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Khawaja century inspires most crucial of draws for Derbyshire

Usman Khawaja inspired Derbyshire to a fourth day rearguard action at Headingley, as the visitors secured a crucial draw in their quest for promotion.

The Australian hit an unbeaten 110 as Derbyshire recovered from failing to avoid the follow on by repelling the Yorkshire attack throughout the remainder of the day.

Resuming needing 38 further runs to avoid the follow on, the not out pair of David Wainwright and Tim Groenewald began positively, repelling the spin pair of Azeem Rafiq and Adil Rashid to take the required target down to 13.

However as Wainwright celebrated a resolute and vital 50, he was run out by Patterson attempting a second run down to fine leg.

Mark Turner then hit back to back fours, however Groenewald was then caught at the wicket for 21 off Tim Bresnan with just three more runs needed to avoid the follow on and secure an almost certain draw; Derbyshire all out for 268 and game on.

Derbyshire’s 2nd innings then got off badly, with Bresnan accounting for Madsen (5) and Lineker (8) to leave the visitors 18-2.

Former England bowler Ryan Sidebottom was also causing problems, however Usman Khawaja and Wes Durston batted defiantly to negotiate the final hour of the session; Derbyshire reaching 48-2 at Lunch and trailing by 104 runs.

Derbyshire continued to defy Yorkshire in the afternoon session, however the dismissals of Durston (39) and Dan Redfern (2) to Patterson and Rafiq respectively, set nerves jangling as Yorkshire looked to force a positive result.

However Khawaja wasn’t budging and along with Ross Whiteley began to calm the Derbyshire nerves once again, reaching Tea with no further loss of wickets; 125-4 with Khawaja – reaching a vital half century – 54* and Whiteley 12*.

The 20 minute interval did little to thwart the Derbyshire rearguard action as the visitors chased down and passed Yorkshire’s lead to take one step closer to saving the game.

Khawaja- who has batted magnificently – then reached a richly deserved century from 192 deliveries with the game all but safe in his most crucial knock for Derbyshire to date.

Whiteley’s gritty knock of 17 from 110 deliveries was then ended by Rafiq but minutes later the two captains shook hands on a draw that had not always seemed certain; Derbyshire 190-5 and Khawaja unbeaten on 110.

Yorkshire take 11 points to Derbyshire’s six.

Inside Edge: 'Great fight shown by the team today, led well by Uzzy's century. Good result, looking forward to Northants next week' - Wayne Madsen

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