Brooks and Patterson set up three-day win
Yorkshire 307 (Lees 87, Bresnan 83, Andrew 5-85 Shantry 4-65) and 105 for (Lees 52*) beat Worcestershire 311 (Fell 114, Moeen 62, Andrew 59, Brooks 5-56) and 100 (Patterson 5-11, Brooks 4-28) by ten wickets
Yorkshire's travelling supporters at Championship matches are a pleasant bunch of people. One might even call them the low-sodium salt of the earth. It is unthinkable that they would ever break into a chant as charmless as: "That's why we're champions." Then again, on the third day of this match at New Road, Alex Lees's players needed no one to trumpet their merits; they did the job perfectly themselves.
Having conceded a first-innings lead of four runs and handicapped by the absence of Ryan Sidebottom with a calf injury, Yorkshire's seamers performed as well as ever they did in their title-winning summer. On a pitch offering nothing but a pinch of assistance to the quicker bowlers, Jack Brooks and Tim Bresnan wrecked Worcestershire's top order in just eight Test-class overs to leave Daryl Mitchell's side languishing on 21 for 4.
An hour's determined resistance from flatmates Tom Fell and Tom Kohler-Cadmore and a few late blows from the tail elicited stoic cheers from home supporters but they did nothing whatever to colour the ultimate outcome. Steven Patterson rumbled in from the New Road End to remove Fell and Ben Cox in the same over just before lunch and then bowled meanly and straight after the resumption.
One or two of Worcestershire's lower-order batsmen may not be too happy with their choice of stroke but Patterson was cheerily content with their selections. The tall medium-pacer claimed career-best figures of 5 for 11, and while Jack Shantry whacked Bresnan for three off-side boundaries late in proceedings, last September's hero could do nothing to rescue his side.
All this took place on an April afternoon when Worcestershire's demise offered a curious contrast to the almost magical portents of spring on the horse chestnut and copper beech. The many delights girding New Road deserved more than a three-day finish.
Needing 105, Yorkshire completed their ten-wicket victory with dreamy ease in 17 overs at 3.42 pm and collected 22 points for their labours. Stand-in skipper Lees made an unbeaten 52 on his 22nd birthday; he may have better days in his career but few prouder ones. His opening partner Will Rhodes contributed a quietly impressive 45 not out on his Championship debut.
The lazy-thinking critics of Division Two cricket will probably be quick to point their fingers at the failings of promoted Worcestershire's batsmen when they study this game's scorecard. This would be unfair on both sets of players. It is far too early to reach a judgement on the batsmen, one of whom, Tom Fell, scored a fine century in this match. Much more importantly, though, it would belittle the achievement of Brooks, whose second-innings 4 for 28 completed a career-best match return of 9 for 84, with seven of his victims top-six batsmen.
Bowling with good pace and the sort of discipline a Calvinist might envy, Brooks first removed Moeen Ali when the England batsman could only edge a fine delivery to Jack Leaning at second slip; he then accounted for Mitchell with a brutal lifter which was fended to Lees at first slip; finally, he made Alex Gidman's Worcestershire debut a miserable affair when he had the county's new signing caught behind for 4.
All this came on top of Bresnan's removal of Richard Oliver in the third over when the opener shouldered arms to a ball that dipped in to him. Just after Gidman trooped up the steps of the pavilion, the bells of the Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary began to toll for noon. Those who saw a deeper omen in the tintinnabulations were not far wrong. Brooks and Bresnan had barely bowled a bad ball in 13 overs.
"There were a couple of little periods in the first innings when we let Worcestershire off the hook but Jack was fantastic today," Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie said. "Tim was excellent and then Steve Patterson just did his thing. He has that ability to hit that shoebox on a good length and ask questions of the batsman.
"They took all our players away and banned our captain and we still came away with a ten-wicket victory," continued Gillespie, referring to Andrew Gale's enforced absence. "It's one of the best wins I've been involved with in cricket."
For his part, Worcestershire coach Steve Rhodes paid justified tribute to the quality of the Yorkshire attack. "That first session really cost us but sometimes you just have to take your hat off to the opposition," he said. "It was world-class Test-match bowling from Bresnan and Brooks and that could have destroyed a lot of batting line-ups. We'll learn a lot from that, not just our batsmen, but our bowlers, too."