Yorkshire CCC handed tall challenge by Warwickshire to stay in County Championship title race
JORDAN THOMPSON bears a certain facial resemblance to a young Fred Trueman and although one had better end the comparison between them there, lest “t’finest bloody fast bowler who ever drew breath” should protest from paradise, Thompson has a similar facility for making things happen, a golden touch with a golden right arm.
Bowling from the Kirkstall Lane end yesterday, the end from which Trueman made his name and which proudly bears that name in the form of the “Trueman Enclosure”, in which spectators sat well-wrapped up on a cool September day, Thompson extended his lead at the top of Yorkshire’s wicket-taking charts with another high-class performance.
The 24-year-old all-rounder captured a season’s-best 5-52, giving him 43 wickets for the Championship programme, 11 more than Yorkshire’s next most successful bowler, captain Steve Patterson, to keep Yorkshire in a match that they must realistically win to retain hope of clinching the title.
They head into the third day on 50-3 in their second innings, requiring a further 174 for victory, having been left to score 224, the highest total of the match, after they lost their final two first innings wickets inside the first 20 minutes yesterday to be all-out for 108 in reply to Warwickshire’s 155 before Thompson helped to dismiss the visitors for 176 second time around.
“I thought it was never going to come (a five-wicket haul),” said Thompson, whose only other five-for was against Leicestershire at Headingley last year.
“I had a little joke out there with Brooky (team-mate Harry Brook). He said that I never get five-fors. I’ve got a habit of picking threes and fours up but not getting over the line and getting the fifth, so it was nice to get five this time.
“It’s going to be a challenge (to win), but we’ll try our best to knock these runs off. It’s been a low-scoring game, but the people who have come out and scored runs have been positive and that’s how they’ve had their success. They’ve looked to score instead of being a sitting duck and waiting for a ball that’s got their name on it. We’ve got to go out with a positive mindset. We need to win to stay in the title race and, if we go down with a fight, that’s the way we’re going to go.”
Having been 95-8 when bad light ended play on day one, with 12.2 overs left to be bowled, overs that bizarrely could not be made up yesterday as the teams had come off two minutes after the scheduled 5.30pm close, Yorkshire did not quite get as near to Warwickshire’s first innings total as they would have liked.
The deficit stood at 47 when Gary Ballance was last out for the top score of 58, the left-hander chopping on an attempted pull off Chris Miles after a fine innings in which he contributed 53.7 per cent of his side’s runs.
Moments earlier, Patterson had been bowled by Liam Norwell, Warwickshire’s best bowler with 4-27, Miles and Chris Woakes each taking three wickets.
The visitors had extended that lead to 70 when they suddenly lost four wickets for four runs inside six overs, Patterson bowling Will Rhodes and Thompson following up with two wickets in two balls – Chris Benjamin driving loosely to second slip and Sam Hain edging behind to complete a king pair – before Patterson bowled Matt Lamb.
There followed a fifth-wicket stand, either side of lunch, of 70 between Dom Sibley and Michael Burgess which featured grit from the former and counterpunch from the latter, a stand broken only when Thompson returned to the fray, an all-action character made for centre stage.
A fine delivery squared-up Sibley, who edged behind for 45, and then Thompson’s fourth wicket came three balls later, Woakes caught behind for a third-ball duck.
Matthew Fisher had Burgess flashing to point and then bowled Jacob Bethell as Warwickshire slipped to 130-8, but Tim Bresnan frustrated his former county with a typically resilient 36, his highest score since May.
Bresnan, who left Yorkshire last year after almost two decades at the club, was leg-before to the first delivery after tea, playing across the line to Ben Coad.
Thompson finished things off - this time from the Emerald Stand end – when Norwell skied to mid-off.
Amid fleeting bursts of sunshine on a mostly gloomy day, with the floodlights beaming through the murk as at a football ground in winter, Yorkshire lost George Hill in the third over of their chase defending Woakes to Bresnan at first slip.
‘Brezzy lad’ took another catch in that position to remove Adam Lyth, when Miles ran one across the left-hander as he tried to drive, and then another from the final delivery of the day, a world-class take, low down in his right hand, when Norwell found Dawid Malan’s outside edge, a potentially pivotal moment.