Yorkshire CCC v Warwickshire: White Rose beaten to leave title hopes in ruins
Yorkshire’s title hopes are hanging by a thread after suffering a final-day defeat to Warwickshire at Emerald Headingley.
The Bears defended a 224 target to win by 106 runs and move second in the Division One table ahead of next week’s blockbuster final round, 3.5 points behind leaders Hampshire.
Heading into that final round, in the race for the Championship title and qualification for the Bob Willis Trophy final, the top four teams in Division One are separated by just 6.5 points.
After a third day washout due to rain, Yorkshire resumed day four on 50 for three and were bowled out for 117 inside 75 minutes of play. Chris Woakes claimed three for 26, while Tim Bresnan also finished with six catches in the innings at first slip.
He is only the third Bear to achieve that feat in first-class cricket alongside Rikki Clarke with seven and MJK Smith six.
The Division One table now reads: Hampshire 58.5 points, Warwickshire 55, Lancashire 54.5, Nottinghamshire 52, Yorkshire 41.5 and Somerset 26.5.
Lancashire host Hampshire at Liverpool, Warwickshire face Somerset at Edgbaston and Notts play Yorkshire at Trent Bridge.
As Warwickshire chase their first Championship title since 2012, Yorkshire can still qualify in the top two places for the Bob Willis final.
Woakes gave the Bears the ideal start with the two key Yorkshire wickets in the opening half hour of play, leaving the score at 69 for five in the 33rd over of the innings.
If the White Rose were going to reel in the target, you felt Gary Ballance and Harry Brook would have to contribute significantly. But both fell.
Ballance, for 21, edged to Sam Hain at second slip with the day’s third ball - 50 for four - before a Brook edge on nine gave Bresnan his fourth catch at first slip.
Further Warwickshire success was just around the corner.
Bresnan and Craig Miles both struck in their second overs of the morning, the 38th and 41st, as Yorkshire slipped to the brink at 95 for seven.
Bresnan trapped Dom Bess lbw before Miles had Harry Duke caught and bowled for single-figure scores.
Bresnan’s fifth catch of the innings - the Warwickshire record is a world record equalling seven by Clarke at Liverpool in 2011 - then came when Liam Norwell snared Jordan Thompson for 18, leaving the score at 105 for eight in the 46th.
And number six followed when Steve Patterson flashed at, and edged, Miles - 114 for nine in the 49th.
The end came in the 50th when Ben Coad chipped Norwell to mid-on. Norwell and Miles also impressed for three wickets each.