Ryan Sidebottom inspires Yorkshire to County Championship title

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Yorkshire clinched the 31st County Championship title in their history by skittling Nottinghamshire out once again to defeat the second-placed side by an innings and 152 runs in the penultimate match of the season.

The dominant victory sealed their status as County Champions, an honour they hadn’t held for 13 years.

With five wickets still to take on the final day to clinch the championship, Jason Gillespie’s side only required 14.2 overs to complete victory, with Ryan Sidebottom (6-30) the pick of the bowlers against his former side.

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Within reach

Adam Lyth (122), Alex Lees (86) and Gary Ballance (99) got Yorkshire off to a solid start in the opening innings of the match after stand-in captain Joe Root won the toss and opted to bat.

From the foundation laid by the top order, the visitors would go on to declare on 532-9 at Trent Bridge. With such a high total to defend, the seamers then went to work on producing a revolving door of Nottinghamshire batsmen at the crease.

A regular trickle of wickets came courtesy of Ryan Sidebottom (3-35) and Jack Brooks (4-58) as the hosts were all out for 203 and were asked to follow on.

A second collapse

As the second-placed side in Division One, Nottinghamshire knew that they couldn’t afford to concede defeat to Yorkshire if they were to carry their title-winning ambitions through to the final game of the summer.

Nevertheless, they were unable to avoid a second collapse in as many days as they slipped to 149-5 at the close of play on day three. Still trailing the table-toppers by 180 runs, a whole day of resilient batting was what was required on the final day.

But that wasn’t possible against the seam attack of Sidebottom and Brooks.

Sidebottom’s triumphant return

The left-arm fast bowler was instrumental in providing victory for Yorkshire with match figures of 9-65. From the moment that he had Steven Mullaney trapped LBW at the start
of Nottinghamshire’s follow-on, the championship looked likely to be heading to Headingley.

The former England International carried his good form right through to the conclusion of the match, fittingly taking the championship-clinching wicket of James Taylor (75) which sealed the win.

Taylor offered the most resistance as the home side were skittled for just 177 second time around. The diminutive batsman was just one of four to reach double figures for his side.

He was one of four Sidebottom victims on the final morning, with Gary Keedy (0), Chris Read (2) and Luke Fletcher (5) also falling prey to the former Nottinghamshire seamer.

Long wait over

Whilst Adil Rashid accounted for Jacob Ball (0) with an LBW dismissal, less than half of the opening session was all that was required to end Yorkshire’s 13-year wait to win Division One of the County Championship.

There were no nervy moments for the travelling supporters who were instead treated to yet another bowling master class and Nottinghamshire collapse.

A carnival atmosphere can now be expected when the newly crowned champions return to Headingley for their final County Championship fixture of the season at home to Somerset on September 23rd.

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