Kent 142 and 318 Yorkshire 285 and 176-6 Yorkshire won by 4 wkts

Yorkshire hail Fellows' fling

When Yorkshire last won the Championship, websites where were spiders lived. Now the competition is being sponsored by one of them. The change is merely indicative of how long the wait has been.

When Yorkshire last won the Championship, websites where were spiders lived. Now the competition is being sponsored by one of them. The change is merely indicative of how long the wait has been.

It is 33 years to be exact, and for much of the match yesterday Yorkshire could not entirely dispel the feeling that the figure will reach at least 34. Yet they came through in the end, bustling their way to a four-wicket victory with only two balls remaining.

Time and again in the past few summers ­ following a pair of grim decades ­ they have promised to take back the pennant to the place where it has resided 29 times, only to stumble when it mattered. Maybe this was the sort of last-minute hurdle ­ making a straightforward victory complicated ­ they needed to stoke up reserves of self-belief.

Yorkshire were left with 176 to win from 38 overs after a staunch Kent rearguard and a bowling performance which lacked urgency combined to take the match long past its likely finishing time. In mitigation, they were without Matthew Hoggard's bowling for most of the match, but at the start of the day Kent were only 43 ahead with five wickets left. Hoggard will have a back scan tomorrow to determine his injury, but he looks doubtful for the First Test against Pakistan at Lord's on 17 May.

To say that Yorkshire finally paced the pursuit just right is to invest their batting display with a subtlety it did not contain. But they kept going and they all contributed. It will have helped them, too, that their main contributor was not their prolific Australian, Darren Lehmann, who has shored up their batting for most of the past two seasons. True, his rapid 41 was important, but the game was finished with no little calmness by Gary Fellows, who is by no means a regular in the side and still has a top score for the county of 46.

He drove the fourth ball of the final over through mid-off for four. The boundary did not count because the batsmen had already completed the single necessary for Yorkshire to collect 17 points.

Kent deserved to feel disappointed. Although their poor first-innings batting always seemed likely to provoke the eventual outcome, they compensated substantially in the second. Robert Key departed early enough, adding only one of the three runs he needed to complete his second consecutive century. Key had begun his innings in splendid form but by the time he reached his nineties had batted himself out of it. Still, he stayed for nine overs on 96, which shows commendable restraint that was missing a year ago.

It was Ed Smith who then kept Kent in the match. With immense fortitude and the occasional beautiful shot off his legs or through the covers, he batted in all for a few minutes short of five hours. There were 13 fours in the seventh hundred of his career and his first at Canterbury. Kent have now scored four Championship centuries this summer, as many as they managed throughout 2000.

Smith and Min Patel used up most of the precious time, putting on 91 in 38 overs. Yorkshire were becoming frustrated when their captain, David Byas, called on Michael Lumb in his first Championship match. Lumb took a wicket with his second ball, Patel fetching a ball from outside off on to his stumps.

If this was a ball too late to gain him a place in posterity, it did for Yorkshire in this match. Lumb then took his second first-class wicket and Smith was unbeaten on 103 when the innings ended.

Yorkshire began the pursuit at a rapid pace (as if they had a choice). But Michael Vaughan was well held by Mark Ealham at third man, who ran in and took the carve-cum- drive off his bootlaces.

The quick exit of Anthony McGrath brought in Lehmann, Yorkshire's best hope of victory. He improvised wonderfully in making 41 from 41 balls and Yorkshire had a glimpse of the finishing line. Simon Widdup's departure to Patel was not as damaging as Lehmann's dismissal nine runs later. He walked across his crease to make room and found himself yorked. An improvisation too many.

Fellows and Byas prodded and poked away, doing just enough, never letting the run rate grow too momentous. But Byas was leg before hoicking across the line and then Lumb, son of Richard, was run out, hesitating fractionally while pondering a second.

But Fellows and Richard Blakey merely acquired what they had to. Yorkshire constantly kept the required rate at just the right side of a run a ball and with five needed from the final over there was little breath-holding round the ground. Yorkshire have begun well in the CricInfo Championship.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
tech
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
News
newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
Life and Style
Duchess of Cambridge standswith officials outside of the former wartime spy centre in Bletchley Park
tech
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'