Durham 227 (Robinson 44, Hill 4-43, Thompson 3-55) and 246 for 9 (Jones 56, Raine 50*, Fisher 4-64, Thompson 3-55) Yorkshire 254 (Masood 44, Potts 4-49) and 218 (Hill 51, Raine 4-36, Potts 4-61) by one wicket
The pain of Yorkshire continues. Cricket revolutions may be driven by principles and beliefs, but they are fueled by results. Those victories won’t come before the new dawn of Yorkshire and Durham’s nerve-racking one-wicket win at Chester-le-Street will spark further resentment in the Broad Acres over the on-field failures of a county on the brink of bankruptcy.
This was a great game, fluctuating all the time, and often of Division One quality, even if the last memory for Yorkshire will be of pace bowling deficiencies that just won’t go away.
Durham’s promotion challenge appears to be a long one, although Carse’s injury is a concern and Potts could potentially get a call from Ashes. There is a clear sense of well-being in the Northeast under the leadership of new head coach Ryan Campbell. When England captain Ben Stokes comes out of your own dressing room, his drive for positive, pressureless cricket is amplified.
Raine said, “Every game was fun to be a part of, even games where we lost and drew.” Yorkshire didn’t look like they were having fun. They looked like they felt the pressure. It’s hard to have fun when old men fight no matter where you look.
Both the night before, when Yorkshire unsuccessfully took the extra half hour, and the final morning, when Durham added the last 33 runs, there was no swing or seam to be had and the treacherous low bounce that Yorkshire had hoped for, and that was throughout the been responsible for many lingering events for four days, but never materialized.
But there was drama as Jordan Thompson fell to the ground in obvious pain when he couldn’t stop a straight ride from Raine in his sequel. It looked serious, his leg kicking the ground in pain, but during a long delay, the physio replaced a dislocated finger and, limping for good, Thompson caused general astonishment by continuing with the over.
Perhaps understandably, Thompson’s body language was unpromising as Durham ticked off the runs with purpose and common sense. Matthew Fisher, the one-tempo bowler of quality, lacked conviction and is well behind the pace that brought him England recognition, as if a succession of injuries has knocked him back. Shan Masood, beaten in his first match as captain, has shown little confidence in lanky Australian Mickey Edwards on such a sluggish surface.
He started the morning with Hill, who had taken only 32 first-class wickets before this match, and also entrusted him with the lone new ball.
Criticism will mount in the defeat with Ottis Gibson, the head coach, no doubt going to be in the firing line as the realization sinks in that they are now bottom of the table. Many want him to supervise a successful renewal. But there are also many disparaged supporters of yesteryear, who refuse to tolerate any kind of racism, and who claim they don’t care anymore, often in such an emotional way that it’s clear that they still really care. to give. Supposedly the phrase “take your bat and ball home” comes from cricket and if so it’s a good bet it’s Yorkshire cricket.
Gibson said: “There are a lot of different emotions. We’ve done a lot of good things. In a game like this where things come down to small margins, it’s hard to take.
“Our drought of 17 wins doesn’t affect the players. We know we didn’t win. I don’t think we counted; 17 sounds like a lot. But we keep putting ourselves in a position to win games.” “Maybe we lack a little bit of toughness in key moments that can pull us over the line. But from my point of view, at least we put ourselves in those positions.”
In Gibson’s defense, he inherited a toxic dressing room after the fallout from Azeem Rafiq’s accusations of racism and has done well to keep his spirits up. In defence, this narrow defeat matched well the seven previous defeats Yorkshire have suffered since the start of 2022 by beating Gloucestershire at Bristol. Many could have gone either way.
That win left Cricket Director Darren Gough looking fondly at the Championship which could be undermined by an ECB points penalty. Since then they have endured a series of painful setbacks – 18 runs, 1 wicket (twice now), 2 wickets, 4 wickets. Only Hampshire and Surrey gave them a beating last summer, but they were relegated on the last day. Yorkshire has forgotten how to win.
As for a possible points penalty, unfortunately it still hangs over them. The postponement may be politically pragmatic as the ECB works its way through the racism scandal, but it’s no way to treat young professionals trying to make their way.
Yorkshire have had only two longer series in their history without a championship win, both of which came this century, as the county’s self-esteem over its illustrious history all too often failed to translate into results.
Their no-win record was 20 in 2008-2009, and given the altercations of the past two years, it’s intriguing, perhaps even instructive, to think about some of those involved.
Michael Vaughan retired mid-season, furious that Yorkshire tried to give him a farewell appearance before he was ready to announce the news; Matthew Hoggard was released at the end of the season claiming to have been fired; Andrew Gale took over as captain half way through and in this volatile atmosphere a young lad named Rafiq, barely noticed in the corner of the dressing room, was trying to make his way.
David Hopps writes about county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps