England man Bess has Northants in a spin as Yorkshire fight back
Dom Bess handed England’s selectors a timely reminder with a career-best seven-wicket return to leave Northants on the back foot in their key LV= County Championship clash with Yorkshire.
Off-spinner Bess, who is eyeing a Test recall when the series against India begins next month, finished with seven for 43 to restrict the County to 170 in their first innings at Wantage Road.
Northants weren't helped by the fact they were effectively reduced to 10 men, as key batsman Luke Procter missed the whole day due to 'personal reasons'.
The County's first innings effort left Yorkshire with a minimal deficit of 12 and Harry Brook’s unbeaten 76, his highest red-ball score of the campaign, steered them to 159 for six at stumps, an overall lead of 147.
Despite Simon Kerrigan’s four for 31, Northants look set for a difficult run chase on a turning wicket as they bid for the victory that would maintain their hopes of a top-two finish in Group Three.
Resuming on 61 for two, the County initially made good progress in the morning, with the newly-capped Ricardo Vasconcelos batting confidently for his knock of 55.
However, Bess triggered a middle-order collapse, with four wickets falling quickly as the spinner found turn and bounce to have both Charlie Thurston and Vasconcelos well taken by Harry Duke behind the stumps.
With Rob Keogh fending a Duanne Olivier bouncer into the hands of second slip – and Procter absent – the home side suddenly found themselves floundering at what was effectively 110 for seven.
Saif Zaib dropped anchor, batting an hour and 20 minutes for just 11 as he and Tom Taylor – who struck six fours in an unbeaten 42 – stopped the rot with a partnership of 36 either side of lunch.
Bess cleaned up the tail, trapping both Zaib and Wayne Parnell leg before and having Ben Sanderson caught at slip just after Taylor had carved Steven Patterson to the third man boundary to earn his side a slender lead.
Yorkshire openers Adam Lyth and George Hill soon wiped out the deficit, but they were pegged back by the introduction of Kerrigan – the left-arm spinner’s first delivery hitting Hill’s off stump.
Deft glovework by Vasconcelos earned Kerrigan his second scalp, with debutant Sam Northeast stumped cheaply, and Yorkshire were 24 for three when the wicketkeeper dived to take Lyth’s outside edge one-handed.
Brook led the rebuilding job, sharing substantial partnerships with Gary Ballance – who was given out lbw to Kerrigan despite the hint of an inside edge – as well as Bess and Duke and dispatching Parnell for successive boundaries as he brought up his half-century.
Yorkshire first innings: 158 all out (
Northants first innings: 170-9 (Vasconcelos 55, Taylor 42no, Bess 7-43)
Yorkshire second innings: 159-6 (Kerrigan 4-31)
Yorkshire lead Northants by 147 runs with four wickets remaining