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Cricket: Chris Dawkes on how Yorkshire kept title hopes alive

Credit: PA

For some cricket is a religion and many Yorkshire fans will have been praying this morning their team could get the 350 runs needed to keep alive their title hopes and at the spiritual home of cricket the gods were smiling down on them. Azeem Rafiq dropped twice before he made his half century.

If Yorkshire are to rack up a third successive title that'll owe much to Tim Bresnan. The all rounder, batting at an unfamiliar number 5, rescued the innings with an heroic century but was powerless at the non strikers end as first Rafiq was bowled by Murtagh, then Steve Patterson went for 11 and Jack Brooks followed shortly after. That left Yorkshire 16 runs shy of that magic 350 with just one wicket remaining.

The tension was palpable as Bresnan and Ryan Sidebottom edged them closer - both literally and figuratively. But with just one run required those gods we spoke of decided to have some fun and the clouds gathered, heavens opened and the umpires took the players off. A cliffhanger even Emmerdale's scriptwriters would've been proud of.

Despite the delay Yorkshire did get the required run - Sidebottom's boundary bringing up 350. Then it was a case of building up as big a lead as they could. They eventually made 390, a lead of 120, with Bresnan unbeaten on 142. The destiny of the County Championship is still uncertain but Yorkshire can sense a third straight title could be in their sights.