County Championship round-up: Yorkshire confirm status as title favourites after finishing off Northants


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The Independent Online

Match of the day

Yorkshire needed only until 2.45pm on the final afternoon to finish off Northamptonshire, winning by 271 runs to reinforce an impression they have created more than once that while the race for the County Championship retains an open feel, they are the front runners. All of their three wins have been by impressively wide margins: by an innings against Northamptonshire and Warwickshire at home, and now this.

Given that they had been 115 in arrears on first innings, having been bowled out for 136, it was an extraordinary turnaround. Made possible by openers Adam Lyth and Alex Lees, in their record-breaking 375-run partnership, it was completed by some ruthless bowling. Liam Plunkett, who bowled with pace and hostility to capture four of the last five wickets finishing with 4 for 42.

Batsman of the Day

Alex Hales may not want to be pigeonholed as a Twenty20 specialist but what he did for Nottinghamshire at Hove had a definite feel of cricket's shortest form as he put his side in command against Sussex.

Hales capitalised on his luck after being dropped on 32 to reach 100 in just 96 balls, with 16 fours, before treating the crowd to a blistering array of big hits that took him to 150 from only 27 more deliveries. He was caught out at wide long-on for 167 from 133 balls with 18 fours and six sixes.

Bowler of the Day

Somerset all-rounder Peter Trego took six wickets in the day – three in Lancashire's first innings and three in the second after captain Marcus Trescothick enforced the follow-on at Old Trafford – but that was trumped by Jack Shantry of Worcestershire, whose 6 for 53 against Surrey at The Oval included four in 11 balls.

England Watch

All-rounder Ben Stokes stepped up his comeback for Durham by bowling six second-innings overs in addition to 16 in the first innings against Middlesex at Chester-le-Street, taking two wickets, although one – which bowled wicketkeeper John Simpson – was from a full toss so high it could easily have been called a no-ball.