Yorkshire breach fortress Edgbaston
Yorkshire 407 (Rashid 110*, Patel 5-56) beat Warwickshire 128 (Plunkett 5-32) and 140 (Patterson 3-19, Sidebottom 3-23) by an innings and 139 runs
It has taken only five matches into the Division One season for Yorkshire, rated as 10-1 outsiders by one bookmaker at the start of the summer, to confound expectations and turn into serious title challengers. After an impressive start, an innings victory at the home of the champions was their biggest statement of intent yet.
A dismal opening round defeat to Sussex is now a distant memory after successive victories over Durham and Derbyshire and the better of a draw against Somerset, but their most complete performance so far was this emphatic triumph over a Warwickshire side unbeaten at Edgbaston since August, 2011.
Despite being without England batsmen Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, they secured victory just after 5.00pm on the third day with Tim Bresnan, surplus to requirements for the opening Test at Lord's, fittingly finishing off Warwickshire's feeble resistance by having Tom Milnes caught behind to end with 3 for 41, having only arrived at Edgbaston at lunch on the second day.
"After the first game, which was disappointing, a couple of questions were raised, but we've got faith in our lads, and we trust their preparation," admitted Jason Gillespie, Yorkshire's head coach. "We said to the lads after the first game 'don't lose sight of the fact that we've had five fantastic months of preparation and don't let this game define your season'. Since that game, we've played some very positive cricket.
"In the first game of the season against Sussex we didn't perform well at all and we deserved to be beaten, but the way the lads have bounced back has shown the faith we have in our players. We have absolute belief in them and they are showing how good they are."
Having dismissed Warwickshire for 128 on the opening day, Yorkshire pressed home their advantage with Adil Rashid following his career-best 180 against Somerset last week with an unbeaten 110, having been bowled off a no-ball on the fourth ball of the day, to help establish a match-winning 279-run lead shortly before lunch.
The catalyst for such an emphatic victory, though, was the five overs before the interval when any notion of Warwickshire saving the game was blown away. Bresnan dismissed Varun Chopra to the first ball of their reply, winning a straightforward lbw appeal, and Ryan Sidebottom dismissed Will Porterfield in almost identical manner to the first ball of the next over.
Bresnan ensured Warwickshire trudged off for lunch on 9 for 3 by striking again with the final ball of the morning session, Darren Maddy edging low to Adam Lyth at second slip, one of five catches he took in that position during the match.
After those early breakthroughs, the strength of Yorkshire's seam bowling department became evident with Sidebottom and Steve Patterson both claiming three wickets, using a surface that was showing inconsistent bounce and bowling a fuller length than their Warwickshire counterparts.
Only Jim Troughton, Warwickshire's captain, showed the necessary discipline to survive and followed his unbeaten 65 in the first innings by batting for over two hours to score 37. Even his efforts, however, were not enough to prevent Warwickshire suffering their first Edgbaston defeat in the Championship in 14 games and only their second championship defeat in 26.
"We're a good side and hopefully this is just what we need, although we wouldn't want to lose like that," added Dougie Brown, Warwickshire's director of cricket, who kept his side locked in the dressing room for around an hour to conduct a post mortem of their performance. "This should help us re-focus and re-evaluate and understand what made us so successful last year."