Recent Match Report – Yorkshire vs Northants Group 3 2021

Yorkshire 206 (Bess 56, Parnell 5-64) and 247 (Willey 41*, Parnell 5-79) beat Northamptonshire 234 (Zaib 55, Taylor 50) and 218 (Vasconcelos 41, Willey 3-39) by one run

A wonderful match contested under glowering skies – and missing only glowering spectators – fell the way of Yorkshire by a single run as their captain, Steve Patterson, broke Northamptonshire’s resistance in what will rank as one of the season’s great finishes.

Wayne Parnell, whose diligent 33 from 102 balls had guided Northants to the brink of victory, was intent purely on survival as he pushed at a ball which left him from around the wicket and Jonny Tattersall held the catch. In the tensest of finishes, Patterson had taken the onus upon himself, committed to the basics, and been rewarded. The team man who took the Yorkshire captaincy when nobody else wanted it had prevailed.

At the non-striker’s end, a story was after all not written in the stars. Nearly 10 years ago, Ben Sanderson had been released by Yorkshire. He went back to his trade as a builder and rediscovered his love for the game with Shropshire and Rotherham Town. How he would have loved to make the winning hit. Instead, he never got to swing that demolition ball for a final time and could only console himself with an unstinting bowling display (4 for 85 in 42 overs) that had underlined his qualities.

This being cricket, and this being England, rain also had to play a part. With tension at its height, and Northants having lost their ninth wicket with 14 needed, the last man, Sanderson, trudged out, peering into stygian darkness, with the floodlights belatedly flickering into life, only to be told by the umpires to walk straight back again.

Nearly an hour later, the sides returned. There would have been conversations aplenty, some talking, some listening, some merely closing off the world. Sanderson drove Duanne Olivier to the cover boundary, Parnell freed his arms and sliced Patterson to third man for another four. Sanderson scrambled a bye when Patterson might have bowled him. Empty stands or not, the tension was palpable.

Then came Patterson’s intervention, a cruel end for Parnell who had also taken 10 wickets in the match. Yorkshire kept their unbeaten record in Group 3 and recorded their second Championship win by one run. Northants lost by one run for the first time. It was a match that deserved a tie.

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