Dom Bess aiming to benefit from a "tough" period at Yorkshire CCC

DOM BESS believes that the experience of losing his place in the Yorkshire first team can help to bring out the best in him.

The off-spinning all-rounder was dropped after the County Championship win at Derbyshire in June.

He went out on loan to Warwickshire for one game and then out to Somerset for one game before returning for Yorkshire’s 50-over campaign.

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Bess claimed his maiden one-day five-for on Sunday - 5-37 against Essex at Chelmsford - on a day when actions spoke louder than words.

Man on a mission: Yorkshire's Dom Bess. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.comMan on a mission: Yorkshire's Dom Bess. Picture by Allan McKenzie/
Man on a mission: Yorkshire's Dom Bess. Picture by Allan McKenzie/

It was a fine effort by a man who represented his country as recently as March 2021 as he seeks to rejuvenate his Yorkshire career.

“It’s been a tough season for me,” said Bess, who initially joined Yorkshire on loan from Somerset in 2019.

“I’ve obviously wanted to try and play cricket as much as I can and I went out on loan, but that was to play first-team cricket and to sort of show the management that I’m still good enough and I still can perform in first-class cricket and not be dropped.

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“I think it’s probably going to get the best out of me, if I’m brutally honest, and it’s an interesting period of my career.

York's Clifton Park venue, pictured during last year's Roses One-Day Cup fixture. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.comYork's Clifton Park venue, pictured during last year's Roses One-Day Cup fixture. Picture by Allan McKenzie/
York's Clifton Park venue, pictured during last year's Roses One-Day Cup fixture. Picture by Allan McKenzie/

“Things ebb and flow, and it’s probably just shown that you can’t take things for granted, not that I do anyway, and it’s great to be back with the Yorkshire lads.”

Bess, 26, has a wise head on young shoulders and a level-headed attitude to life’s ups and downs.

He has a year left on his Yorkshire contract and his best years should still be ahead of him, both as an off-spin bowler already closing in on 300 wickets in all formats (Bess currently has 290 in first-class, List A and T20 combined) and as a batsman with 2,952 runs in those formats too.

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“I’ve still got a year left on my contract and obviously I want to be playing as much as I can,” he added.

“I’ve always been hungry - you’ve always got a point to prove - and I think I benefited from going out on loan, 100 per cent.

“Batting-wise, I did alright (Bess scored 63 for Warwickshire against Essex in the Championship at Chelmsford, and then 54 for Somerset against Hampshire in the Championship at Taunton), and with the ball I think I showed the sort of consistency that I’ve wanted to see and wanted other people to see, I guess, so that was a really important one, too.

“It was in Division One as well, and I do genuinely believe there is a step up there.”

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In addition to loaning out Bess, Yorkshire went into Division One themselves to recruit Dan Moriarty, the Surrey left-arm spinner, who is not a regular in the champions’ four-day team.

Moriarty was recruited for four Championship matches, taking a five-wicket haul on his Yorkshire debut against Gloucestershire at Headingley, but the club felt that the weather denied him further opportunities to showcase his skills.

Yorkshire remain keen on Moriarty, who is under contract at Surrey until the end of October, with Ottis Gibson, the Yorkshire head coach, saying that he envisaged both Bess and Moriarty playing in the same side around the time that their respective loan deals were announced, a nod, perhaps, to Bess’s all-round capabilities.

The spinners should find themselves on opposing sides on Tuesday when Yorkshire face Surrey in the One-Day Cup at York; indeed, while Bess was ripping through Essex at Chelmsford on Sunday, Moriarty was helping Surrey to a three-run win against Nottinghamshire at Welbeck, claiming 3-55.

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Yorkshire’s five-wicket victory at Essex - their first of the competition after two washouts and a narrow rain-affected defeat - marked the halfway point of the eight-match group stage.

They probably need to win at least three of their remaining four games to qualify for the knockout stages, depending, of course, on other results.

The two group winners go straight into the semi-finals and receive a home tie, with the two second-placed sides taking on the two third-placed teams at home in the quarter-final play-offs.

Yorkshire head into Tuesday’s match fifth in group A with four points from as many games, four points behind leaders Leicestershire with a match in hand (a victory is worth two points, with a tie or a no-result bringing one point).

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“We just have to take it game by game,” said Bess of Yorkshire’s qualification hopes.

“If you start looking at the bigger picture, that’s where problems start to occur.

“We’ve now got two games coming up at York (after Surrey on Tuesday, Hampshire are the visitors to Clifton Park on Thursday), and it’s a great place to play 50-over cricket.

“Surrey are obviously a very experienced side and it will be great for our younger lads to come up against the likes of Burns, Sibley and Foakes, all international cricketers, and it’s going to be exciting.”