More one-day misery for Steelbacks

Northampton, Steelbacks v Yorkshire: Millers wicket falls.'09/08/12
Northampton, Steelbacks v Yorkshire: Millers wicket falls.'09/08/12

In the limited overs formats, the County Ground is anything but a fortress.

In 10 attempts the Steelbacks have yet to register a victory on home soil with the latest reverse coming at the hands of an efficient Yorkshire outfit.

Northampton, Steelbacks v Yorkshire: '09/08/12

Northampton, Steelbacks v Yorkshire: '09/08/12

And although three of those games finished prematurely due to rain, it is still a record that should cause a great deal of embarrasment.

The Clydesdale Bank 40 became a lost cause a while ago and given the way that the Steelbacks have played one-day cricket throughout the season, the fact they opted to bowl first after winning the toss – not the usual practice in floodlit affairs - was neither here nor there.

But what it does do, especially for a side fielding two spinners, is allow them to dictate terms and set up a demanding chase and that is exactly what they did for 30 overs of their innings.

Led by Phil Jaques, and well supported by David Miller, the visitors cruised along at virtually a run-a-ball to set a platform for a late onslaught which didn’t quite materialise.

Northampton, Steelbacks v Yorkshire: Jaques caught.'09/08/12

Northampton, Steelbacks v Yorkshire: Jaques caught.'09/08/12

Even so, 85 from the final 10 overs wasn’t too shabby and a target of 263 is rarely straightforward.

Having said that, the hosts negotiated the initial powerplay comfortably enough and it was all too apparent that the overs bowled by Rashid and Rafiq, given the Steelbacks’ struggles against the turning ball, would prove to be pivotal.

And it was Rashid, who would finish with career best List A figures of 4-38, who generated a double breakthrough as he persuaded Rob Newton to drive to mid-off and Alex Wakely to walk past a leg-side wide.

At the other end, Niall O’Brien was motoring along nicely until he hit a rank Rashid full toss to midwicket and that lengthened the home side’s odds of victory.

Northampton, Steelbacks v Yorkshire: '09/08/12

Northampton, Steelbacks v Yorkshire: '09/08/12

But while David Sales was at the crease there was a chance and he reached a fluent half-century just before the last 10 overs arrived with the required rate exceeding 10 per over.

His run out going for a second hardly helped matters, in fact it left too steep a hill to climb and Yorkshire were able to close the game out comfortably.

Earlier in the piece, Jaques and Andrew Gale had started briskly before the Yorkshire captain fell in Luke Evans’ first over of the season in senior cricket, slashing to backward point.

The north easterner was the pick of the home attack and his 2-46, he also got rid of Jaques, didn’t really indicate how well he performed.

Before the ex-County man had fallen in the first over of the batting powerplay, the bat had dominated with Adam Lyth and Miller scoring freely but the dismissal of the latter, who provided a highlight when he hoisted Evans on to the Wantage Road stand roof, prevented what could’ve quite easily been a massive total.

Lee Daggett was the beneficiary of the visitors’ abandon with four victims, one of whom, Rashid, ensured that momentum didn’t dry up entirely in the latter stages.