WARWICKSHIRE’S director of cricket Dougie Brown believes Yorkshire are the favourites to win the LV= County Championship after seeing his side slip to another innings defeat to the White Rose at Edgbaston.
Yorkshire, who completed an innings and eight-run win approximately 20 minutes after tea on day three when they bowled the Bears out for 186, consolidated their position at the top of division one with six matches left to play.
If Nottinghamshire beat Somerset, they will move to joint top on 142 points.
Ryan Sidebottom and Steve Patterson took three wickets each as Yorkshire completed their third innings triumph of the season.
Jack Brooks and 18-year-old Sessay left-arm spinner Karl Carver added two apiece.
“They look favourites at the moment,” said the Scot. “They have a good method and a good mood in their camp. I have probably just put the mockers on them. Let’s hope I have.
“It’s a very open Championship. They are the ones that have stolen a bit of a lead, but I have always maintained that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”
Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale, who was particularly pleased with his side’s catching across the three days, admitted that he was “flattered” by Brown’s claim, but stressed the importance of not looking too far ahead.
“There's still a long way to go,” he said. “We probably got carried away a little bit last year into thinking about the Championship. There's still six games left, and I keep hammering home about the basics and process.
“No one has even spoken about the Championship. We just want to go about our business and win session by session.”
Yorkshire’s performance was very much a team effort. The wickets were spread around, and so were the runs. Their standout performer was obviously overseas Australian Aaron Finch with 110 on Monday.
Adam Lyth took two excellent catches at second slip, including a diving effort to his right to help Patterson get rid of Chris Woakes, leaving the score at 133-6.
Patterson also took a superb one-handed return catch to get rid of Rikki Clarke shortly before tea.
Debutant Carver finished things off with a wicket either side of tea to cap an encouraging debut, which saw him take three wickets in all.
He bowled Jeetan Patel in the final over of the afternoon to leave Warwickshire eight down before trapping Boyd Rankin lbw to wrap up the win. Brooks had taken the nine wicket.
“I was very impressed with Karl,” said coach Jason Gillespie, who, like Gale, was also delighted with the win. “An 18-year-old kid coming in, he was right at home. He bowled well. The lads are all delighted that he's picked up a couple of wickets on debut.
“We were positive with the bat, and we didn't let their bowlers settle. Our bowlers were just ruthless. They were disciplined. We just wanted to pitch the ball up and look to get wickets off the front foot. The majority of the dismissals we got were off the front foot.
"You're always seeking for a way to try and have that perfect performance. This is up there. It’s a fantastic win. Considering the personnel change that we've had to have at Yorkshire this year, it's pretty special.”
Yorkshire’s NatWest T20 Blast clash with Lancashire at Headingley on Friday is a 16,200 sell out.
LV= County Championship
Warwickshire v Yorkshire
Warwickshire First Innings 228 (J S Patel 63no).
Yorkshire First Innings 422 (A J Finch 110, J M Bairstow 68, A Z Lees 64, R M Pyrah 62, A W Gale 49).
Warwickshire Second Innings
V Chopra lbw b Sidebottom 5
W T S Porterfield c Bairstow b Sidebottom 43
J O Troughton c Carver b Brooks 9
S R Hain b Patterson 19
T R Ambrose c Lyth b Sidebottom 14
C R Woakes c Lyth b Patterson 16
R Clarke c & b Patterson 20
K H D Barker c Bairstow b Brooks 16
J S Patel b Carver 11
C J C Wright not out 19
W B Rankin lbw b Carver 1
Extras (b4 lb5 nb4) 13
Total (70 overs) 186
Fall: 1-8 2-19 3-66 4-95 5-110 6-133 7-136 8-158 9-172.
Bowling: Sidebottom 16-4-31-3, Brooks 17-7-59-2, Patterson 16-6-26-3, Pyrah 11-3-30-0, Carver 9-3-27-2, Lyth 1-0-4-0.
Yorkshire (24pts) beat Warwickshire (3pts) by an innings and 8 runs