Warwickshire v Yorkshire, Edgbaston, 1st day May 15, 2013

Gillespie the right man for Plunkett

Myles Hodgson at Edgbaston

Yorkshire 11 for 0 trial Warwickshire 128 (Troughton 65*, Plunkett 5-32) by 117 runs

Yorkshire's bold decision to tempt Liam Plunkett away from Durham during the winter was widely regarded as a major gamble, but just five weeks into the new season their faith has been rewarded with his best bowling performance in nearly four years.

Few counties were queuing up to secure the services of a bowler good enough to play nine Tests and 29 one-day internationals for England, most recently in 2011. Indeed his radar had malfunctioned sufficiently for Durham to select him only three times in Championship matches over the past two years.

But having battled through the dark times with Durham, he has responded to encouragement from Jason Gillespie, the former Australian Test bowler and Yorkshire's first team coach, and claimed 5 for 32 to help dismiss Warwickshire, the county champions, for just 128. It was his best return since claiming 6 for 85 against Nottinghamshire in September, 2009 and provided hope that, at 28, his talent may yet be revived.

"I felt good at the start of the year against the Universities and took six-for, so it's nice going in the Championship as well," Plunkett said. "I went away this winter and did some work in Adelaide and it was just nice to be able to prove to myself that I can take five in an innings. I've picked up twos and threes, but to get five makes you confident."

His display ensured Yorkshire dominated an opening day that had the morning session wiped out by rain. Exploiting swing-friendly conditions after winning the toss, Yorkshire seized control early with openers Varun Chopra and Will Porterfield falling to loose shots in difficult conditions.

Only Jim Troughton, who carried his bat over three hours to finish unbeaten on 65, showed the necessary application to survive in testing circumstances. His team-mates failed to follow his example and fell to a succession of ill-judged shots with Plunkett claiming three wickets in 18 balls before returning to finish off the innings.

"I'm enjoying my game massively," Plunkett said. "I just felt a bit stale at Durham but being here I feel fresh and I feel in good rhythm. It goes hand in hand for me. When I'm enjoying it things fit in and that's the way I'm feeling right now.

"For someone to come and offer you a contract for three years and put that faith in you has been awesome. To have Dizzy, with everything he has achieved and the way he goes about things, do that is great. He is much more relaxed than I thought and for me that's what I needed, not to have too many complications but just go out and enjoy your cricket, try and bowl quick and hit the keeper's gloves and that's benefitted me so far this year."

For Warwickshire, currently struggling with a casualty list that includes six players, it was a chastening experience. It was their lowest total since being dismissed for 98 against Hampshire in August 2011.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mark on May 16, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    OhhhhhMattyMatty: Agreed, if he carries on this form I see no reason he cannot put his name into the proverbial hat. Also, I'd add J. Overton to your list. The few times I've watched Hannon-Dalby bowl he's looked pretty poor tbh, he averages 42 and has a spakky action.

  • Dummy4 on May 16, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    About 10 or more years ago Surrey lost their first 3 games and still won the title and I do not think it is any where near over yet. With 10 matches to go , come on CricketingStargazer.

  • GARY on May 16, 2013, 1:18 GMT

    I'm really pleased for Plunkett, he's really tuned it around from last year, where he seemed to lose his action completely, as well as his confidence. There were one or two dodgy performances earlier on but you could tell watching him bowl that he was looking back to somewhat his best & bowing quick as well. It's hard to believe he's only still 28 he seems to have been around years & when all said and done he's got a decent record behind him, 335 wickets @31 and 21 with the bat. A few journo's sneered when we bought both Plunkett & Brooks but it seems that Dizzy knew exactly what he was doing and knew what talent they had & had shown. I know when David Hopps backed Yorkshire for the title everyone laughed, doesn't look so daft now. it's still early days but we are looking stronger & stronger after that poor start but obviously the likes of Gale & Jacques need to start making the runs that Root & Bairstow were churning out Great first day, just need to post a good 1st innings score now

  • Mike on May 15, 2013, 23:43 GMT

    "I'm a bit rusty about the rules but if Bresnan is not selected tomorrow is he allowed to be drafted in for Yorkshire?" ---- Yes, Bresnan can replace one of the players if not selected tomorrow. The only restriction is that he can't bat if the player he is replacing has already batted that innnings, or is already batting.

  • Ohhhh on May 15, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    Plunkett did very well on his last England appearance. Don't see any reason why he couldn't force his way back into the ODI team over the next couple of years. Decent talent. Harris, Hannon-Dalby, Topley and Woakes are the future though!

  • Dummy4 on May 15, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    I'm pretty sure Bres can be drafted in if not required by England. I said over the winter I thought the signings of Brooks and Plunkett were canny ones and they've both been in good form already. I still think we're a batsman light from being truly competitive though Rashid's return to form has masked this to some extent. Sayers desperately needs a score rather than hanging around an hour for a single and the skipper has yet to get going in the Championship as well. Maybe tomorrow will be their day if the weather Gods are on our side.

  • Dummy4 on May 15, 2013, 21:13 GMT

    To be fair to Yorks they did pretty well without Bairstow and Root in the Somerset game. It would be nice though to see them get some decent runs at the top of the order.

  • Dummy4 on May 15, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    @skilebow - If he's not picked, he will come in to replace Rich Pyrah. I agree, the batting needs to step up without Root and Bairstow.

  • Ski on May 15, 2013, 19:56 GMT

    A good first day for yorkshire but it'll be interesting to see how well we bat without our England boys. I'm a bit rusty about the rules but if Bresnan is not selected tomorrow is he allowed to be drafted in for Yorkshire? Surely this would benefit both county and country and i remember it used to happen...