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Yorkshire on the brink of clinching English County Championship after defeating Lancashire

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Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie has been instrumental for Yorkshire’s success in recent times and has nurtured several young players who are a part of England currently © Getty Images

London: Sep 3, 2014

A Yorkshire side coached by former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie were closing in on the English County Championship title after an innings and 18-run win away to arch-rivals Lancashire. Wednesday’s victory at Old Trafford left First Division leaders Yorkshire 26 points clear of second-placed Nottinghamshire ahead of next week’s match between the top two at Trent Bridge.

But Yorkshire’s first Roses victory in 16 years came at the cost of captain Andrew Gale earning a suspension that will rule him out for the rest of the season after a dust-up with Lancashire’s Ashwell Prince. Gale, unhappy at what he saw as batsman Prince’s delaying tactics on Tuesday, used some choice words to let the South African know what he thought of his approach.

His apology to Lancashire captain Glen Chapple before play on Wednesday came too late to spare Gale from a ban. “He’s our leader, the leader of Yorkshire County Cricket Club,” Gillespie told the Cricinfo website.

“For him to be missing the last two games is devastating for the man himself. We really feel for him and are disappointed.

“His season is over and he is quite understandably devastated after such a great win here,” added the 39-year-old Gillespie, who took 259 wickets in 71 Tests for Australia from 1996-2006.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Gale’s ban in a statement, which confirmed he had been reported by umpires Steve Garrett and Steve O’Shaughnessy for “using language or gesture that is obscene or of a serious insulting nature to another player, umpire, referee, team official or spectator”.

The addition of a six-point penalty on his disciplinary record took Gale to 12 points, the stage at which a suspension is triggered, and he has been banned up to and including Friday, September 26.

On the field, Australia’s Usman Khawaja did his best to spare Lancashire from defeat with a painstaking 117 in the home side’s second innings.

But the match was a personal triumph for Yorkshire’s Adam Lyth.

Tipped by some pundits as a possible replacement for Australia-born England opener Sam Robson, Lyth made 251 — just shy of the Roses record of 252 set by Darren Lehmann, now the coach of Australia, when Yorkshire last won the title in 2001.

This fixture was also memorable for leg-spinning all-rounder Adil Rashid, who is bidding to revive his England career.

Rashid made 159 not out in Yorkshire’s total of 610 for six declared — a Roses record — and took five for 117 in Lancashire’s second innings 314 all out.

“It was a lovely win,” said Gillespie. “It’s a great position to be in, no question.

“But we’ve got Nottinghamshire away and they’re a very good team.

“We’re under no illusions, it’s going to be a tough challenge for us down at Trent Bridge.”

Gale’s enforced absence could pave the way for either one of England batsmen Joe Root and Gary Ballance, currently on one-day international duty against India, to return to action against Nottinghamshire.

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