Yorkshire v Warwickshire, Headingley, 2nd day July 6, 2010

Adil Rashid spins Yorkshire ahead

Jon Culley at Headingley

Yorkshire 425 v Warwickshire 221 for 7
Scorecard

Four wickets for Adil Rashid, bowling with a self-assurance that can only encourage both Yorkshire and England, helped the Championship leaders reach a position from which they might take a clear lead at the top of the First Division.

Warwickshire's position at the close - delayed until almost seven o'clock after a 30-minute stoppage for rain - leaves them needing 55 more to avoid the follow-on, although they at least had the consolation of a batting bonus point - only their second in six matches in an increasingly grim season.

That was made possible for the most part by their first opening partnership in three figures for more than a year as Ian Westwood and Darren Maddy put on 102.

Rashid's current status is difficult to assess. Largely a passenger on England's winter tour of South Africa, he has not played any international cricket since he bowled three overs in the second one-day international at Centurion Park on November 22nd. He was overlooked for the World Twenty20 and both series, home and away, against Bangladesh.

But while some may judge that to be insensitive treatment by the selectors, it may actually be just what he needs. Armed with some knowledge, at least, of the standards he must attain to be successful at the top level, a period giving his undivided attention to county cricket should make him a better bowler. If a snub by design is taking place, the selectors may yet congratulate themselves on their wisdom.

Yorkshire will not mind if he does not get a look-in for the rest of the season. He is their leading wicket-taker in first-class cricket with 37 successes and has been their most effective weapon in Twenty20 thus far for good measure. What's more, he looks as though he is enjoying every minute, particularly with the support of a captain, in Andrew Gale, who encourages self-expression.

Rashid was Yorkshire's trump card in the evening session. In the morning, it was wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy's turn to enjoy an overdue moment in the sun. Under pressure from Jonathan Bairstow for the gloves, he did his cause no harm by completing his seventh first-class century - his second for Yorkshire - off 168 balls with 15 fours.

Unfortunately, though, he did not extend it by much, giving his wicket away somewhat with a loose stroke as Warwickshire mounted a fightback that, for two sessions, went well.

After Rashid had been leg before to Neil Carter off the second ball of the day, Brophy aimed to cut Rikki Clarke but steered the ball straight to point. Azeem Rafiq was then taken at gully off Clarke before a fine throw by Steffan Piolet - a direct hit from short third man - ran out Steve Patterson at the non-striker's end.

A brave effort from Rich Pyrah, suffering a bout of sickness and clearly under the weather, gained Yorkshire a fourth batting point. He finished unbeaten on 45, despite being stopped in his tracks several times by an irresistible urge to retch. Tino Best showed rather less resolve. He was caught at gully fending off a short ball from Boyd Rankin, and with Oliver Hannon-Dalby caught at short leg soon after lunch, Warwickshire could claim to have dominated the day to that point, having claimed six Yorkshire wickets for 100.

They were still on top at tea. Captain Westwood, with Maddy in the supporting role, led a partnership that took them past 100 without the loss of a wicket for the first time since June 2008. Most of this season's efforts have been broken in single figures.

Missing Ian Ball and Jonathan Trott, Warwickshire's form with the bat had been woeful coming into this match. Topping 150 has often proved beyond them, which explains why relegation looks a strong possibility. Westwood's 95-ball 66, therefore, represented rare riches.

But after both he and Maddy fell leg before in consecutive overs, the innings began to lose its way. Westwood was a first victim for Rashid, playing back to a delivery that shot through with a low trajectory, as Warwickshire found themselves 104-2. They should have been 111-3 at tea but Ant Botha was missed by Anthony McGrath at slip on six off Rashid with the last ball of the afternoon session.

That reprieve allowed Botha and Jim Troughton to build a recovery of sorts but three wickets in the space of 10 balls shifted the balance back in Yorkshire's favour as the visitors slipped from 148 for 2 to 153 for 5.

Rashid, looking confident and making the ball turn and bounce, claimed his second success when Troughton popped the ball obligingly to Adam Lyth at forward short leg and dismissed Botha in much the same fashion. In between, 18-year-old Atiq Javid was leg before to an arrow-straight delivery from Steve Patterson.

Tim Ambrose, who had been short of his best with the gloves, would have been out without scoring had an edge off Patterson not flashed past a motionless Jacques Rudolph at slip, after which the former England wicketkeeper had another piece of luck on 17 when he squirted a ball from Rashid onto his stumps without dislodging the bails.

After the rain, Warwickshire lost two more wickets. A straight and fast ball from Best left Ambrose looking helpless, then Rashid had Piolet leg before, although the first impression, which the batsman seemed to share, was that he had put bat on ball first, although fourth-floor level at third man is possibly not the best place from which to make an accurate judgment.

Warwickshire will want Clarke and Carter to dig in on day three and lose some more time rain. But even that might not be enough.

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