Young digs in to steer Northants to share of the spoils against Yorkshire

Will Young’s six-hour vigil for 96 thwarted Yorkshire’s hopes of victory as Northamptonshire dug in to secure a draw in their LV= Insurance County Championship encounter at Wantage Road.

By Ben Kosky
Sunday, 24th April 2022, 7:29 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th April 2022, 7:32 pm
Will Young's 96 from 241 balls helped Northants to a draw against Yorkshire at the County Ground on Sunday
Will Young's 96 from 241 balls helped Northants to a draw against Yorkshire at the County Ground on Sunday

The opener batted painstakingly to hold their second innings together, narrowly missing out on a debut hundred after he played on to Matthew Revis with 26 overs remaining.

But wicketkeeper Lewis McManus, on loan from Hampshire, seized the baton with a spirited unbeaten 62 to steer the home side – set a nominal target of 499 – to safety at 318 for seven.

It was the County’s second successive battling draw since returning to the top flight, having also shared the spoils with Gloucestershire a fortnight ago.

Although Yorkshire had gone wicketless on the third evening, an explosive opening spell by Haris Rauf soon made inroads, with home captain Ricardo Vasconcelos (29) fending a short ball into the hands of third slip.

Emilio Gay, who had top-scored with 65 in the first innings, was snapped up at short leg for a duck in Rauf’s next over and, when Revis had Saif Zaib caught behind soon afterwards, Northants were stumbling at 79 for three.

Deploying as many as eight close fielders at times, Yorkshire sensed an opportunity to force home their advantage – but they found Young in obdurate mood.

The New Zealander batted sensibly and patiently in tandem with Rob Keogh (48) to blunt the threat of Dom Bess, who plugged away from the David Capel End before switching post-lunch.

There was little reward for the off-spinner – or for Rauf, whose second spell was less productive than his first.

Yorkshire had already used seven bowlers, including Adam Lyth and Dawid Malan, when they turned to George Hill’s medium pace midway through the afternoon – and his first delivery produced the breakthrough, with Keogh caught off a leading edge at short extra cover.

That broke the fourth-wicket partnership at 99 and the White Rose also prised out Luke Procter (13), lbw to a straight one from Bess as Young inched towards three figures.

A stylish pull to the boundary off Revis took the opener to 96, but later in the same over he was finally dismissed, attempting to leave a ball outside off stump and dragging onto the stumps instead.

Having dominated his partnership of 41 with Young, McManus began to curb his attacking instinct but nevertheless advanced to his 10th first-class half-century by cutting Rauf to the boundary.

Matthew Kelly proved a capable ally, swatting Rauf for two sixes in his knock of 42 and, although Revis (3-57) yorked him late on, McManus and Gareth Berg held out to clinch the draw.

Result: Northamptonshire (12pts) drew with Yorkshire (13pts)