Gillespie defends final day tactics

Former Australia fast bowler hits back at critics on Twitter questioning his side's integrity

Outgoing Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie has defended his side’s decision to use part-time bowlers to set up a run chase on the final day of their pivotal County Championship clash against Middlesex.

With the match heading towards a draw and both sides needing a win to claim the title, Yorkshire turned to their openers with the bat instead of the ball to effectively gift Middlesex quick runs and hasten their declaration.

Adam Lyth (1-77 from 7.5 overs) and Alex Lees (2-51 from 4) were smashed all over Lord’s by the hosts who declared on 6-359 and set Yorkshire a target of 240 from 40 overs to win their third-straight title.

Scorecard: Middlesex v Yorkshire

However, an inspired performance from Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones, who recorded figures of 6-54 including a hat-trick to end the game, helped to bowl Yorkshire out for 178 and return the trophy to the Home of Cricket for the first time in 23 seasons, denying Somerset the draw they needed to clinch the title themselves.

While the tactics from both sides set up one of the most thrilling finishes in County Championship history, some fans have expressed their disapproval of the gameplay on Twitter, to which Gillespie has strongly countered.

The loss came in Gillespie’s final game in charge of Yorkshire after five successful seasons at Headingley.

In his first season, 2012, Gillespie guided Yorkshire back to Division One and a year later finished runners-up to Durham in the County Championship race.

His men would not be denied in 2014 and 2015, winning the title before falling just short of a historic hat-trick at Lord’s on Friday.

Gillespie will now head home to his native Australia for his second season as Adelaide Strikers coach in the KFC Big Bash League, where he will mentor the man who is reported to be his possible replacement at Yorkshire.

The Daily Mail UK is reporting Brad Hodge, who coaches Indian Premier League outfit Gujarat Lions as well as the Cricket Australia XI in this year’s Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, is Gillespie’s preferred replacement.

Yorkshire’s No.1 target, England assistant coach Paul Farbrace, turned down the role earlier this week, opening the door for Hodge to take the next step in his coaching career.

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