Yorkshire claimed their first County cricket title since 2001, thanks to a ruthless display in the field on Friday morning. It took them only 97 minutes of play to wrap up the Notts second innings for 177, ensuring that Yorkshire won the match by an innings and 152 runs and the title with a game to spare. The White Rose supporters seemed to have travelled south en masse as shouts of "Yorkshire, Yorkshire" rang out long before the end.
Perhaps fittingly it was the old foot soldier Ryan Sidebottom, son of Arnie a Yorks' stalwart of years gone by, who took four of the last five last Notts wickets to fall, including the clincher. A "perfect" haul was only foiled by Adil Rashid's dismissal of Ball. Sidebottom finished with impressive match figures of 9 -65. However, this was a team and squad effort, as partially demonstrated by Sidebottom's persistence in celebrating with fellow quickie Jack Brooks after each wicket fell. Brooks himself huffed and puffed in support without success at the other end, sporting his trademark (white this time) headband akin to John McEnroe in his heyday.
Sidebottom was a member of the Yorkshire team that last won the title and in all this was his 4th. Maybe this could be classed as his sweetest though with his birth county again and in the autumn of his playing career.
It was a pity that club captain for the last 5 years, Andrew Gale, was not allowed to be part of the prize giving by the ECB, having been banned for the last two matches after an unsavoury incident in the previous game against Lancashire. Joe Root was a more than adequate "stand in" during the match at least, perhaps hinting at his future role with the national side.
The battle for runners up spot seems to be leaning Warwickshire's way after they defeated Northants by an innings and 16 runs to move ahead of Notts in the table. In much the same way as Yorkshire, the foundations for their win were set by their huge first innings and they wrapped up the remaining 5 wickets required yesterday. Warwickshire leapfrogged Notts into second place and now head them by 15 points going into the final round of matches.
Yorkshire can not be caught though at the top and their final match will represent little more than a victory parade now that the title is theirs once again.