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Another Home Setback
Yorkshire's home discomforts reappeared again, as the county's first eleven typically followed a great triumph on Friday with a not so great performance on Sunday. Pujara was amongst the runs once more - which is encouraging. Kohler-Cadmore and Lyth made a fine start, adding eighty for the first wicket, but the inexperienced Brook and Leaning criminally failed to build upon this solid foundation.
An Opening Success
Tom Kohler-Cadmore was the difference between the two teams, as he constructed a fabulous one-day innings. Limited overs cricket appears to be his comfort zone. If only he could replicate that such of form in four-day cricket, because his team desperately need an opening batsman for the County Championship. Meanwhile Adil Rashid also demonstrated his one-day expertise with a four wickets haul. Pujara also finally found some form, after an horrendous start to the season. Although this is an encouraging win, the Tykes do have a depressing tendency of peaking too soon in one-day competitions. This summer will no doubt provide more of the same - excellent group wins followed by the almost inevitable exit in the quarter finals or semi finals.
Abject Batting Display In London
Andrew Gale reckoned that four missed chances in the field were Yorkshire's undoing. Tis such a shame that the glaring deficiencies in the Tykes' batting appear to go unnoticed where the coach is concerned. Andrew Gale was a successful captain and a decent batsman. He is now in danger of tarnishing his legacy by sticking around and presiding over batting frailties that he seems blissfully unaware of. Until Yorkshire remedy their top-order batting woes, they will be also-rans in county cricket, and maybe not even our able bowling attack will save us from relegation. No wonder Adil Rashid decided to step down from first-class cricket.
A Chelmsford Farce For The Triumphant Tykes
The reigning champions of England were cut down to size in their own backyard in one of the most peculiar results in the history of first class cricket - no mean thing. Surpassing most freak results that have previously held sway upon planet cricket, Yorkshire proceeded to be bowled out for a laughable and pitiful fifty runs on the first morning inside twenty overs, before defying this obvious handicap to go on and win. Very rarely has any team been dismissed for such a measly total and still prevailed in the subsequent match. Clearly Essex's undoing was two innings totals which failed to reach 150. The Tykes can celebrate the mother of all remarkable wins, but batting inadequacies remain a major problem for the white rose county.
Another Batting Debacle
Yorkshire's batting woes from last year appear to be still afflicting the team. You think that the staff would have worked intensely upon their batting shortcomings during the winter and early spring, but evidently not. Of course Andrew Gale has told his batsmen not to dwell on their abysmal showing in Taunton. If a football or rugby team underperformed, they would most probably receive a rollicking, but in cricket circles those who are not delivering are tucked into bed and read a bedtime story. In the meantime, the Tykes are shipping way too many first innings batting bonus points. Crucially, this was a fixture that Yorkshire dramatically and narrowly won last year. Three points from this season's encounter has to be a cause for concern, eh Andrew?
An Encouraging Triumph
After the total obliteration of the opening fixture against the champions of Essex on account of the rain, Yorkshire finally got their 2018 County Championship campaign under way avec a fine win, albeit in a depressingly low-scoring encounter. As a consequence the Tykes have already gone top of the County Championship. Whether this is a false position for a team beset by brittle batting remains to be seen.
A Dreadful Finale
For the second time in the last couple of months, high-flying Essex have trounced mediocre Yorkshire. It's quite galling to observe that not so long ago the Tykes were the best team in England, while Essex were lowly also-rans. Now it's definitely the other way around. Four times the wafer-thin Yorkshire batting line up has been blown to smithereens by a rampant Essex bowling attack. How the latter must yearn to bowl against the weak white rose all the time. Very few positives can be found in the away team's pathetic performance, other than to note that young Coad reached the fifty first-class wickets milestone (hopefully the first of many) whilst young Fisher was the only batsman to offer any semblance of resistance during the second innings carnage. This match (which it wasn't!) ended one day early. The visitors can thank their lucky stars that there are two teams worse in the league than them, otherwise they would be paying a visit to Division Two. Quite frankly, our batting is Second Division standard, and were it not for the efforts of Coad and Sidebottom, our bowling has scarcely been much better.
Patterson Rescues The Tykes
Steven Patterson proved to be the unlikely batting hero, as Yorkshire just about stumbled to victory against bottom club, Warwickshire. 175 was the target and the Tykes fittingly made hard work of obtaining it. In fact, when the top order collapsed on the final morning, a home win seemed unlikely, given the existence of a long tail. However, with Warwickshire poised for triumph at the lunch interval, the tail surprisingly wagged its way to the chequered flag, courtesy of a 78-run eighth wicket stand between the plucky young Fisher and the veteran Patterson. However, more drama arrived when Matthew was dismissed with the scores level. In the end, Brooksy only had to cope with one delivery before Patto stroked the winning runs. Yorkshire have had a peculiar and largely unfulfilling season in which they lost a few very close Twenty20 encounters, but they have compensated to a large extent with two priceless and perilously close wins in the County Championship at Somerset and against Warwickshire which may prove just enough to keep Yorkshire dining at the top table. Bizarrely, Yorkshire go into their final fixture at champions Essex in fourth position, with the potential to finish second if they win and possibly to be relegated if they lose heavily.
Batsmen Excel In Surrey Tussle
Yorkshire finally managed to cash in on a flat pitch by amassing a couple of decent batting scores. Unfortunately the damage had already been done in so far as the hosts had won the toss and batted themselves into an unbeatable position, courtesy of big centuries for the outstanding Sangakkara and England's new opener, Mark Stoneman. All that remained was for the Tykes to try and avoid following on, which they failed to do, and then try and avoid an innings defeat which they comfortably achieved on a relatively lifeless pitch. This honourable draw has come at a cost however, as the white rose are left dangling perilously close to the drop zone. Indeed it is the mother of all ironies that the three teams that fought neck and neck last September to attain Championship glory are twelve months later slugging it out with one another to escape the relegation trapdoor, namely Middlesex, Somerset, and Yorkshire. Once more it looks like their fate will go down to the proverbial wire. Yorkshire must surely capitalise on their home engagement avec lowly Warwickshire because a last week trip to new champions Essex looks mighty ominous.
How ironic that when Yorkshire belatedly amassed a half-decent batting total for the first time in many months, the local weather would do its very best to prevent any possibility of a win. This isn't to suggest that the Tykes would have gone on to win, as Middlesex made a competitive reply, but they would have had to bat last and presumably chase an awkward total. In the end, the visitors declared on 272 for eight, thereby bringing a halt to the interrupted proceedings and ensuring that the hosts could not obtain a third bowling bonus point. Consequently both protagonists finished locked together on 114 Championship points, a mere thirteen points off Hampshire in thrid place but precariously also thirteen points above Somerset in the relegation zone. The white rose almost certainly need at least one win from their three remaining fixtures to secure their First Division status.