County Championship: Yorkshire skittle Middlesex to seal title

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Yorkshire's Andrew Gale has 'special feeling' after win
LV= County Championship Division One, Lord's (day one, close)
Middlesex 106: Simpson 28; Sidebottom 5-18, Bresnan 4-30
Yorkshire 238-9: Gale 98, Lees 39; Dexter 3-24, Roland-Jones 3-70
Yorkshire lead by 132 runs with one wicket remaining
Middlesex 3pts, Yorkshire 4pts
Match scorecard and live text commentary

Yorkshire clinched a second consecutive Championship title as a superb bowling display dismissed Middlesex for 106 on the first morning at Lord's.

The home side were 0-3 at the end of Ryan Sidebottom's opening over, taking him past 700 first-class victims.

The left-armer later bowled last man Tim Murtagh for figures of 5-18, with Tim Bresnan contributing 4-30.

Yorkshire also struggled with the bat in reply, but skipper Andrew Gale made 98 as they reached the close on 238-9.

Their title was confirmed when Notts were bowled out for 204 in their home game with Durham.

Following Middlesex's collapse, they were the only side with a mathematical possibility of denying Yorkshire, but needed the maximum of five batting bonus points to stay in the race, and only managed one.

Sidebottom's golden arm
Ryan Sidebottom has played in nine of Yorkshire's 14 Championship games this summer, taking 39 wickets - including five or more in an innings on three occasions.

Yorkshire arrived at Lord's with a 43-point lead over Middlesex, and opted to put them in on a greenish surface after winning the toss.

Sidebottom's third ball trapped Paul Stirling lbw and he had Nick Compton caught behind and bowled Dawid Malan with successive deliveries later in the over.

Debutant Stevie Eskinazi edged to Adam Lyth in the slips and when Bresnan took over from Sidebottom's new-ball partner Jack Brooks, he quickly had Neil Dexter caught behind.

Sam Robson (26) followed in similar fashion and off-spinner James Middlebrook removed John Simpson (28) with the final ball before lunch.

From 92-7 at the interval, Middlesex lost their last three wickets for 14 runs as Sidebottom finished the innings with the final ball of the 33rd over.

Failing to gain any batting bonus points meant the home side could no longer catch Yorkshire in the Division One table, even if they somehow manage to win the match.

The visitors progressed to 129-3 at tea in reply, with Gale - who was not on the field when they won the title in 2014 because of suspension - unbeaten on 54.

The left-hander looked set for a third century of the summer, but was caught at second slip off Neil Dexter (3-24) as he looked to play the ball into the leg-side and the champions slumped from 187-4 to 221-9.

It looked like they might be dismissed before stumps, but bad light brought a slightly premature end with Jack Brooks 12 not out and Sidebottom on nine.

Yorkshire players celebrate a Ryan Sidebottom wicket
Ryan Sidebottom's opening over gave Yorkshire an immediate initiative at the home of cricket
Andrew Gale
Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale receives a painful blow during his innings for the 2015 champions

Yorkshire cricket director Martyn Moxon:

"The first win is really special, but given the circumstances this is probably a bigger achievement than winning last year.

"That first over epitomised what Ryan was all about, and to get his 700th wicket as well, he's been a fantastic bowler over the years and there's still a lot of life left in him.

"To combine developing England players with domestic success is a fantastic effort from everyone involved.

"To have provided so many England players this summer and still won the Championship, with two and a half games left, I think it's a remarkable achievement."

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