Andrew Gale: The lads just keep stepping up to the plate

ASHES MARVEL: Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale thought Joe Root's century for England in the first Ashes Test against Australia was 'brilliant' and that he was an 'absolute class above' at Cardiff.

ASHES MARVEL: Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale thought Joe Root's century for England in the first Ashes Test against Australia was 'brilliant' and that he was an 'absolute class above' at Cardiff.

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THE County Championship league table certainly looks promising for us at Yorkshire at the minute – 24 points clear with a game in hand.

Everything is looking good, but we can’t get ahead of ourselves and there’s a long way to go.

We did have a fantastic win at Warwickshire this week at Edgbaston – especially after the first day when we didn’t bat as well as we could have done.

I said to the lads after the game that when we have needed someone to stand up to get us back in the game or get us ahead, someone has done, and that’s what happened again.

At Durham, Jonny Bairstow and Bres did it and in the Notts game, myself and Jack Leaning did it and this week, Sidey (Ryan Sidebottom) stood up along with Jonny to get us back in the game. It was a fantastic effort.

I thought Jonny was again outstanding to keep us in the game at Warwickshire and then a spell from Ryan just turned the game on its head and to get them 35-8 was an unbelievable effort on a pretty tame pitch really.

You thought when they were five or six down that somewhere they would find a partnership, but it didn’t quite go like that.

You usually expect a partnership but Brooksy and Sidey just kept putting the ball in good areas and their batsmen kept nicking them or missing them.

You are thinking then that we can turn this game on its head. We then backed it up with the second innings with the bat and didn’t give them a sniff really.

The weather had been an issue at points. It was a difficult one; the forecast was set pretty fair on the last day on Wednesday.

When it started raining in the morning, I did think: ‘Should I have declared earlier.’ But you can’t control that and we set a declaration that we thought gave us enough time ultimately to bowl them out.

Overall, I have to say the pitch was an outstanding cricket wicket.

If you pitched it up, it seamed quite quickly and was when a lot of guys got bowled or got nicks.

It was hard work with the new ball in the first 20 or 25 overs. But if you got through that and were willing to knuckle down, you could get runs on it as well.

I was really pleased for Aaron Finch and Will Rhodes, who also made contributions with the bat to help us win the game. Particularly, Rhodesy who is finding his way and feet and to contribute like he did do will give him a lot of confidence going forward because we are going to miss Adam Lyth for the majority of the rest of the season now.

It would have been nice to have backed it up with another game in the County Championship this week. But having said that, I think the break in four-day action over the coming week will come at a good time for the lads.

Hopefully, we can give two or three of the seam bowlers a decent rest leading up to the Scarborough game against Worcestershire and they will be fresh and ready to go then.

On the agenda this week is Twenty20 action and we are at Chesterfield against Derbyshire on Sunday and I enjoy playing there and have a decent record as well and there’s also a good crowd.

Hopefully the sun will shine and we can put a real show on.

The Ashes are underway and I watched a bit of the first day on Wednesday and I thought Joe Root was different gravy in that first innings for England and scored a brilliant century.

He was an absolute class above and he is just going from strength to strength and I am really pleased for him.

Ultimately though, I’d probably say the one performance that pleased me most was Gary Ballance.

He has had a lot of criticism that he hasn’t really got any runs this season and to guts it out like he did shows how mentally strong he is and that will kick-start his season I feel.

It was an important knock.

****Andrew Gale’s column is in association with Blacks Solicitors****

Farsley's Mark Harrison.

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