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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence