Harry Duke provides perfect riposte as Matthew Revis and Jordan Thompson also shine for Yorkshire CCC
No sooner has the Yorkshire wicketkeeper played a shot – a forward defensive, say – than he begins an elaborate routine of getting himself ready to face the next ball.
First, Duke will walk away slowly in the direction of the square-leg umpire to gather his thoughts as if preparing to deliver a speech to the crowd.
Then, on his way back to the stumps, he will readjust his helmet, his pads, tuck in his shirt a little bit, twiddle his bat and so on, before tapping firmly at the crease as the bowler runs in.
After the ball has been safely negotiated, and assuming that he remains on strike, Duke will start the process all over again, his mannerisms repeating on an endless loop.
There was plenty of time to study the routines and idiosyncracies of the 20-year-old at Headingley on Saturday, where he batted throughout the morning session and a few overs into the afternoon too before being bowled two runs shy of what would have been a deserved half-century as Yorkshire continued their dominance over Warwickshire.
Duke’s innings was not the biggest of day three – Matthew Revis, another 20 year-old, two months Duke’s junior – scored an unbeaten 53 from No 9 as Yorkshire made 449 in reply to Warwickshire’s first innings 244.
But it was a fine effort that said as much for Duke’s character as his skill after some difficult times lately behind the stumps.
There had been some talk of leaving him out for this match, but Duke has plenty of character and a positive attitude.
Duke started the day with a single to his credit, and Adam Lyth with 118 to his name, when the hosts resumed on 269-4 beneath cloudy skies.
Duke whipped Henry Brookes off his legs to the boundary early in the piece and then ramped spinner Danny Briggs for four, a stroke that got him into trouble in a recent fixture but which, to his credit, he had the confidence to try again and to execute better.
Lyth went on to 145 – two runs short of 12,000 at first-class level – and then fell flashing a cut behind off Nathan McAndrew. Dom Bess sliced Briggs to McAndrew at backward-point, and Jordan Thompson, after lofting Briggs into the The Howard Stand over long-on, perished in pulling McAndrew fiercely to mid-on, where it was just as well that Will Rhodes took the catch as, had he not done so, the ball might have cut him in half.
Duke, 40 at lunch, had his off stump uprooted by McAndrew in the sixth over after the break, Yorkshire slipping to 392-9 when Tom Loten was caught behind off an inside-edge off Oliver Hannon-Dalby.
Revis, who drove powerfully and used his feet positively, added 58 for the last wicket with his captain, Steve Patterson, who was yorked by McAndrew to finish the innings.
Revis’s unbeaten innings, the second first-class fifty of his career and a career-best effort to boot, comprised 89 balls and included eight fours and a six over mid-wicket off Briggs.
Thompson took three wickets in a fine opening burst either side of tea from the Kirkstall Lane end as Warwickshire slipped to 25-3. Alex Davies clipped to mid-wicket, Rob Yates lobbed up to short mid-off and Dom Sibley popped up a catch to gully, Thompson taking his sweater on figures of 8-2-16-3.
Warwickshire showed resistance for the rest of the day, Sam Hain (19) and Rhodes (10) gritting it out to guide their team to 57-3 from 40.2 overs.
Rain prevented the last 7.4 overs from being delivered, with play abandoned at 6.45pm.