Room for improvement as Yorkshire begin with drab draw

HALF-CENTURY: Yorkshire's Adam Lyth

HALF-CENTURY: Yorkshire's Kane Williamson

Published in Sport

JASON GILLESPIE says there is room for improvement in both batting and bowling for his Yorkshire side after their opening round LV= County Championship draw against Somerset at Taunton.

Gillespie’s troops claimed 11 points from a clash played out on a benign pitch suiting the batsmen.

There was an outside chance of a Somerset win during today’s fourth morning when they secured a first-innings lead of 103 thanks to their 553 all out in reply to 450.

But, despite losing four wickets tamely, Yorkshire encountered few further difficulties as they closed on 193-4 declared, built around 57 not out for New Zealand overseas batsman Kane Williamson and 54 for opener Adam Lyth.

“I think there were a lot of positives, there’s no doubt about that,” said coach Gillespie.

“We put on a decent first-innings score, although we could have got more runs. I thought our efforts with the ball were fantastic, but there’s room for improvement there as well.

“We know with our bowling, if we’re completely honest, we can be a bit more disciplined at times. We showed signs of it by and large, but there were occasions when we let it drag a little bit.

“With the bat, ideally we would have liked another 100 runs, which would have helped us create a bit more pressure on the Somerset batting line-up.”

Somerset started a forgettable day by advancing their first innings from 530-9 to 553 all out. Steve Patterson claimed the only wicket to fall when he trapped Craig Overton lbw.

The home side’s innings included six half-centurions, but nobody scored a hundred. It was the fifth highest innings total in the history of Championship cricket compiled without a century.

Six of Yorkshire’s seven-man attack got among the wickets, with Liam Plunkett’s 4-117 from 28 overs the pick of the figures.

At no stage in the match did either side look on course for the win - largely down to the pitch. It was bowler-friendly during the first morning, but Somerset’s bowlers did not make the most of it.

“It was a challenging pitch for both the spinners and the quicks to have an impact on,” added Gillespie. “But that is what you’re dealt with, and you have to get on with it.

“I certainly thought we worked hard, so there’s good signs there.

“The statistics show that I think only five out of the last 32 games have resulted in wins for the team batting first. That’s why Tres (Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick) bowled first. If you’re going to get anything out of it, it is going to be day one.”

In the end, it was quite surprisingly that Adil Rashid’s 108 in the first innings was the only hundred in the match. There were 11 other fifties.

Somerset were hampered by the loss of seamers Alfonso Thomas and Overton yesterday due to injury, and it meant that part-time spinners Alviro Petersen and Johann Myburgh shared 40 of the 71 overs.

Lyth reached his second fifty in the match during an afternoon session which yielded only 57 runs in 29 overs. Williamson then reached his milestone shortly before the players shook hands on a draw.

Yorkshire return to Championship action on Sunday when they welcome Division One newcomers Northamptonshire to Headingley.

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