Somerset v Yorkshire CCC: Jonny Tattersall hoping to keep Harry Duke out of the first-class team
The Yorkshire batsman/wicketkeeper grabbed his opportunity with both hands on his first Championship outing for the club for 14 months.
Tattersall scored a career-best 180 not out against Surrey in Scarborough and followed up with six dismissals, including five in the first innings.
He returned to the side at the expense of Harry Duke, who had been preferred for the previous 16 Championship fixtures in a run dating back to May last year.
“Harry has been playing and I’ve had to wait for my chance,” said Tattersall, who ended a long wait – 30 games – for his maiden Championship century.
“Luckily I was able to take my opportunity and hopefully I can kick-on from that now.
“I’ve felt good all season, to be fair, both in the second team and in the T20s, and it was nice to play a part. Now I’ve got to carry that form on and hopefully maintain it for as long as possible.”
Tattersall, 27, has had something of a stop-start career and is hoping his best years are still ahead of him.
There is no doubting his talent in both departments of the game; it was just a lack of consistency with the bat that saw him dropped in the first place.
Prior to last week’s game at North Marine Road, Tattersall had made only one century in 36 first-class appearances spread over four years – 135 not out against Leeds/Bradford MCCU at Weetwood in 2019.
His previous-best Championship score was 92 against Nottinghamshire at Scarborough in 2019, one of seven half-centuries to his name in the four-day competition.
“First and foremost, it was just nice to score some runs against a team that’s full of confidence,” said Tattersall, who played superbly against the Championship leaders.
“It doesn’t matter who you score runs against, but that certainly makes it all the more special. I remember I got 92 against Notts a few years ago, and of course I noticed that I was getting close to 100 again (against Surrey), but this year I’ve just tried to throw caution to the wind and whatever will be, will be,” he added.
“I felt a lot calmer out there and although I was a bit scratchy at the start of my innings, I found my rhythm and then everything felt good.”
Tattersall, who shared in a Yorkshire record sixth-wicket partnership of 305 with Adam Lyth, who hit 183, has unsurprisingly kept his place for the match against Somerset in Taunton that starts today.
He has also earned the praise of head coach, Ottis Gibson, who had kept faith with the 20-year-old Duke for the first seven games of the Championship programme before wisely opting to take him out of the firing line after the sort of testing time that many young players encounter.
“‘Tatts’ has had to wait while ‘Dukey’ was given his opportunity, and he did very well,” said Gibson.
“For me, as a coach, when you give players opportunities you want to see them take them, so for ‘Tatts’ to come in and score 180 was fantastic.
“That’s what I want to see and it was really good for him, and ‘Dukey’ is also a very good player.
“You always want that competition for places.”
Gibson also wants a positive response from his side after a four-wicket defeat at Scarborough despite Tattersall and Lyth having lifted Yorkshire to a first-innings total of 521.
It was the first time that Yorkshire have lost a first-class match after scoring over 500 in their first innings and was their second successive Championship defeat after a two-wicket loss against Hampshire in Southampton.
“We had some inexperienced players (against Surrey) but I was proud of the way they fought,” said Gibson.
“We lost, but we also showed great spirit in the way that we fought and we almost saved the game at the end.
“I’m not one of those ‘you’ve got to take the positives’ kind of guy; I get very frustrated when we lose.
“But, having said that, the way that we played... we didn’t throw in the towel and we fought all the way, and now we’ll go again down in Somerset.”
Yorkshire have named a 14-man squad for the game in Taunton which includes Shannon Gabriel, the West Indian pace bowler, and George Hill, the young all-rounder, both of whom sustained injuries/knocks at North Marine Road.
Gabriel suffered a sore hip after falling on the ball while diving on the boundary – although he was later able to bowl – and Hill was leg-before to a delivery that hit his left big toe.
Yorkshire (from): Bess, Brook, Fraine, Gabriel, Hill, Kohler-Cadmore, Luxton, Lyth, Patterson (captain), Revis, Shutt, Tattersall, Thompson, Waite.
England preview: Page 19.