Yorkshire’s could perhaps have benefited from alarm bells on the inside and glue on the outside, such has been their inability to hold catches this season, and another three went down yesterday to maintain a dispiriting trend.
Unlike last week’s Roses match, however, when spillages cost 335 of the 566 runs that Lancashire accrued in their solitary innings, those grassed here improbably cost a grand total of no runs whatsoever.
Neither Sam Hain, Rob Yates nor Will Rhodes, the men reprieved, added to their scores before they were dismissed and this was a day when Yorkshire, in general, did many more good things than bad, dismissing Warwickshire for 244 after the visitors chose to bat beneath grey skies that soon gave way to glorious sunshine, the hosts closing on 28-0.
Jordan Thompson, the Yorkshire all-rounder who led an impressive bowling effort along with his captain, Steve Patterson, with both men taking three wickets, said: “We got the openers out early doors then dropped (numbers) three and four again, and it was looking like it could be deja vu from previous weeks, but luckily it didn’t cost us. The lads bowled really well overall and we got our rewards eventually.
“The ball seemed to keep its shape a bit more and stay a little bit harder and definitely swung for longer periods of time. Teams have scored a lot of runs in the first six weeks of the season, and hopefully we can go out there and score a lot of runs tomorrow.”
Before a crowd of 1,386, Yorkshire soon removed both openers - Alex Davies edging Thompson low to Harry Brook at third slip, and Dominic Sibley falling leg-before to Patterson, umpire Nick Cook raising his finger so slowly that it almost came up in a different time zone.
Then came the spills as, first, Hain was grassed by Adam Lyth at second slip off Matty Revis on eight and then Yates, on three, dropped by Will Fraine at cover off Patterson.
Later, midway through the meandering afternoon, Lyth put down another opportunity at second slip, moving to his right, when Rhodes, on 29, edged Tom Loten.
At a conversative estimate, Yorkshire have now dropped 25 chances in the first five-and-a-bit matches, a remarkable figure.
Might it be a hangover from the winter’s events that have affected everyone connected with the club? One merely throws it out there as an idle thought. It is perhaps too simplistic to attribute it just to a lack of concentration and/or skill, for Yorkshire possess such generally outstanding fielders.
Fortunately for Yorkshire, Hain, who made an unbeaten double century in the previous game, was gobbled up by Joe Root at first slip off Revis, and Yates caught behind off a good one from Patterson as Warwickshire lunched on 58-4, making it Yorkshire’s session despite the drops.
And after a driving Matthew Lamb was caught by Root at first slip off Revis for 45, made from 74 balls with six fours, Rhodes was taken by Brook at cover off Loten as the visitors failed to make Yorkshire pay.
At tea, the total was 166-7, Danny Briggs the other man to go when Thompson bowled him playing no shot. Yorkshire missed the pace of Haris Rauf, the Pakistani who had been due to make his final Championship appearance but is being rested ahead of the T20 Blast.
Thompson bagged his third wicket shortly after tea when Nathan McAndrew edged high to second slip, where Lyth this time clung on to warm congratulations from his colleagues, and Warwickshire slipped to 203-9 when Henry Brookes slashed Loten to Thompson at backward-point.
Michael Burgess, the 27-year-old wicketkeeper, is an expert at batting with the tail and already has two scores of 170 or more this season. He added to that a blistering 96, made from 106 balls with 14 fours and a six over mid-wicket off Loten, before driving back a return catch to Patterson, who returned the most economical figures of 3-43.
Burgess scored all 41 of the runs in a last-wicket stand with Oliver Hannon-Dalby, the former Yorkshire pace bowler, and made his 96 out of 127 runs accumulated while he was at the crease. He is a irritating customer.
Lyth and George Hill steered Yorkshire through to stumps, Lyth coming back well from his spills in the field and Hill playing some sparkling shots as the shadows lengthened.