Sussex vs Yorkshire: Michael Yardy rolls back the years to delay Yorkshire's Championship triumph

County Cricket: Former England one-day player completed his first century since May last year to help Sussex avoid the follow-on

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The Independent Online

A combination of rain and some stiff resistance from relegation-threatened Sussex at Hove undermined Yorkshire’s bid to secure a seventh consecutive Championship victory as they close in on back-to-back titles.

Michael Yardy, the former England one-day player who is in his final season, completed his first century since May last year to help Sussex avoid the follow-on in reply to Yorkshire’s 494. Indeed, they finished the day just one run behind.

Bad weather prevented any play before 2pm, after which it took Yorkshire more than 30 overs to break a stubborn fifth-wicket partnership between Yardy and nightwatchman Ollie Robinson, the former Yorkshire player, who was two away from a second first-class half-century when he was caught at gully off Liam Plunkett, the stand having added 97.

After Steve Patterson had bowled Luke Wright, Yardy found another useful ally in wicketkeeper Ben Brown as the Sussex total passed the follow-on cut-off.

Yardy, the 34-year-old former Sussex captain, faced 21 balls in the 90s before coming back for a second off Glenn Maxwell’s off-spin to reach three figures from 200 deliveries. He eventually fell leg-before to Ryan Sidebottom for 124 before Brown completed a century from just 84 balls with his 19th boundary.

Durham’s Chris Rushworth set a new county record for most wickets in a season on the way to his seventh five-wicket haul of the campaign against Middlesex at Chester-le-Street. The 29-year-old seamer’s five for 49 took him to 82 in first-class matches, exceeding Ottis Gibson’s 80 in 2007.

Middlesex, second in the table, were dismissed for 280 after Neil Dexter posted his first century of the season, leaving fourth-placed Durham with a target of 308 to win, although they were struggling at 134 for five at the close.

Nottinghamshire, chasing a fourth consecutive Championship win, forced Warwickshire to follow on at Trent Bridge despite a feisty 71 from Keith Barker before rain set in with the visitors 42 without loss but still 298 runs behind.

Billy Godleman, the former Middlesex and Essex batsman, became the first Derbyshire player to compile centuries in three consecutive first-class innings since former England batsman Kim Barnett achieved the feat in 1993 when he completed his second of the match against Kent at Derby.

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