Yorkshire CCC: Century against Durham was so rewarding – Gale

Andrew Gale goes on the attack against Durham.
Andrew Gale goes on the attack against Durham.
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Andrew Gale has his say on all things Yorkshire CCC.

AFTER leaving myself out for the Middlesex game, I was pretty pleased with my own performance against Durham.

I felt a bit rusty at the crease and it wasn’t my most fluent innings, but the century was one of my most rewarding given that when you leave yourself out, you can doubt yourself a little bit.

I have always been a captain who likes to lead from the front and to come in and get a ton straightaway was great.

On that first night, when I was thirty-odd not out overnight, I didn’t feel in great form and was scratching around. It was one of those hundreds where I felt ‘how the hell have I got one there!’ as I had to work hard technically and mentally.

It meant a lot to me. Cut me in half and I am Yorkshire through and through and leaving myself out at Lord’s was the toughest decision I’ve had to make.

But I knew it was right for the team. I feel the game repaid me for doing right by the team.

Our batting over the past two years has shown how determined and ruthless we are.

It’s rare we have been bowled out cheaply and I saw a stat the other day that said since getting bowled out for 90-odd in the first game of last season, we have averaged 414 in our first innings.

That shows guys are getting in, making big hundreds and being ruthless and I thought Adam Lyth and Kane Williamson were exceptional to get us in a good position.

Jonny Bairstow didn’t get the rub of the green with a decision and was out before reaching his century. But to come straight into the team after breaking his finger and showing the form he did shows a sign of how good he is.

He is knocking on the door for England and to play like that in front of the cameras, I am really pleased for the lad. As much as I want him to play for Yorkshire, if he keeps performing like that, there’s every chance he will be back in that England set-up.

In terms of the game as a whole, it was hard yakka and we were disappointed not to get a result as we dominated large parts of the game. But fair play to Durham, they fought back hard, although there were a lot of positives for us.

When we had them four down in the second innings after 16 overs, we felt we had a sniff and if we’d taken a couple more in that ten-over period, I fancied doing it. But Paul Collingwood dug in and showed his experience and why he was been a mentally tough player over the years.

But to go and play in that fashion against the champions and dominate for large parts, gives us confidence to go forward.

In all the games this year, we have dominated and played some really good cricket without the stand-out results.

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NEXT up for Yorkshire are Warwickshire at Headingley and they are probably going to have Ian Bell back as captain and it will be good to pit my wits against him.

Warwickshire are a good side who are always there or thereabouts. They are a well-drilled side run by Dougie Brown and they have a decent balance of experience and youth.

It will be a tough game, but I think it comes at a good time for us.

Steve Patterson is going to come back into the squad and with the big workload the lads have had in the past few weeks, we will probably rest one of our bowlers and be proactive in doing that.

We won’t be greedy and play our bowlers in as many games as we can as three weeks down the line you could find one might tear a hamstring or something.

Bressie obviously had a run-out at Durham and you can’t really say he was eased back in, back out there for 190 overs in the field.

I felt he got better as the game went on, although I know he pulled up a bit stiff.

But I am sure he will start hitting his straps in the next few weeks and be a key player for us.

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