Yorkshire showed the resilience of champions to thwart Warwickshire’s advance on a rain and bad light-affected second day of their Specsavers County Championship tussle at Edgbaston.
At 85 for four and 209 for six, Yorkshire were in jeopardy of coming in far below the total they had in mind when they won the toss and batted.
But they recovered to a relatively meaty 368 for nine by the close, thanks heavily to Adil Rashid’s 33rd first-class half-century (63 from 104 balls with nine fours) and Steve Patterson’s second (62 not out, 74 balls, 111 fours).
That is a position from which Yorkshire will seek to apply pressure to a Bears batting unit to which they have caused much trouble in recent years, not least at Edgbaston where they have won emphatically on their last three championship visits.
“We played exceptionally well there and the lower and middle orders chipped in with crucial runs,” Rashid said.
“It wasn’t easy, especially with the bad weather around and us going on and off the pitch and having to concentrate again, but we dug in deep.
“We’ll be looking to take early wickets as is always the mindset. Firstly, hopefully we’ll get a few more runs and then hopefully our bowlers will come out with their game-plans and we can knock a few over.
“This is a ground we have enjoyed some success at recently and in the last few seasons we have done exceptionally well here.
“But every match and every day is a new challenge, you can’t just look back at the past, and hopefully we’ll do enough.”
After bad weather prevented cricket until 1.30pm, Warwickshire quickly struck two big blows by removing the overnight half-centurions. Jack Leaning (51, 97 balls, seven fours) edged Chris Woakes to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose and Gary Ballance 68 (161 balls, ten fours) nicked Keith Barker behind.
At 209 for six, the door was ajar for the home side but Liam Plunkett counter-attacked vividly, striking Barker for three successive fours in a 30-ball 26. That cameo, in a stand of 43 in 57 balls with Rashid, signalled a swing in momentum.
After Plunkett edged a Rikki Clarke outswinger, Rashid found another punchy partner in Patterson. The pair added 91 in 20 overs before was Rashid was castled by the persevering Woakes.
Barker induced an edge behind from Jack Brooks but Ryan Sidebottom accompanied through to the close.
The pitch looks good for batting, as good as Yorkshire evidently though it was when they elected to bat on it, but they will enjoy the prospect of putting some pressure on a Warwickshire side which they have twice dismissed for less than 100 in the last two seasons.
However with Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott having already shown their class in the championship this season, with scores of 174 and 219 not out respectively, and further time likely to be lost to the weather, it appears that these two sides will still be searching for their first championship win of 2016 after this match.