Northants dig in to defy Yorkshire
A combination of courageous batting by Northamptonshire and bad light frustrated Yorkshire in their bid to secure an LV= County Championship victory at Headingley Carnegie.
The 11 points from the draw pushed the White Rose into second place in Division Two but it was still a big disappointment for the home side that they could not sweep aside their opponents and record a third win of the season.
Northamptonshire were 250 for six and leading by 118 when the umpires brought the players off, despite Yorkshire having two spinners on.
The two unbeaten batsmen were David Murphy and Con de Lange, who had denied the hosts for 18 overs while adding 52.
Northamptonshire still trailed by 120 when they resumed the final day on 43 for one and only four had been added in almost half an hour when Stephen Peters drove at Steven Patterson and deflected the ball on to his stumps.
Yorkshire had to wait for the light to improve before they dared to unleash Australia fast bowler, Mitchell Starc, but it was the introduction of off-spinner Azeem Rafiq that ended a promising stand between Kyle Coetzer and Alex Wakely.
Coetzer, having battled away for two hours in reaching 39, gave a bat-pad chance that was snapped up by Joe Root at short-leg.
There was no sign of Northants throwing in the towel, however, and Rob White joined Wakely to take the score on to 120 for three at lunch.
The battle continued in the afternoon but Wakely relieved pressure on the batting side by off-driving Rafiq cleanly for six.
Yorkshire needed a breakthrough and it came when their lead had been whittled down to just three runs, White being bowled for 42 playing over a ball from the patient Patterson.
In the same over, skipper Andrew Hall put Northants in the black by finding the square-leg boundary.
Wakely completed his half-century with a Chinese cut for four off Starc but, soon afterwards, the same bowler got some lift to a delivery which left Hall and he was caught behind by Jonny Bairstow.
Starc gave Yorkshire renewed hope by bowling the obdurate Wakely, whose 66 spanned three hours and 21 minutes.
Northants went in to tea on 205 for six and leading by 42 with a minimum of 37 overs remaining.
Soon after the interval, Yorkshire had two chances off consecutive balls but both went begging.
First, de Lange swung Rafiq wide of mid-on and Starc was unable to get into position for the catch, the ball just brushing his fingers.
The batsmen ran two and Gary Ballance was then unable to take another chance from de Lange as he dived on to the pitch from silly point.
Yorkshire took the new ball as soon as it became available but the draw soon became inevitable as the light deteriorated even further.