Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie described his side’s victory over Worcestershire yesterday as one of the best of his career, as the depleted Tykes prevailed by ten wickets.
Without six players away on international duty with England, and with captain Andrew Gale suspended and Ryan Sidebottom injured, Yorkshire bowled out Worcester for 100 in their second innings and raced to victory inside three days.
And Gillespie said: “They took away a lot of players, banned our captain and still we came away with a 10-wicket win. It’s one of the best wins I have ever been involved in.
“Worcester are a good side with good players but I just thought we had that little bit more discipline in the second innings.”
Gillespie heaped praise on his seamers, too, as Jack Brooks took nine wickets in the game and Steve Patterson finished with a five-for in the second innings.
“I was pleased with the way we bowled in the first innings,” the Aussie coach added.
“There were just little periods where we let them off the hook but in the second innings, Jack was fantastic.”
Having dismissed the home side for 100, Yorkshire were home and a dry by tea, a meagre target of 105 cleared off by Alex Lees, with his second half-century of the match, and Will Rhodes, unbeaten with 47 on his championship debut.
Until the third morning, the match was as even as could be. When Tim Bresnan was last out for 83, Yorkshire trailed by a mere four runs on first innings but in less than two hours Worcestershire went to lunch in complete disarray.
With Bresnan and Brooks at their throats – and especially with the brutish delivery from Brooks to dismiss Daryl Mitchell for the second time in the game – Worcestershire crumbled to 55 for six and subsequently folded for 100 after a career-best five for 11 by Steve Patterson.
The transformation accurately illustrated the gulf that has opened between the two divisions and confirmed what Worcestershire intimated prior to beginning their fifth different spell in Division One since 2004. Mitchell said his young team would be facing the strongest seam attack in the country.
So it proved from the moment Richard Oliver misjudged Bresnan’s ninth delivery and paid the price when the ball ducked into his pads. Then it was over to Brooks, leading wicket-taker for his county last year and already a fair bet to retain that crown.
A measure of his contribution is that all bar two of his wickets in a match return of nine for 84 were batsmen from Worcestershire’s top six. Nowhere was this better seen than in his new-ball spell in the second innings which saw him dismiss Mitchell, Moeen Ali and Alex Gidman in the space of three overs.
Mitchell could do little about the lifter he fended to first slip while Moen and Alex Gidman were beaten by movement away from the bat.
Having lost four wickets within 34 balls, Worcestershire managed to survive for 14 overs through the efforts of Tom Fell and Tom Kohler-Cadmore before Patterson’s initial intervention. Fell gave Alex Lees, on his 22nd birthday, a second catch at first slip and Ben Cox was palpably leg-before to the fourth ball he faced.
Brooks was back in the attack after lunch and for once luck was on his side when Kohler-Cadmore, top scorer with 24, pulled one of his looser deliveries straight to Patterson at mid-on.
If there was to be any way back, Worcestershire needed Gareth Andrew to embellish an already memorable return to the championship side with a half-century in the first innings and a five-wicket return when Bresnan edged to third slip.
To expect more would have been greedy but he did get to 16 before a loose shot opened the door for Patterson to mop up the last three wickets.
England batsman Moeen Ali came through his fitness trial after four weeks off with a side strain. He will meet with ECB medical staff tomorrow (Wednesday) and is expected to fly to Grenada on Friday to join the England touring part in time to be available for the second test next week.