Warwickshire 254 (Sibley 67) and 219 for 7 (Rhodes 83, Sibley 81, Logan 4-22) beat Yorkshire 259 (Patterson 60, Ballance 54, Hannon-Dalby 5-76, Miles 4-44) and 211 (Leaning 65, Patel 4-48, Hannon-Dalby 4-61) by three wickets
"Tomorrow is what they call money day. It will be another opportunity for guys to make their names for the Bear. We've had a little bit of success recently. Can we have some more tomorrow?"
The comments of one or two captains prior to the last day of Championship matches suggest they have undertaken too many voyages aboard the SS Dreamboat. But Jeetan Patel should not be numbered amongst them. His words on Wednesday evening suggest he is a realist who is leading a young side, many of whom are just getting to know each other. He expected a long struggle on this final day at York. He was mistaken.
Yes, the dénouement of this match suggests Aldwych farce. A bizarre final hour or so featured the loss of six Warwickshire wickets, four of them the maiden first-class successes for James Logan, before the visitors reached their target of 217. Logan is a 21-year-old slow left-armer who, like thousands of others, will not forget his visit to York. But if his spell announced the arrival of a fine new talent, they never truly threatened to change the outcome of the game. Warwickshire's collapse from 181 for 2 to 215 for 7 showed what might have happened had Yorkshire taken wickets earlier in the piece. They excited the crowd at Clifton Park and prompted some rash strokes among the middle-order batsmen. They revealed the obvious truth that Patel is leading a fragile side, one easily prone to fret and panic.
But perhaps the most significant consequence of that late collapse was to allow the Warwickshire captain to make the winning hit at the club where he first played cricket in England back in 2003. And when Patel drove Jordan Thompson over mid-on he knew his side had completed a victory which will embolden his players as they prepare for the remainder of this season. That late hour also showed the value of the 132-run opening stand between Dom Sibley and Will Rhodes, a partnership which ensured that the foundations of their side's successful pursuit were pile driven deep before that late anxiety gripped the Bears.
Rhodes and Sibley saw off the new ball before lunch, dealt with Yorkshire's seamers on the resumption and accelerated in mid-afternoon. And Sibley's polished 81 may also have reassured the England Lions coach, Andy Flower, that his journey up north had not been wasted. The former Surrey batsman is being seriously considered by the England selectors in advance of the Ashes series and his innings today took his tally of first-class runs against county opposition this season to 721. He can do little more to press his claim than to carry on scoring runs at The Oval next week.
"I'd be lying if I said I hadn't [thought about England]," Sibley said, "but at the moment I'm concentrating on scoring runs for Warwickshire, keep trying to get in every time I bat and get some big scores. I did notice that he [Flower] was here but I'll just keep trying to score runs."
But if Sibley's composure and leg-side drives caught the eye on the day when Yorkshire suffered their first Championship defeat, Rhodes' strokeplay was also worthy of attention. The differences in the two men's height and style may not have helped Yorkshire's bowlers. Rhodes bats left-handed, Sibley right. Rhodes is tall enough, for heaven's sake, but Sibley's build suggests he plays his club cricket for Brobdingnag.
Rhodes hit nine fours and three sixes, all the maximums coming in a single Jack Leaning over off which he scored 26 runs. The third six sailed over the Clifton Park pavilion and took with it all doubts about Warwickshire's run-rate. By the time Rhodes was bowled off the inside edge by David Willey he had made 83 and given his old muckers one in the eye, a fitting achievement perhaps, given that he still plays his league cricket up the road at Stamford Bridge.
For another hour it seemed that one wicket would be Yorkshire's only consolation. Then Rob Yates top-edged a sweep off Logan to Willey at short fine leg and Sibley's powerful drive over mid-off was brilliantly caught one-handed by Steve Patterson diving to his right.
It was as if all the doubts and devils of their early season had suddenly infected the away dressing room. Sam Hain was caught behind trying to cut Patterson; Matt Lamb was bowled having a clueless slog and Adam Hose suffered the same fate when he came down the pitch and slipped. Logan probably wondered if county cricket is always like this. It really isn't. Patel restored sanity and has no doubt learned more about his team.
Soon after the end of the game Warwickshire's players were sitting in a circle on the outfield and enjoying a well-earned beer. Equally well deserved, though, are all the compliments being paid to York CC after the magnificent manner in which they have hosted their first Championship match.
Some permanent memorial might be considered, for if you live in York and do not have a blue plaque outside your house, you are probably entitled to feel hard done by. The city has nurtured artists, politicians, novelists, socialites and social reformers; it was the birthplace of WH Auden and has given a home to whole pewfuls of churchmen, most notably, Alcuin, an architect of the Carolingian renaissance. It was also the birthplace of a Master of Balliol, which trumps all the others put together.
York's fine pavilion was only completed in 2010 and cannot yet boast any notable associations. But perhaps over the winter someone - maybe the extraordinarily resourceful Kevin Hutchinson - should erect some permanent notice recording the return of county cricket to York after 129 years. Surely it cannot be another 13 decades - or indeed 13 years - before first-class cricket returns to the city. Some think it should not be 13 months.
This occasion has been wonderful. It has been a fan asking a smiling Willey for a selfie and then being shown how to take it. It has been the giant oak standing guard over the scoreboard. It has been two of the grandest white poplars in the kingdom and the folk watching first-class cricket beneath them. It has been cricket people at their best and most generous.
Last evening there was a bash in the marquee for the people who laid on the corporate hospitality. The melodies of Phil Oakey and The Police rang out across the field. This evening there should be songs in the Clifton Park pavilion. And there should be smiles of quiet, exhausted satisfaction on the faces of the people at this great home of cricket.