Rudolph ton in vain

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Jacques Rudolph

Former South Africa batsman Jacques Rudolph gave Yorkshire hope of chasing down 344 against Sussex with a rapid 120 but the White Rose came up just short

Yorkshire fell agonisingly short of an audacious attempt to secure victory over Sussex after being set 344 off a possible 54 overs in their LV= County Championship Division One match at Scarborough.

The White Rose closed on 312 for six, just 32 runs away from the winning line, as they settled for a draw after Michael Yardy’s 122 helped Sussex to 333 for six declared.

The platform for the chase was laid by acting captain Jacques Rudolph, who thrashed 120 off 125 balls with 12 fours and five sixes, in an opening stand of 174 in 39 overs with Joe Sayers.

When Rudolph was dismissed the Yorkshire chase stepped up another gear again as the hosts sent in Jonny Bairstow in a brave bid to keep the momentum going.

The final hour arrived with Yorkshire needing 162 off 16 overs and consecutive sixes by Bairstow off Chris Nash kept them in the hunt.

But after he had slammed 26 from 13 balls, Bairstow was taken on the long-off boundary by Wayne Parnell who threw the ball in the air before stepping over the line and coming back to complete the catch.

Gary Ballance and Sayers took up the challenge until Ballance was lbw to Kirk Wernars to make it 236 for three in the 45th over and a midwicket six for Anthony McGrath off Parnell and two maximums from Sayers off Monty Panesar increased the tension.

At 270 for three, Yorkshire required 74 from seven overs and McGrath slapped a full toss from Parnell to Luke Wells at long-on.

The target became 45 from four overs when Richard Pyrah was held in the deep and the chase was effectively over when Sayers was caught on the point boundary by Murray Goodwin off Amjad Khan for 84 from 136 balls with seven fours and four sixes.

The drama began after Sussex captain Mike Yardy had hit his second century of the match before declaring.

Yardy followed up his first innings 130 with 122 to become the first visiting player to hit a century in each innings on a Yorkshire ground since 1976 when Alan Jones achieved the feat for Glamorgan at Middlesbrough.

Both Yorkshire and Sussex took nine points from the draw and Sussex's director of cricket, Mark Robinson, said his team had hesitated over whether to declare because of a sickness bug which was sweeping through the camp.

"It started with Mike Yardy and then Monty Panesar, Wayne Parnell and James Anyon all felt unwell at various times," said Robinson.

"We didn't particularly want to be in the field for a long while but felt there was just a chance of forcing a win if Yorkshire lost a couple of early wickets," he said.

Sussex resumed on the final morning on 126 for three with an overall lead of 136 and the feeling in the Yorkshire camp was that they needed to take wickets in the first hour if they were to stand any real chance of forcing a victory.

Rashid raised expectations by having Goodwin caught behind when attempting to cut with the score on 150 but nightwatchman, Anyon, was rarely troubled as he built up a 153-run stand with Yardy - the third fifth-wicket stand in excess of 150 in the match.

Yardy wasted few scoring opportunities, pulling consecutive balls from Ryan Sidebottom to the boundary and hurrying to his 50 off 67 balls with seven fours before striking Rashid for a leg side six.

He was dropped by Ballance at backward point shortly before lunch but soon after the interval went to his century off 105 deliveries with 10 fours and a six.

Anyon moved steadily to a career-best 53 from 116 balls with five fours and was then bowled by Rashid, while Yardy's innings ended when he drove the leg-spinner to substitute fielder, David Wainwright at long-on and the declaration quickly following.

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