County are edged out in real thriller
YORKSHIRE moved into the promotion places in LV= County Championship Division Two after a two-wicket win against Gloucestershire at Scarborough.
Anthony McGrath's unbeaten 76 guided the hosts to their victory target of 314 with 16 balls to spare after Rob Nicol and Benny Howell had been gifted rapid half-centuries in the morning.
The day began with a declaration by White Rose skipper Andrew Gale, his side having mustered 61 for two in their first innings.
That gave the visitors a lead of 154 runs and 96 overs to play with, and buffet bowling at its most extreme allowed openers Nicol (75*) and Howell (83*) to smash a further 159 off 60 balls.
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Now the serious stuff could start, with promotion hopefuls Yorkshire chasing 314 to win in 84 overs.
Adam Lyth and Joe Root made an accomplished start, but their partnership was broken just before lunch when Lyth (40) pulled a short ball from Anthony Ireland to Liam Norwell at mid-on.
Yorkshire began the second session on 82 for one, requiring a further 232 and with Root looking well placed for a half-century.
But he was undone by Norwell, picking out Dan Housego at deep midwicket to depart for 43.
It was 159 for three when Gale (14) departed, Hamish Marshall the catcher at slip off Jack Taylor, but Phil Jaques notched up 50 with the aid of a seventh boundary.
At tea the home side had progressed to 183 for three, 131 shy of their target with a minimum of 32 overs still to be bowled.
Four balls after the resumption Taylor struck again, Gary Ballance (5) the man to go via Ian Cockbain's catch.
McGrath brought all his experience to bear in helping Jaques take the score beyond 200, but at 205 Yorkshire suffered a serious blow with the dismissal of the Australian for 79 from 122 balls with 10 fours.
In mounting tension, Andrew Hodd joined McGrath and the weather also became a factor with clouds spreading over the previously sunlit North Marine Road ground.
The return of Will Gidman to the attack slowed the batsmen down, and the final hour arrived at 237 for five with 77 wanted off a minimum of 16 overs.
A boundary to McGrath came at about the same time that light rain began to fall, followed by the dismissal of Hodd who was leg before back on his stumps to Gidman.
McGrath hit Ireland for consecutive boundaries and survived a return chance in the same over after completing his half-century, while Adil Rashid showed positive intent until Gidman struck again by having him caught behind and Yorkshire were 267 for seven.
With both McGrath and Azeem Rafiq going for glory, the score mounted steadily and at 300 for seven in 80 overs the new ball was taken with just 14 required off four overs.
Fuller was called up to bowl it and his first delivery was driven for four by McGrath – 12 coming off the over in all.
Rafiq was caught at point off the first ball of the next over from Norwell, but the batsmen had crossed and McGrath scored the winning boundary off the next delivery.