Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Yorkshire County Cricket Club 2013 season review
White-ball woe offset by a storming return to the top tier and supplemented by a bulging production line of talent both for county and country provide the swings and roundabouts of the past summer declares The Press Yorkshire CCC reporter GRAHAM HARDCASTLE.
Shall we start with the good or the bad? Okay, let’s get the bad out of the way.
Yorkshire’s form in one-day cricket was of great concern. The Vikings only won three out of their 12 Yorkshire Bank 40 matches, a record which only the now defunct Unicorns failed to better in group ‘C’.
Yes, they played a whole host of youngsters, including 15-year-old York fast bowler Matthew Fisher, who will be better for the experience in the long-term.
But that kind of record is not good enough for a county of Yorkshire’s stature, whether they are concentrating on LV= County Championship cricket or not.
They have been handed a favourable draw in next season’s 50-over competition, and need to put up a serious challenge for one of the four quarter-final places on offer from each of the nine-team groups.
Their Twenty20 performances were no better, with them finishing bottom of the North Division thanks to two wins from ten. But, following a Finals Day appearance the season before, their slide was more understandable given a number of key absentees.
Star overseas duo Mitchell Starc and David Miller were unavailable, as was England new boy Joe Root.
An embarrassing eight-wicket Twenty20 defeat with nine overs to spare away to Lancashire, when Yorkshire failed to defend 125, was the lowlight of a dreadful limited overs campaign.
In all, Yorkshire lost 16 out of 22 matches in both competitions. That’s 72.7 per cent of their matches against the white ball.
Now for the good bit. Yorkshire enjoyed a hugely encouraging campaign in the Championship, culminating in a second-placed finish.
It may have ultimately ended in the disappointment of letting slip a 25½-point lead at the top over eventual champions Durham with four matches left, but the signs are good for success in the near future.
New signings Jack Brooks and Liam Plunkett settled in well, with the latter’s re-emergence as an all-round force particularly pleasing with a haul of 36 wickets and 394 runs from 12 matches.
Captain Andrew Gale, who endured a sticky start, scored 1,000 runs for the first time, as did England new boy Gary Ballance, who will go to Australia this winter as part of the Ashes squad.
The emergence of 20-year-old opener Alex Lees was also a major plus. He set about one of the innings of the summer – 275 not out in the win against Derbyshire at Chesterfield.
Gale and Root also scored Championship double centuries against Nottinghamshire at Scarborough and Derbyshire at Headingley.
Adil Rashid’s early form with the bat, including three successive hundreds, is also worth praise, although it would be nice to see his leg-spinners come out with a bit more potency.
New overseas signing Kane Williamson, who returns for 2014, also enjoyed a successful stay at the end of the season, scoring five half-centuries in six Championship innings.
In the bowling department, pace bowlers Ryan Sidebottom and Steve Patterson just keep on keeping on. They led the way with 49 and 46 wickets respectively to go alongside Plunkett’s 36 and Brooks’s 34 from 11 matches.
There was even a maiden first-class wicket for former Australian Test batsman Phil Jaques in the match against Sussex at Hove earlier this month in his 187th outing, albeit in contrived circumstances.
Yorkshire won Championship matches against Durham, Derbyshire twice, Warwickshire, Middlesex twice and Nottinghamshire.
There were ten-wicket wins over Middlesex at Lord’s and Notts at Trent Bridge, the away win against Durham in April came when Root scored a brilliant 182 to anchor a successful pursuit of 336 and the home win against Derbyshire the following week came after conceding 475 in the first innings.
After 236 for Root and 186 for Jonny Bairstow helped Yorkshire respond with 677-7 declared, Brooks took 5-40 to bowl Derbyshire out for 163 during an exciting final day.
But it was the clinical 139-run win over defending champions Warwickshire at Edgbaston in mid-May which was the highlight of the season. They bowled Warwickshire out for 128, replied with 407 and bowled the hosts out again for 140.
Patterson and Plunkett led the way with six wickets and Rashid a century in a match which saw Yorkshire serve notice to the rest of the division that they were genuine title contenders in their first season back in division one.
Yorkshire should also be praised for their player production line. Fourteen of their players from under-17s level upwards have gained England recognition at some point this summer.
Comments are closed on this article.