How Yorkshire CCC fared as cricket finally returned

ONE hundred and 11 days after it should have started, Yorkshire’s county season finally got under way in Chester-le-Street on Saturday.

Firing back: Yorkshire's Steve Patterson bowls against Durham. Picture: SWPIX
Firing back: Yorkshire's Steve Patterson bowls against Durham. Picture: SWPIX

It did so after a minute’s silence for the victims of the pandemic – the teams lining up in front of the deserted pavilion – and after the players had “taken the knee” for Black Lives Matter.

To say that the world has changed since Yorkshire’s first scheduled match, against Gloucestershire at Headingley on April 12, is an understatement.

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Indeed, who could possibly have predicted, when the Yorkshire players packed away their kit at the end of last September, that their first game in 2020 would have come on August 1 behind closed doors in something called The Bob Willis Trophy?

Once the preliminaries had been completed, and the rain that allowed only 8.3 overs in the morning session had blown away, Durham reaching 12-0 in that time after winning the toss, Yorkshire bowled with control and discipline.

It was one of those tosses that looked a good one to lose, with plenty to keep the bowlers keen, and Yorkshire’s were enthusiastic and effective as they dismissed the hosts for 103 on a mostly grey and muggy day, the visitors closing on 84-4 in reply.

The tone was set by Yorkshire’s opening pair of Ben Coad and Matthew Fisher, who found movement back into the left-hander and away from the right.

Fisher had his former Yorkshire team-mate Alex Lees lbw with an inswinging yorker, and Coad drew forward Sean Dickson to have him caught behind by Jonny Tattersall.

Jordan Thompson bowled a fine opening spell from the Finchale End, having Cameron Steel nudging a catch to the wicketkeeper and David Beckingham flicking to deep-backward square-leg, where Fisher judged the catch in a swirling breeze.

The 23-year-old Thompson, making only his third first-class appearance, bears a distinct resemblance facially to a young Fred Trueman; if he ends up being anywhere near as good he will be a happy man indeed.

Coad returned to bowl a driving Jack Burnham, and when Yorkshire captain Steve Patterson pinned his opposite number Ned Eckersley, Durham were 68-6.

Thompson had Paul Coughlin lbw four balls after tea; Fisher trapped Ben Raine with one that swung back as he shouldered arms; Fisher held a tumbling catch at square-leg to claim Matty Potts off Coad, and Coad rounded things off by catching Chris Rushworth just above head height off his own bowling to finish with 4-23.

Gareth Harte top-scored with an undefeated 33, one of just three batsmen – along with Dickson (11) and Potts (10) – to reach double figures.

When Yorkshire responded, Rushworth had Adam Lyth held at first slip; Raine bowled Kohler-Cadmore for a run-a-ball 41, and Coughlin removed Will Fraine and nightwatchman Patterson lbw in the space of four balls.

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