Yorkshire take big stride towards title

Ryan Sidebottom claimed three wickets as Yorkshire thrashed Warwickshire
Ryan Sidebottom claimed three wickets as Yorkshire thrashed Warwickshire
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Yorkshire made a big move in the title race by wrapping up another crushing victory over Warwickshire inside three days in the LV= County Championship at Edgbaston.

A massive effort by the seamers on a mostly benign pitch saw the home side bowled out for a second time for 186 as Yorkshire added the maximum 24 points to their position at the top of the Division One table.

The winning margin of an innings and eight runs more than reflected their discipline in bowling to a plan. In the match Warwickshire’s top seven mustered only 228 runs and their two innings did not contain a single half-century stand.

Ryan Sidebottom, back in the Yorkshire side after a month off with hamstring trouble removed top scorer William Porterfield (43) in a return of 3-31 and Steve Patterson (3-26) crucially accounted for Chris Woakes and Rikki Clarke in six balls before tea.

Yorkshire’s third win by an innings in three of the last four meetings with Warwickshire shows how far Andrew Gale’s team have developed. When they won promotion in 2012, Warwickshire were carrying off the Division One title but in two years Yorkshire have more than closed the gap.

Having gone so close last year when only conceding the crown to Durham in the last month, they are looking well equipped to go one better.

Not only are they playing well and getting results - they are coping without three England players in the Test squad against Sri Lanka.

Richard Pyrah, effectively number six in the list of seamers, played a big part here with three wickets in the first innings and then an excellent half-century in helping to build a matchwinning advantage of 194.

This was the position when Warwickshire batted again but for all the due care taken by Porterfield in batting for more than three hours, no-one stayed with him long enough to stem Yorkshire’s relentless momentum.

Three wickets fell by lunch, five went in the afternoon and the last two lasted for less than 30 minutes after tea, leaving Yorkshire with an extra 24 hours to prepare for a crash course of five NatWest T20 Blast games in eight days.

Warwickshire’s demise began when Varun Chopra was lbw to Sidebottom and continued with Jim Troughton falling into a leg-trap off Jack Brooks and Sam Hain playing across a full-length ball from Patterson.

It was Sidebottom who made the big move after lunch, digging out Porterfield with a straightforward catch behind the wicket and then Tim Ambrose after the Warwickshire wicketkeeper had taken 32 balls to get off the mark.

Adam Lyth did well to hold a sharp catch at second slip from Ambrose and pulled off an even better one when diving a long way to his right to take Woakes’ edge off Patterson, who was not be outdone in stooping to hold a drive from Clarke in his follow through.

Teenage left-arm spinner Kyle Carver put the seal on victory by claiming two of the last three wickets.

Yorkshire coach Jason Gilliespie said: “We spoke at the start of game about things we wanted to improve on. I thought our catching was fantastic and just about everything in our performance as well. We were positive with the bat and our bowlers pitched the ball up and looked to get wickets off the front.”

But the Australian stressed there is a long way to go in the championship race. He added: “We are not looking that far ahead. We are just going to celebrate this win.”