Skipper Andrew Gale has his say on all things Yorkshire CCC
TO win by an innings plus against Warwickshire at Headingley was right up there, similar to the win against them at their place last year.
Warwickshire are a very good team on their day, but they can also be very hot and cold and we caught them on a cold day.
But when you are playing cricket like that, it doesn’t matter who you are playing against when you have that ruthless edge.
We said before the game we needed to be a little bit more ruthless as we’d lacked that in some of the previous games and I asked the bowlers to bowl a little bit straighter and more at the stumps and that’s what we did throughout the match.
In an ideal world, you want every game to go like that – bat once and bowl the opposition out twice. I’m not sure you can have every game like that, but it’s a template and formula to go forward – scoring big runs and bowling good lines and lengths. Do that and we will be in a good place at the end of the season.
We were going to bowl if we’d won the toss on that pitch at an overcast Headingley with a bit of dampness.
It’s always a difficult one and at 180-5, you were thinking ‘if we can just scrape to 300.’ But the tail wagged and it was a fantastic knock by Liam Plunkett, who came in and took the game away from them on the second morning and put us in the driving seat.
The bowlers then just backed up the plans we were talking about.
Making them follow on after doing 190 overs in the dirt against Durham, maybe I thought we’d have to do another 190 to bowl them out. But to bowl them out for 31 overs was fantastic and Jack Brooks and Tim Bresnan’s opening spell just broke their backs and knocked the stuffing out of Warwickshire. At 30-5, they didn’t have much fight left.
Liam’s batting has improved a lot since he came to us. We’ve found the best way for him is to go out really positive and we want him to be aggresive with his shots and when he does that, he gets in good positions.
His batting is really coming on and you can consider him as a genuine all-rounder now.
Looking at the County Championship league table, it’s wide open. Although we are top of the league, there is still a long way to go.
It’s about backing up with consistent performances now, although seeing our name at the top of the table gives the lads confidence. It’s early days, but it’s nice to be up there.
Before Warwickshire, we’d been playing some really good cricket, without quite having that ruthless streak. That was what was pleasing; taking 20 wickets and killing the game off.
The win also enabled us to have another day off, although I thought the rain might stop us from getting the win on Tuesday as it came down hard for a couple of hours.
The extra day was gold for us, with the t20 starting on Friday. If we’d had a tough day in the field on Wednesday, it would have had to have been a light training session depending on how long we’d been out and how many overs the bowlers had bowled instead of the preparation we would have liked going into t20. But instead we chilled out and had a proper days’ rest before hitting practice hard.
It’s particularly helped the bowlers, who were able to hit their straps hard on Thursday and be fully prepared.
We’d really like a good start and the early games are massive for us to put a marker down and give the lads confidence and momentum.
Having players like Kane Williamson, who had a good World Cup with New Zealand and Aaron Finch, who we all know about, shows we really want to compete.
I am really looking forward to batting with Finch. He is one of the world’s ‘box office’ Twenty20 players at the minute and having him down at the other end will be absolute gold.
There were quite a few clubs in for him, but he wants to play here. Obviously, there was the connection with Darren Lehmann and he played club cricket at York and loves Yorkshire.
To be getting stars of the calibre of names as Finch shows how Yorkshire is ranked around the world.
I’d imagine Darren had a few quiet words as well! He’s big friends with Dizzy as well, so I am sure they had a conversation and he gave him a nod and a wink as well to push him our way.
Having had a taste of it, our aim is to get to Finals Day. It’s where we want to be.
In this competition, you have to go into it and enjoy it.
It’s a fantastic format and there will be big crowds in and box-office players and we want to go as far as we can in this format.
*Our exclusive Andrew Gale column is in association with Blacks Solicitors