Warwickshire v Yorkshire, Edgbaston, 3rd day April 11, 2010

Yorkshire left to regret missed chances

George Dobell at Edgbaston

Warwickshire 217 and 347 v Yorkshire 274 and 57 for 1

If Yorkshire struggle to avoid relegation this season, they may reflect on the third day of this match with a great deal of regret. Yes, it's early to be talking about such issues. But the bookies make Andrew Gale's side favourites for the drop, so they can ill afford to squander match-winning opportunities. Particularly against another side that could find themselves in the relegation mix.

But Yorkshire certainly spurned a good chance here. With Warwickshire struggling to build a challenging target, the visiting fielders dropped several potential catches, allowing the hosts to set a target perhaps 60 more than should have been the case. On such a wicket, that's a significant amount of runs.

Jim Troughton was the grateful recipient on two occasions. First, on 50, he offered a chance off the leading edge that looped high over the slips. Anthony McGrath and Tim Bresnan both made ground quickly but though the former appeared to have clung on, he became tangled in the latter and the ball went to ground. Neither man appeared to call for the catch.

Had it been taken, Warwickshire would have been eight down and only 215 ahead. Moments later Troughton was missed again. This time it was Yorkshire's wicketkeeper, Jonathan Bairstow, who put down the regulation outside edge. The unfortunate bowler on both occasions was Oliver Hannon-Dalby. In just his second first-class game, he bounced back from a disappointing display in the first innings with a sustained and impressive display of fast-medium bowling. At one stage claimed four for 19 in 29 balls and later returned to wrap-up the innings and claim the first five-wicket haul of a career that promises much. Those of a certain persuasion might be interested to learn that he is the first Yorkshireman with a double-barrelled name to achieve such a feat.

His spell changed the game. Until then, Warwickshire appeared to be progressing smoothly, with Jonathan Trott and Jim Troughton posting 105 for the fourth wicket and inching their side into the ascendancy. Using his great height (six feet, eight inches) to extract extra bounce, Hannon-Dalby utilised the helpful conditions sensibly and maintained a consistently good line and length. He has no great pace of yet but, aged just 20, could yet fill-out and become a very useful player.

It was Trott's dismissal that sparked the decline. Trott, smarting at his rejection from England's ODI and T20 teams, had batted with great assurance but, drawn into pushing at one he could have left off the back foot, he edged to second slip. Three balls later Tim Ambrose, who looks to be in no form at all, played a similar stroke and was dropped at slip by Bresnan. Ambrose failed to take advantage, however, succumbing to the next delivery as he swung - horribly - across the line. Hannon-Dalby then defeated Chris Woakes' tentative forward defensive, before Neil Carter drove straight to mid-off.

Troughton and Naqaash Tahir resisted, however. Though Naqaash played and missed often, the pair added 64 for the eighth wicket, with Troughton flourishing after a sticky start and unveiling some characteristically flowing strokes through the covers. He was finally defeated by a fine inswinger from the impressive Steve Patterson, before Naqaash played across a straight one and was trapped in front. By then, however, Yorkshire's profligacy had enabled Warwickshire to set a target of 291.

Perhaps they will feel their total should have been even higher, however. With Ian Bell and Varun Chopra building a solid platform and Troughton and Trott capitalising with half-centuries, Warwickshire appeared to be earning a winning position. Certainly Bell, on his 28th birthday, will regret his dismissal moments after completing an untroubled half-century. In attempting to drive a ball that was never there for the stroke he succeeded only in slicing to point, while Chopra, half-forward to one that left him, edged to slip.

The most impressive batting of the match to date has come from Trott, however. Punching powerfully through the covers and clipping through mid-wicket with style, he allowed no margin for error and demonstrated the technique and temperament necessary to master such testing conditions. He gave one half-chance, on 70, when he edged Bresnan just to the right of McGrath at slip, but otherwise this was a masterful demonstration.

Yorkshire started well in pursuit of their target but, with Joe Sayers following one angled across him before the close, Warwickshire should still be considered narrow favourites to claim just their fourth championship win at Edgbaston since April 2007.

The pitch has eased somewhat, but still offers help to bowlers of all types. Certainly it has contributed to a wonderfully engaging game of cricket that has provided a great deal more entertainment than the run-drenched draws so prevalent at Edgbaston in recent seasons. An appetising final day looms.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Malcolm on April 12, 2010, 15:47 GMT

    Just logged on in Canada to find that the Tykes had won a game that hung in the balance as I followed the last overs of day three on the web. Hopefully, they can continue to win such games as consistently as they lost them in previous seasons. With Shazhad and Bresnan (my great nephew whom I have never met) away at the World Cup, it looks as though Hannon-Dalby might be handling a big load. Gale will have his work cut out for him but experience with England A should help. A useful start to a season that many predict will finally see Yorkshire make the drop that they have narrowly avoided of late.

  • Jackie on April 12, 2010, 14:46 GMT

    Yes, I've come home to find the game ended. But my fears have been confirmed. I don't think Warwickshire have a strong enough bowling attack for Div 1. Andrew Miller looks like he gave away too many runs at the most crucial time. But Westwood should have been bowling Carter in his place at least. Durham used to have the same problem re Div 1 in the spinning department until they signed Blackwell. Ashley Giles was expected to put this right over the winter. The Bears only were comfortable last season because of the exceptional batting of Bell and Trott. I'm not sure about Westwood's captaincy either. Perhaps a more senior eye is required. It's true we are missing Boyd Rankin but strength in depth is needed. Any one of the bowlers could be injured at any time.

  • Jackie on April 12, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    Another wonderful report from George Dobell. Even from afar with radio commentary to rely on this is really absorbing cricket to measure against the somewhat infantile IPL. Trott often flourishes down the order and prefers to bat after Bell who has absorbed some of the difficulties of the game by setting up a platform. Bell, as usual with Warwickshire, has come in after one of the openers has failed. A platform for him would appear a luxury. Chopra failed in the first innings, Westwood a duck in the second. Bell came in at 6-1 and 9-1. This is the pattern of so many Warwickshire innings. Perhaps this experience helped Bell at the Oval when he came in at 12-1. But Trott was at sea when he came in at the Wanderers when Strauss fell for a duck.

    Should Trott and Bell have been resting post Bangladesh like other players?

    My last point is that the Warwickshire batsmen are facing a far more potent bowling attack than their opponents. Its in the bowling that this game might be decided.

  • Dummy4 on April 12, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    Do you perhaps feel warwickshires attack isnt quite yet strong enough to bowl yorkshire out for less than whats required? Still a great advert for the 4 day game!

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