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Thursday 10th
posted by Morning Star in Sport

by Michael McCann at Lord's

Sport sometimes has a funny way of providing poetic justice.

Twelve months ago Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale (pictured) watched his side lift the Division One County Championship trophy, but was cruelly prevented from partaking in the celebrations by the powers that be.

Thus it is fitting that at Lord’s, of all grounds, the skipper hit 98 on the day Yorkshire completed a successful defence of their title against Middlesex — this time he will get to lift the trophy himself.

Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon said that this season has been fuelled partially by a feeling that Gale deserves a true moment of glory, evident right from the first over of play.

Ryan Sidebottom bowled like a man possessed, dismissing Paul Stirling, Nick Compton and Dawid Malan within the first over to leave Middlesex 0-3.

Debutant Stephen Eskinazi also fell to the curly-haired 37-year-old before Tim Bresnan took 4-30 to run through the lower order.

Fittingly Sidebottom finished what he started by dismissing Tim Murtagh to claim 5-18, leaving the hosts 106 all out, John Simpson top-scoring with a counter-attacking 28.

Adam Lyth hit two beautiful offside boundaries in the opening over as Yorkshire raced to 42-0 at over a run a ball, suggesting that they had reaching battle points to seal title glory on their minds.

Lyth and Alex Lees then both fell after making starts for 25 and 39 respectively, before Gary Ballance fell for a duck to Toby Roland-Jones.

That set the stage for Gale, who batted superbly but was caught at slip just short of what would have been a deserved century, before Neil Dexter took 3-24 as Yorkshire eventually finished comfortably ahead of their hosts.