Sussex were denied victory in their latest LV = County Championship match against Yorkshire when the visitors put on a superb display of rearguard batting to earn themselves a draw at the PROBIZ County Ground, Hove, today.
With only eight wickets needed on the last day of this four-day match – having reduced Yorkshire to 273 all out and 29-2 at the end of day three after Sussex had earlier declared on 548-4 – the home team would have been confident of cleaning up the middle order and tail for their third straight championship win.
But they were only able to take six wickets all day as a dogged Yorkshire ended the fourth and final day on 314-8. The stand-out man for the Tykes was Gary Ballance, who remained unbeaten at the end on 73 from a remarkably obdurate innings of 207 balls.
Jonny Bairstow had earlier stuck around for a rather shorter period of 93 balls for his aggressive knock of 76.
But with time and overs running out and Sussex’s bowlers into the Yorkshire tail, Nos.10 and 11 bats Ryan Sidebottom and Steve Patterson proved frustrating to dislodge. Former England pace bowler Sidebottom stayed in for 28 balls for his 3 before being bowled by Monty Panesar, but Patterson could not be removed as the home team desperately looked to dismiss their opponents and chase down their small targets while time remained in the match. He was not out for 2 off 41 balls at stumps.
Luke Wells and Murray Goodwin had earlier in the match set up what seemed a certain victory with glorious centuries of 174 and 274 not out respectively, allowing Sussex to declare. The bulk of the Yorkshire’s first innings wickets were shared around between Amjad Khan, Panesar and the South African pair (both making their Sussex debuts) Wayne Parnell, Kirk Wernars, as the visitors were forced to follow on.
And the second innings dismissal of Joe Root – who had scored an excellent 70 at the top of Yorkshire’s order in their first innings – to Chris Nash with the penultimate scheduled ball of day three yesterday (leaving the visitors teetering on 29-2) seemed to tilt the match firmly in the home team’s favour coming into the last day.
But despite the best efforts of left-arm spinner Panesar, who took an excellent 5-89 in 36.3 overs – his first five-wicket haul of the season – Sussex just couldn’t work their way through Yorkshire’s card. The other two wickets to fall were shred by Parnell and Khan.
The home team pick up 10 points for their efforts while Yorkshire collect five points.