Somerset deny Yorkshire
Somerset and Yorkshire settled for share of the spoils at Scarborough to take their battles at opposite ends of the LV County Championship to the wire.
With both sides having too much to lose from trying to contrive a result, the game ended in a tame draw after title hopefuls Somerset batted out the final day.
James Hildreth and Ian Blackwell both hit half-centuries as Somerset ran up 317 for eight and declared with a lead of 283 to allow stumps to be drawn an hour before the scheduled close.
The draw leaves Somerset eight points behind Nottinghamshire and one ahead of Durham in a three-way battle for the title heading into next week’s final round of matches.
Yorkshire remain firmly in the relegation mire, but with their next opponents Sussex also drawing at Durham, the fight to avoid joining Surrey in Division Two is just as tight with five points separating four teams.
With Somerset having barely started their second innings last night, a draw always seemed likely as they resumed on 25 without loss.
Twice, however, Yorkshire threatened to breathe life into the game with bright starts in both the morning and afternoon sessions.
Captain Darren Gough, on his final day of first-class cricket in Yorkshire, was lively early on and took two wickets as Somerset slipped to 39 for three.
The former England paceman cleaned bowled Craig Kieswetter in the first over and then had dangerman Justin Langer caught behind after Tim Bresnan had also struck to remove Arul Suppiah.
Zander de Bruyn and Hildreth repaired the damage with a stand of 100 for the fourth wicket which spanned the lunch interval.
De Bruyn eventually fell to Adil Rashid, the pick of the bowling with three for 109, soon after the resumption as Adam Lyth took a smart chance at short leg.
Rashid further raised hopes by catching the shoulder of Hildreth’s bat to have him caught by Pyrah after an innings of 120 balls and nine fours.
Yet there was to be no collapse as Peter Trego put on 70 with Blackwell to take the game beyond Yorkshire, his innings of 45 including a straight six off Michael Vaughan.
Trego eventually holed out to Deon Kruis at mid-off to give Rashid another wicket before Marcus Trescothick, batting at eight due to a shoulder problem, lobbed a catch to midwicket off Jacques Rudolph.
Blackwell’s innings of 55 ended, after five fours and a six, when he holed out to Gough, running back from mid on, to give Lyth his first championship wicket.
Gough returned with the new ball but there were to be no further wickets as Alfonso Thomas (39 not out) and his former England team-mate Andrew Caddick (nine not out) saw them to the close.
He had to content himself with a standing ovation from the healthy crowd as he left the field.
One other point of note was the failure of former England captain Vaughan to field during the final session. Vaughan, who has struggled for form this summer and faces a battle to win a place on the tour to India this winter, was reported to have side problem.