Middlesex v Yorkshire, Lord's, 4th day June 14, 2013

Gillespie lauds dominant Yorkshire

Vithushan Ehantharajah at Lord's

Yorkshire 390 (Lees 100, Gale 103, Rashid 72) and 7 for 0 beat Middlesex 175 (Berg 54, Patterson 4-39, Plunket 4-50) and 219 (Rashid 5-78) by 10 wickets

It only took the morning session for Yorkshire to complete a comprehensive win over Middlesex, as they jumped to the top of County Championship. Taking the six wickets they needed on the final day for 82 runs, Yorkshire were just shy of an innings win, but their 10-wicket victory reflects the dominance they have enjoyed from start to finish.

Certainly Jason Gillespie, the head coach who had to read extracts of the riot act to his side after they were dismissed for 96 against Sussex in their first game of the season, was buoyed by every aspect of Yorkshire's first victory at Lord's since 1987 (although the last time this fixture was played here was in 1998). He could even afford the grace to sympathise with the hosts.

"It's tough for Middlesex because they play at the home of cricket and every team wants to play here," he said. "It's always a challenge for them because teams lift their game and we were no different. Our boys have been excited all week and we're absolutely chuffed to come out and beat a really strong team, who haven't been beaten here in two years."

Adil Rashid claimed his first five-wicket haul of the summer with two wickets on the final day - Gillespie championing a "diligent and consistent" approach to training that has allowed Rashid to play more expressive cricket - while Steven Patterson and Liam Plunkett chipped in to cap off a supreme bowling performance overall. The four wickets taken on Thursday evening were all the more impressive given the amount of effort Patterson, Plunkett and Ryan Sidebottom had put in to take nine earlier in the day, as Middlesex followed on.

The ho-humming in the press box before tea as to whether Andrew Gale would enforce the follow-on was based solely on the freshness of his bowlers. There was no hesitation from Gale, such is the high standard of fitness that physio Scott McAllister and strength and conditioning coach Tom Summers have been able to instil into their players. Even in the field - from chasing the ball to running across between overs to not allow Middlesex's batsmen any relief - the energy throughout the team was clear to see.

"Scott and Tom need to take a lot of credit for how they prepare the boys physically," said Gillespie. "They're in great shape, strong and fit - they can play big innings, they can bowl long spells. It's exactly what you want from our team.

"I might have the title of first-team coach but it really is a team effort with our support staff, starting with Martin Moxon who has been a wonderful for myself, Paul Farbrace, Ian Dews and Richard Damms. We all work really well together."

Asked whether this was one of Yorkshire's best wins of the season based on their domination throughout, Gillespie was unsure. "We've had some really good victories this year and it's hard to pinpoint one because they've all come in different circumstances; we've had chases, bowled sides out following on and so on. The most satisfying thing is that different guys have stood up in different games and got the job done. It really ties in with our strong squad - we want contributions from everyone."

Strong squad indeed, especially when you consider the players they did not have in this match. Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Tim Bresnan are away with England, while Jack Brooks - who spent the intervals in this match bowling on the Nursery Ground and doing laps of the outfield - has a scan on his left thumb early next week to see if he can return to action.

John Simpson was the first to fall on the final day when he inexplicably placed his own feather in Gale's cap - rewarding the Yorkshire captain for some innovation when he brought Richard Pyrah in at short mid-off. Patterson put the ball on a full, driveable length and Simpson obliged - Pyrah didn't have to move an inch.

When Sidebottom then took two of Neil Dexter's stumps out of the ground, Gareth Berg took it upon himself, for the second time in this match, to inconvenience Yorkshire. His 38, scored with his usual punchiness, combined with 22 runs from the last three batsmen meant an innings defeat was avoided and Adam Lyth and Alex Lees had to "chase" five to win. Three maidens, three byes and a four later, they were there.

For Middlesex, the defeat compounded their inability to finish off Sussex in the previous game - a win would have seen them go top - and the fact that they will be without their captain, Chris Rogers, for the next four Championship games as he reports for Ashes duty.

This match showed just how valuable Rogers' runs are to Middlesex's cause. In his absence, they will need to find something from somewhere to get their season back on track. Adam Voges is expected to arrive once his participation in the Champions Trophy has ended, and the same goes for Eoin Morgan: two high-quality players who can add substance to the middle-order but will not remedy the vacant opener's position. Joe Denly is the obvious choice, but his form is hardly reassuring.

What they wouldn't give for some Yorkshire depth.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Martin on June 15, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Whilst everyone is congratulating the return to form of the likes of Rashid and Plunkett lest not forget the regular winning contributions of Steve Patterson. A good solid performer, working alongside the more experienced pros like Plunkett and Sidebottom has brought his game on in leaps and bounds. If anyone should be considered for the Lions winter tour, IMHO it's him. I agree the T20 season will distrupt our charge in the Championship, but if all is well in the backroom those support staff won't let that happen. September could be one 'eck of month of celebration!

  • Matthew on June 15, 2013, 0:05 GMT

    It sounds like everything is clicking into gear for us, even things we supporters don't get to see behind the scenes like fitness training. It reminds me of 2009 to 2011 England, when everything seemed in order and professionally managed and nothing was left to chance. Long may it continue

  • Dummy4 on June 14, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    When you consider we're missing Brooks, Ashraf and Rafiq to injury, Root, Bairstow and Bresnan to England, it makes our form in a dominant win all the more pleasing! Like most I didn't see us being competatiove this year, especially post Sussex, but this is bloody brilliant. T20 may come at the wrong time for us

  • Mark on June 14, 2013, 20:29 GMT

    @Michael J. Walker I am talking about a Lions tour! Liam Plunkett has the better chance of the two to make the full tour: his fast, swinging yorker to uproot Simpson's stumps was possibly the ball of the season. However, even Liam Plunkett has to demostrate sustained form over a full season (as I posted after yesterday's play) to get the attention of the selectors again.

    I watched Liam Plunkett score a 50 v Pakistan in a crisis in his first ODI. He looked like a huge talent then and has done well to come back when his career seemed over. Adil Rashid could have played for England two years ago if his career has not de-railed. Both are still young enough to know that good form over a full season in a successful side will give them a real chance of spending a winter away and making a claim for the future.

  • Dummy4 on June 14, 2013, 19:25 GMT

    There was nothing inevitable about it from this Yorkshire supporter's point of view! I think this is the first match of the season, post-Root, where the top of the Yorkshire batting order didn't need to be bailed out by the middle-order efforts of Ballance and Rashid, and this is the first time all season that a Yorkshire spinner has been amongst the wickets.

    I do have to admit that, going forward, things are looking pretty rosy (pun intended), especially if the seam attack can stay healthy for the rest of the summer.

    Rashid has been utterly fantastic with the bat, but it's too early to be talking about his England chances. He has to get his bowling back on track before the selectors will take notice. This match was a good start, but he has to be able to start doing it regularly.

  • Mark on June 14, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    There was a horrible inevitability to this defeat. Middlesex have now won just one of their last six games and were totally outplayed by a Yorkshire side who are playing better with each game as their self-belief increases. I am beginning to think that Yorkshire have all the cards to come out of the big scrum of sides at the top and open some daylight.

    Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett must be doing their chances of a winter tour a power of good. In fact, at a time when there are grave doubts about some of the potential replacements for the England seam attack it is not impossible that Liam Plunkett will be called up as cover at some point this summer if his good form continues.

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