County Championship: Warwickshire beat Yorkshire to stay in title hunt

Tim Bresnan, who spent 19 years with Yorkshire, came back to haunt the Tykes on his first red-ball appearance for the Bears at Headingley
Tim Bresnan, who spent 19 years with Yorkshire, came back to haunt the Tykes on his first red-ball appearance for the Bears at Headingley
LV= County Championship Division One, Emerald Headingley, Leeds (day four):
Warwickshire 155: Burgess 66; Patterson 4-34 & 176: Sibley 45; Thompson 5-52
Yorkshire 108: Ballance 58; Norwell 4-27 & 117: Ballance 21; Woakes 3-26, Miles 3-34, Norwell 3-38
Warwickshire (19 pts) beat Yorkshire (3 pts) by 106 runs

Warwickshire beat Yorkshire by 106 runs to keep their County Championship title ambitions alive and end their opponents' hopes.

The Tykes resumed on 50-3 on day four, chasing 224 to win, but were bowled out within the first session for just 117.

Gary Ballance edged Chris Woakes to second slip with the day's third ball, with ex-Yorkshire seamer Tim Bresnan taking six catches in the innings.

Warwickshire move up to second and host an out-of-form Somerset next week.

Going into the final round of games the Bears are on 55 points, three-and-a-half points behind Division One leaders Hampshire, who go to fellow contenders Lancashire on Tuesday.

Fourth-placed Nottinghamshire, the other side in with a chance of topping the table in what promises to be an exhilarating finale, finish at home to Yorkshire.

Yorkshire need to win that match and hope other results go their way in order to have a chance of finishing second and contest the Bob Willis Trophy final at Lord's on 28 September.

Bears pounce after Tuesday's washout

Both Yorkshire and Warwickshire were left frustrated in their pursuit of victory when the third day's play was rained off.

But the visitors made up for lost time in Leeds, on a pitch which looked very tricky to bat on from the moment that the Tykes won the toss and chose to field on Sunday.

After the crucial early dismissal of Ballance, the home wickets fell regularly as veteran Bresnan proved a safe pair of hands in the slips, collecting Harry Brook's low edge, a shot off the toe-end of the bat from Jordan Thompson - who offered most resistance with 18 from 52 balls - and a nick from Steven Patterson.

Another catch for the former England all-rounder would have equalled the first-class record for catches in an innings, jointly held on seven by ex-Bears all-rounder Rikki Clarke, who took nine in the match against Lancashire at Aigburth in 2011.

On top of his important second-innings 36 with the bat on Monday, Bresnan also trapped Dom Bess lbw.

England all-rounder Woakes - on his first Championship start in three years - Liam Norwell and Craig Miles all finished with three wickets apiece.

Norwell got the last wicket when Ben Coad chipped him to midwicket to seal Yorkshire's fate.

Michael Burgess' 66 for Warwickshire in the first innings proved crucial in a low-scoring match and his side now have a real chance of becoming county champions for the first time since 2012.

'Woakes wants to play next week'

Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale:

"It was disappointing to end in the fashion we did this morning because when people play against Yorkshire, they know we're a hard team to beat. We were a bit soft to not take the game past lunch. Credit to Warwickshire, they've bowled well throughout.

"We should have bowled them out a bit cheaper in the first innings, but I was more disappointed with the batting in the first innings. We should have got level, if not a 50 lead. I thought 200 was about right, but we didn't apply ourselves as well as we could. I reckon that's where the game got away from us.

"You have to grab key moments in games to win trophies, and that first innings was a key moment. If we'd have batted better, we could have put the game to bed. We are on this journey and have made progress this year. It's another step in the right direction."

Warwickshire first team coach Mark Robinson told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra:

"I'm so pleased with the team. We showed a lot of character to bounce back from what was a slow death last week. We gave away a game we should have won against Hampshire.

"We had three opportunities to put it to bed and didn't do it. And the concern or worry is that there's a hangover into this match. We then lost the toss and batted both innings in dark cloud.

"But we showed the character and skill to come out on the right side of what was a big win in the end. To set yourself up so you can go into the last game of the season with a chance of winning everything, that's all you ever want."

On Chris Woakes' availability for next week: "He loves the club and wants to play. It's just whether England allow him to play. We're hopeful the lack of cricket he's had in recent times allows him to play.

"We hope the ECB will allow a person who is a Bear through and through and hasn't played a lot of cricket to have the opportunity of helping his team win a Championship. Those opportunities don't come around very often."

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