YORKSHIRE will hope for some help from the weather gods today as they pursue a deserved LV= County Championship victory over Northamptonshire at Headingley.

The White Rose county were frustrated during yesterday’s third day as they only claimed four wickets in the 49 overs possible due to rain and bad light.

Given a full day’s play, it would be a surprise if they did not pick up 23 points for a first win of the season seen as Northants are 149-4 in their second innings and still 216 runs behind having been asked to follow-on.

The visitors returned a much improved batting performance yesterday having been bowled out for just 94 on Monday afternoon in reply to Yorkshire’s first-innings 459-9 declared, which included 174 for Gary Ballance.

Opener James Middlebrook, formerly of Yorkshire, led the way with 63, and he shared 89 for the second wicket with Kyle Coetzer (39).

Ryan Sidebottom picked up two wickets after a delay of nearly three overs from 11.25am.

He had Stephen Peters caught behind by Andrew Hodd in the ninth over and Coetzer the same way in the 34th - the last before tea.

There was a third rain delay, this time of 75 minutes, before play resumed at 6pm with 14 overs left.

And it was actually Yorkshire’s best period of the day as Jack Brooks struck twice to take his tally in the match to seven wickets.

After Gary Ballance gave Yorkshire and England a scare by leaving the field with a cut finger on his right hand - he is fine to field today - Brooks removed Matt Spriegel lbw and had Middlebrook caught behind, leaving the score at 145-4.

This was Middlebrook’s highest score against his first county. Rob Newton and night-watchman Maurice Chambers are the not out batsmen.


LV= County Championship

Division one

Yorkshire v Northamptonshire

at Headingley Carnegie

Yorkshire First Innings

A Lyth c Murphy b Azharullah 11

A Z Lees lbw b Hall 90

K S Williamson lbw b Hall 3

A W Gale lbw b Azharullah 13

G S Ballance lbw b Hall 174

A U Rashid lbw b Crook 33

A J Hodd lbw b Chambers 21

L E Plunkett lbw b Hall 11

R J Sidebottom lbw b Middlebrook 15

S A Patterson not out 17

J A Brooks not out 37

Extras (b13 lb11 nb10) 34

Total 9 wkts dec (125 overs) 459

Fall: 1-15 2-21 3-57 4-213 5-275 6-309 7-324 8-396 9-398.

Bowling: Chambers 22-4-77-1, Azharullah 25-7-78-2, Hall 28-3-103-4, Crook 24-2-93-1, Middlebrook 23-8-68-1, Spriegel 3-0-16-0.

Northamptonshire First Innings

S D Peters lbw b Sidebottom 9

J D Middlebrook b Brooks 6

K J Coetzer c Lyth b Sidebottom 10

M N W Spriegel not out 29

R I Newton c Hodd b Brooks 2

A J Hall c Williamson b Brooks 6

D J Willey c Williamson b Brooks 0

S P Crook c A U Rashid b Brooks 8

D Murphy c Hodd b Plunkett 0

M A Chambers b Sidebottom 10

Azharullah c Ballance b Sidebottom 0

Extras (b4 lb8 nb2) 14

Total (30 overs) 94

Fall: 1-16 2-16 3-27 4-39 5-45 6-45 7-65 8-68 9-94.

Bowling: Sidebottom 9-2-16-4, Brooks 12-2-36-5, Patterson 4-1-10-0, Plunkett 5-1-20-1.

Northamptonshire Second Innings

S D Peters c Hodd b Sidebottom 11

J D Middlebrook c Hodd b Brooks 63

K J Coetzer c Hodd b Sidebottom 39

M N W Spriegel lbw b Brooks 7

R I Newton not out 11

M A Chambers not out 0

Extras (b12 lb2 nb4) 18

Total 4 wkts (49 overs) 149

Fall: 1-15 2-24 3-113 4-132.

Bowling: Sidebottom 14-3-31-2, Brooks 13-2-48-2, Williamson 2-1-4-0, A U Rashid 3-1-4-0, Patterson 10-3-15-0, Plunkett 7-1-33-0.