Rain prevents White Rose charge

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Yorkshire made good on their promise of a positive approach, but rain meant they had to be content with a draw against Essex in LV= County Championship Division Two.

Captain Andrew Gale set the visitors a generous target of 262 in 74 overs after his quickfire 48 not out helped the White Rose to 212 for four declared shortly before lunch.

Essex were reduced to seven for two after Ajmal Shahzad trapped openers Billy Godleman and Alviro Petersen in front at Headingley Carnegie.

Ajmal Shahzad

Ajmal Shahzad bowled with great pace and accuracy to claim two wickets but his efforts were in vain as Yorkshire drew with Essex

But at 26 for two after 11 overs, heavy rain came to the rescue of Essex as, a couple of hours later, the game had to be abandoned, with Yorkshire taking seven points and their opponents six.

Ryan Sidebottom and Shahzad shared the new ball for Yorkshire and this time it was the latter who looked the more dangerous following the former's five-wicket haul in the first innings.

Showing greater accuracy than earlier in the game but losing none of his pace, Shahzad had Petersen lbw well back in his crease to make it four for one in the fourth over.

He then gained a similar verdict against Godleman, before Tom Westley and Ravi Bopara took Essex in to lunch on 17 for two.

Bopara, who hit an unbeaten century in the first innings, was the man Yorkshire wanted to remove, yet their hopes were dashed by the weather 10 minutes after the interval.

Yorkshire entered the final day on 144 for two, leading by 191, but got off to a bad start as Joe Sayers aimed a cut at David Masters and was caught behind for 45 off the first ball of the morning.

Rain soon caused an eight-over stoppage, but Gale and Jonny Bairstow remained positive on the resumption; the former launched Greg Smith for a big six over long-on before Bairstow pulled Westley for four.

After hitting three fours in his 24, Bairstow struck Smith to Adam Wheater at deep square-leg, and Gale would have departed for 31 had substitute fielder Charl Willoughby held a straight forward chance at long-off.

He had advanced to 48 from 52 balls - with two fours and as many sixes - when he declared on 214 for four, his boldness being rewarded with the wickets of the two Essex openers before the rain came.

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