Khawaja ton denies Yorkshire
Usman Khawaja’s unbeaten century kept Derbyshire’s promotion bid on course as they held rivals Yorkshire to a draw on the final day of their LV= County Championship Division Two match at Headingley Carnegie.
The Australian made 110 not out to preserve the visitors' position at the top of the table. They are nine points above second-placed Hampshire with a game in hand.
Derbyshire started the day needing 38 runs to avoid the follow-on with just two first-innings wickets in hand, but they looked on course to make it as Yorkshire refused the new ball and Tim Groenewald and David Wainwright took 25 runs off six overs of spin first thing this morning.
The new ball instantly brought reward – although not as the home side would have planned – as former Yorkshire all-rounder Wainwright turned Ryan Sidebottom to fine-leg and, after bringing up his 50 with a single, came back for an ill-advised second and was run out by Steven Patterson.
Last man Mark Turner drove Sidebottom straight down the ground for four then whipped him through midwicket for another boundary, but Tim Bresnan had Groenewald caught behind in his first over to end Derbyshire’s innings on 268 – a deficit of 152.
Andrew Gale did not hesitate to put Derbyshire back in, and a Yorkshire victory looked likely as Sidebottom and Bresnan bowled outstanding opening spells before lunch.
Derbyshire skipper Wayne Madsen was first to go – tamely prodding at Bresnan and offering a simple catch to Azeem Rafiq at third slip – before opening partner Matt Lineker had his off-stump upended by the England seamer.
Sidebottom thought he had Khawaja caught behind, but the Australian survived the appeal and despite the outside edge being beaten numerous times he and Wes Durston reached lunch with the score on 48 for two.
With overcast conditions clearing there was little assistance for the bowlers in the afternoon, although Bresnan induced Durston to hit to midwicket only for Adil Rashid to spill the chance diving to his left.
Khawaja and Durston had put on 90 for the third wicket by the time the former Somerset man fell lbw playing around a straight Patterson delivery for 39.
Dan Redfern was caught behind by keeper Andrew Hodd off Sidebottom for the second time in the match having made just two, but Khawaja found another willing partner in Ross Whiteley.
The left-handed pair added 66, crucially putting Derbyshire ahead, and Khawaja brought up his ton with a six into the stands off Rashid.
Whiteley – having made a more subdued 90-ball 17 – fell trying to be aggressive, picking out Gale at extra-cover off Rafiq.
Khawaja charged Rafiq and hit him down the ground for a maximum before the sides shook hands on a draw 14 overs before the scheduled close, with Derbyshire taking six points to Yorkshire’s 11.
Bresnan finished with second-innings figures of 2-55, while Sidebottom’s 1-45 was scant reward for his endeavours.