Buoyant Yorkshire reclaim the league top spot

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Yorkshire returned to the top of the LV= County Championship First Division table when they completed a comprehensive 220-run victory over Middlesex at Scarborough by bowling them out for 201.

The win put them five points ahead of second-placed Nottinghamshire and 16 pts in front of Somerset, and each of the leading three sides have four matches still to play.

It was leg-spinner Adil Rashid who did the late damage with his season’s best figures of four for 27.

It soon became apparent that Ryan Sidebottom could not swing the ball as much as in the first innings when he captured seven for 44, the second best figures of his career, but he would still have made the first breakthrough if wicket-keeper, Jonny Bairstow, flinging himself to his right, could have on to a sharp chance offered by Chris Rogers. Jack Brooks was rewarded when Nick Gubbins was caught by Adam Lyth. Rogers and Dawid Malan added 52 before the latter was held by a juggling Alex Lees.

A fine spell of bowling from Steven Patterson raised Yorkshire’s hopes and only three runs had been added when the paceman grabbed two wickets in two balls. In came Paul Stirling only to depart immediately, trapped lbw. When Patterson’s excellent spell of 7-3-14-2 ended, Rashid came on for the first time and Simpson, on 28, played him to short leg where Jack Leaning caught.

Simpson’s 50 shortly after the break arrived from 80 balls with five fours and the troublesome stand was worth 71 in 30 overs when Morgan’s vigil ended. He went back to one from Rashid which carried straight on and edged to Bairstow.

Yorkshire’s late surge continued as Ollie Rayner swept at Rashid and was caught at slip by Alex Lees off Bairstow’s glove and new batsman Toby Roland-Jones would also have gone have gone to the leg-spinner if Bairstow had held on.

Brooks’ second ball drifted away from Roland-Jones and found the edge to be caught by Bairstow and Rashid then had Tom Helm caught in the slips by Kane Williamson.

Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie said: “At tea-time I was confident because I thought we had bowled really well in the afternoon session.

“Patterson was brilliant bowling up the hill and to get Rogers and Stirling off consecutive balls was fantastic.

“I also though Rashid bowled beautifully and his pace was the key on that surface. I was a very good win and it is nice to be at the top but there is still a long way to go.”

Middlesex skipper Chris Rogers said: “Yorkshire are a very good side and I told the guys that when you come against sides like that you need to stand up but we were outclassed in the end.

“I tipped Yorkshire early on to win the title and I haven’t changed my mind. They have a bowling attack as good as any in the country and their batters are in good form so that is a good combination.”