which their last six wickets fell for 38 runs in the space of 14.2 overs.

Morgan was the first to go, having faced 137 balls in a vigil lasting two hours and 43 minutes. Rashid then proved himself to be the spin-bowling matchwinner Yorkshire yearn for.

Morgan played back to a ball it appeared he had thought would turn more and nudged it into the gloves of wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, prompting Andrew Gale to step up the pressure, with no need to worry about leaking runs. Every subsequent batsmen had a circle of close fielders for Rashid's leg-spin and googlies, while the seamers ran in with a line of six slips and gullies.

Jack Brooks proved the most effective. Overshadowed by Ryan Sidebottom in the first innings, he delivered his best spell of the match. inducing Toby Roland-Jones to edge to Bairstow and Simpson, finally, to deflect one to third slip for a gallant 61. Brooks finished with 3 for 30, giving him 49 wickets in the Championship.

But it was Rashid who deserved to be the toast of the dressing room. Rising to the moment admirably, he had Ollie Rayner was caught at second slip sweeping, had Tom Helm edging to second and finally Tim Murtagh looping a catch that the irrepressible Lyth took in the leg slip position, having run behind Bairstow.

Rashid finished with four for 27 and Yorkshire, completing victory with an hour to spare, take a five-point lead in the title race.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mark on July 23, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    Middlesex were never going to make a serious attempt to chase unless they got off to an exceptional start. It should not have been beyond a side that still harboured Championship ambitions to hold out for 96 overs. At Tea you would have said that the draw was strong favourite even if a wicket or two went down soon after Tea. What no one was prepared for was a collapse of monumental proportions.

    I have been following Adil Rashid's career with interest for some years now. It is annoying that, after Yorkshire requested a few years ago that he not be hauled around the world all winter without playing, he has never been picked again for a touring party and has dropped right off the radar. What was evident was that, after a shaky start, his confidence grew by leaps and bounds and the wickets came with it. I get the impression that, like Graeme Swann, he has the knack of picking up wickets early in a spell. For heaven's sake, let's get him back in the Lions at very least.

  • Dummy4 on July 23, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    I hope England's selectors keep failing to notice the best wicketkeeper-batsmen in the country, the second and third best openers, and England's best spinner.

    Maybe it's the shame factor: effectively just picking the entire Yorkshire 11 for England + Cook?

  • Paulo on July 23, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    Just take the whole Yorkshire team

  • Dummy4 on July 23, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    Rashid and Yorkshire are safe ! England won't look at Rashid. England are looking for a spinner who can bowl long cheap spells to tie down an end whilst the quicks take wickets at the other. That's not Rashid's role - for some mysterious reason, he prefers to take the wickets himself.

  • Dummy4 on July 23, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    Did Rashid spill coffee all over a member of the selection panel? I'm not saying he should be picked, but his name *never*comes up despite decent performances for a number of years; every time I've seen him bowl he's been much steadier than people like Borthwick. Or, on a great deal of evidence, Kerrigan.

  • Dummy on July 22, 2014, 22:39 GMT

    Yorkshire look formindable. A great attack of quicks that could serve an international team well. As well as a spinner who could do the same, given some turn on the pitch. Good, determined batters, some of whom could or already have played internationally. Not for England though, their crazed schedule would render then as knackered as our current team.

  • Jon on July 22, 2014, 21:45 GMT

    I haven't seen Rashid bowl much for Yorkshire but having played junior cricket with him a lot was always expected. Can any Yorkshire fans tell me if he is ready and is it worth a go with him. We need a spinner too badly to keep ignoring the issue. I am tearing my hair out every test we go in without one.

  • Mike on July 22, 2014, 21:33 GMT

    Rashid for England!! Nothing against the boy, but for fifty years whenever a wrist-spinner takes a few wickets in the county championship he becomes the next Bill O'Reilly. Hobbs, Salisbury, Schofield… Adil Rashid is a highly talented cricketer and a very useful back-up spinner, like Steve Borthwick or Moeen Ali. Any one of them batting at six behind a top-notch four-man bowling attack would make a very nicely balanced side. If only we could find a front-line spinner.

  • Matthew on July 22, 2014, 20:59 GMT

    Let us hope that the England selectors were too busy today to notice

  • Peter on July 22, 2014, 20:50 GMT

    Bloody annoying from a Somerset fan's viewpoint that Middlesex should perform an Englandesque collapse! Sounds like a good performance from Rashid, though. Perhaps if England fancy taking a chance (which no doubt they won't), they could give him a go against India at some stage.

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