County round-up: Yorkshire close in on win despite dropped catches

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The Independent Online

Yorkshire should ease their relegation fears a little by completing only their second Championship win of the season provided a seaside crowd wanting their money's worth does not induce a fatal attack of the jitters against Worcestershire at Scarborough. Worryingly, there seemed every possibility that might happen yesterday as a succession of dropped catches turned a routine victory into something rather more tricky.

With a first-innings lead of 199, Yorkshire reduced Worcestershire to 171 for 7 when Ajmal Shahzad claimed his third wicket. Yet it took them another 38 overs to take the final three wickets, as their guests almost doubled their score.

The last two wickets alone added 116 as Saeed Ajmal and Jack Shantry supplemented Gareth Andrew's 57 by scoring 47 each and even No 11 Alan Richardson weighed in with 31.

Yet Andrew was dropped on 15 by Adil Rashid at third slip and both Ajmal and Shantry by Gary Ballance at second, on 19 and 21. It left Yorkshire needing 134 to move ahead of Worcestershire and out of the bottom three. They begin the last day on 80 for 3.

In the Second Division, Surrey clinched a tense 21-run win in a nerve-jangling finish at The Oval that left Kent captain Rob Key crestfallen after the former England batsman failed to steer his side home. Key's epic 162 ended when he was bowled behind his legs and then last man Ashley Shaw aimed an ill-judged reverse sweep at off-spinner Gareth Batty only to glove a simple chance to Jason Roy at short leg.

Leicestershire's woeful season continued as they crashed to a 254-run defeat against Essex at Grace Road to remain lodged at the bottom.