IT was cold enough for a spot of sleet at Edgbaston yesterday, bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘April showers’.
A flurry drove the players off shortly before lunch, which by rights should have consisted of steaming hot Bovril.
With the floodlights on for most of the day, conditions were more suited to a football match than a cricket match.
There was some football on show too, but only in the pre-play warm-ups, which were conducted with more vigour than usual as the players tried to keep out the penetrating chill.
It would not have been easy to play cricket yesterday, such were the conditions, and the contest has struggled to warm the cockles.
Wrecked by the weather, which has accounted for 117.2 overs across the three days, the match is heading nowhere fast.
After Yorkshire added 11 runs in the morning to finish on 379 all-out in their first innings, Warwickshire responded with 205-2.
With more indifferent weather forecast today, there seems no hope whatsoever of a positive result.
From a Yorkshire perspective, the key point of interest yesterday was an injury to Ryan Sidebottom, who experienced discomfort in his left ankle while bowling.
The left-armer was forced to leave the field after three balls of his sixth over having earlier needed painkillers.
Sidebottom was last night being assessed by medical staff, with the likelihood being that he will not play in the next Championship game, against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, starting on Sunday.
Jason Gillespie, the first-team coach, confirmed that new signing David Willey is set to debut in that match regardless of Sidebottom’s situation.
“It’s pretty safe to assume that David will play at Trent Bridge,” said Gillespie. “That has been the plan all along.
“As for Ryan, we’re assessing him and we’ll just have to wait and see how he is. It’s very unlikely that he’ll bowl in the rest of this game.”
Sidebottom started day three with bat in hand as he resumed his last-wicket stand with Steve Patterson.
He was soon into the swing of things, cutting Chris Woakes to the boundary and then whipping the same bowler to the mid-wicket rope.
Woakes had his revenge when Sidebottom edged to second slip, Rikki Clarke grabbing a good low catch.
Woakes returned the best figures of 4-87, while Patterson added a single to his overnight career-best effort to finish unbeaten on 63 from 76 balls with 11 fours.
Needing 230 to avoid the follow-on, Warwickshire lost an early wicket when Jack Brooks bowled Ian Westwood with the score on 18.
It was a fine delivery that drew the batsman forward and clipped the top of off stump, and it gave the Yorkshire fielders excuse to run around as much to get their circulation going, perhaps, as in celebration.
After Sidebottom’s exit, Yorkshire were held up by the second-wicket pair of Varun Chopra and Ian Bell, who had lifted Warwickshire to 54-1 by the time sleet compelled an early lunch. Bell looked good from the outset, striking three offside boundaries in one Brooks over in front of England selector Mick Newell.
Yorkshire bowled well immediately after the break, tying down Bell and drying up the scoring.
But they released the shackles as the session advanced as the hosts scored a little too fast for Gillespie’s palate.
Chopra pulled Patterson for four to reach his half-century from 107 balls with seven fours, and Bell had identical figures when he brought up his own fifty with a late-cut to the boundary off Adil Rashid.
Rashid finally got Bell with a ball that deceived him in the flight and flicked the edge, Adam Lyth doing the rest at slip as the Warwickshire captain went for 59 after a stand of 132 with Chopra in 32 overs.
Chopra, who made a pair in this fixture last summer, when he was twice dismissed by Sidebottom, went on to complete his 19th first-class hundred from 169 balls with 14 fours.
Unbeaten on 99 at tea, he got to the landmark from the first ball of the evening session, which was only 2.1 overs old when rain washed out the rest of the day.
After Bell’s departure, Chopra received fine support from Jonathan Trott, who went into the game on the back of an unbeaten double century against Middlesex at Lord’s.
Trott has played well here too, progressing to an unbeaten 38 from 57 balls to prove that, like Bell, he has lost none of his class.