Yorkshire go top as leaders trounced
Yorkshire 444 (Plunkett 86, Williamson 75, Root 69, Bresnan 61, Woakes 4-68) beat Warwickshire 200 (Bell 97; Brooks 3-39) and 89 (Brooks 4-37) by an innings and 155 runs
Yorkshire are back at the top of the Championship table dealing the erstwhile leaders, Warwickshire, a crushing defeat in which they have again advertised themselves as the team with the strongest hand in this year's competition.
Middlesex have trounced Yorkshire; Warwickshire have trounced Middlesex; Yorkshire have now trounced Warwickshire. Picking a winner in this season's Championship is not easy.
Yorkshire's self-belief is high for all that. They had the upper hand in all bar one session in the match, which has been a painful exposure of Warwickshire's reliance on Ian Bell to paper over the cracks in their batting.
It was only because Bell made 97 that their first innings lasted long enough for Yorkshire to consider taking the second new ball and even then they were still 244 in arrears when Bell was last man out -- with the old ball, as it happens -- caught behind down the leg side off a loosener from Jack Brooks, who went on to complete an excellent match.
In the follow-on, Bell lasted only six deliveries and made four runs, and with no one else among the frontline batsmen managing even to match Varun Chopra's 13 Warwickshire fell apart under grouchy West Yorkshire skies.
They were five down for 31 inside the 13th over and Brooks and Tim Bresnan scythed through the top order, rallied (in relative terms) as Tim Ambrose and Chris Woakes showed some overdue resolve, but then wobbled badly again as Steve Patterson took two wickets in the same over, reduced to 84 for 7 when a sweep of heavy rain gave them temporary respite.
Woeful though Warwickshire's batting form is, excepting Bell, Yorkshire's bowling has been high class and it is comforting for them with the impending loss of Tim Bresnan to England (potentially for the remainder of the summer if he does well enough in the one-day series to regain his place in the Test side) that they have blown away a perceived title rival without Ryan Sidebottom and with decent back-up in reserve in the shape of Moin Ashraf and Rich Pyrah, neither of whom has yet been required.
With Bell's help, Warwickshire's first innings limped on just long enough to claim a batting point. They had lost their seventh wicket to the fourth ball of the morning when Keith Barker was drawn into playing a ball Liam Plunkett that found some extra bounce. Patterson bowled Jeetan Patel through the gate and Richard Jones was leg before to one from Adil Rashid that seemed to zip off the pitch.
Then Bell met his fate, missing out on what would have been his 48th first-class hundred and his third of the season in the Championship.
Yorkshire did not hesitate to enforce the follow-on and what happened next was spectacularly poor from Warwickshire. That was the only conclusion even allowing for the fact that the hors d'oeuvre served up before Plunkett had another chance to run in with venomous intent was a burst of Brooks in the mood to show that he too can make quality batsmen quake.
He and Bresnan combined to take five wickets for 10 runs in the space of 25 deliveries as Warwickshire lost half their batsmen in advancing the scoreboard from 21 to 31 in hopeless pursuit of the 244 they needed to make Yorkshire bat again.
Brooks had William Porterfield well caught by Adam Lyth at second slip before a full ball from Bresnan had Chopra leg before. Brooks ruffled Laurie Evans with a short ball he fended away uncertainly before bowling him with one that nipped back. Then came the big one as Bell pushed forward to a ball from Bresnan and edged to third slip, where Kane Williamson scooped up a very low catch. Bell walked anyway, so no argument.
Ateeq Javed became a sixth victim in the match for Brooks, after which there was a break in the mayhem as Tim Ambrose and Chris Woakes rode some early luck to add 47 runs before Patterson delivered his two-wicket burst, defeating Ambrose's tentative push and finding a thin edge to have Barker caught behind.
Heavy rain then offered Warwickshire hope that at least they might take the match into a fourth day, but after a two-and-a half-hour stoppage Yorkshire needed only three overs and two balls to ensure that did not happen.
Patel was dismissed without scoring for the second time in the day, caught at second slip by Adam Lyth off Brooks, whose tally for the season in the Championship rises to 21. Plunkett, overlooked for England's one-day plans but firmly in national selector James Whitaker's notebook for Test consideration, had the last word, trapping Richard Jones leg before and having Chris Wright taken superbly at fourth slip by Bresnan, with consecutive deliveries.