In this edition of ‘Yorkshire Informer’ we look ahead to the opening LV= County Championship match of the season when Yorkshire travel to Taunton to face Somerset. We hear from Captain Andrew Gale who gives his thoughts on the season ahead.
We also bring you all the team news and a full statspack.
What can we expect from Somerset?
“Taunton is always a tough place to go. Somerset didn’t have a good season last year and they performed well under par for the team that they have got.
“They have changed the personnel around and they will have something to prove to their supporters and the wider cricket community. They have some real match winners in their side and under the leadership of Marcus Trescothick they will want to get off to a good start with a win.
“I would imagine this time of the year there will be a little bit in the pitch. Hopefully, through our attack, we can take advantage of that and come away with a result.
“There are always a lot of results around in April. Our immediate aim is to start positively and try get two to three wins on the board before mid-May.
“We didn’t start as well as we would have liked last season and hopefully we can get out of the blocks on Sunday.”
Who has impressed in the practice games we’ve had this season?
“Gary Ballance continues to dominate with the bat and I expect another big season for him, especially now that he has broken into the England set-up.
“Alex Lees scored a century at Northamptonshire and bullied their attack on the first day. He was in magnificent form and is now maturing into a top-class professional, who I think can have a major impact on our season.”
Gary Ballance one to watch in 2014.
The start to the 2014 season looks to be the most intriguing for many years with every player, especially the England players, needing to impress. What are your thoughts on the next few weeks across the county game?
“It’s going to be tough for everyone. Most players are feeling the pressure to deliver every time they go out onto the field.
“Whether you’re a selector, a pundit or even a supporter there will be a lot of interest in the scorecards up and down the country. There will be added pressure on the England players to perform an every time the go out to the middle they will feel the pressure building. It’s how you deal with it that counts. It will be intriguing for everyone connected to the game.
“It is difficult to predict which teams are going to make a challenge for the title. That is the beauty of the County Championship – every team is capable of beating each other.
“We will have to play some good cricket during the early part of the season to get some results. I said from the outset that I expect us to be up there. We certainly have the squad to compete for silverware. It was a tough pill to swallow missing out last season. This time we want to go one better and win it.”
How do you deal with the massive expectation from the Yorkshire supporters?
“There is always a high expectation when you play cricket for Yorkshire. That is what we all sign up for.
“You walk through the gates at Headingley or Scarborough and you feel the sense of history straight away. We are aware of the drought in terms of silverware and we want to address that. This group of players perform better when under pressure. Hopefully this will be our year.”
Gary Ballance requires 68 runs for a total of 3,000 in all First-Class matches for Yorkshire.
Gary Ballance requires 127 runs for a First-Class total of 5,000
Andrew Hodd requires 2 catches for a First-Class total of 150.
Alex Lees requires 90 runs for a First-Class total of 1,000.
Adam Lyth (pictured) requires 93 runs for a First-Class total of 5,000.
Steve Patterson requires 5 wickets for a First-Class total of 200.
Adil Rashid (pictured) requires 6 wickets for a total of 300 in all First-Class matches for Yorkshire.
Results (home and away)
Played 165, Yorkshire won 89, lost 22 and drew 54
Highest innings totals
Yorkshire 589-5 Bath 2001
At Taunton 549-9dec 1905
Somerset 620 Headingley 1901
In Somerset 592 Taunton 1982
Lowest innings totals
Yorkshire 73 Headingley 1895
In Somerset 83 Wells 1949
Somerset 35 Bath 1898
At Taunton 48 1954
Highest individual innings
Yorkshire 213 H Sutcliffe Dewsbury 1924
In Somerset 207 MJ Wood of Huddersfield Taunton 2003
Somerset 297 MJ Wood of Exeter Taunton 2005
Best bowling in an innings
Yorkshire 10-35 A Drake Weston-super-Mare 1914
At Taunton 7-16 R Appleyard 1954
Somerset 9-41 LC Braund Sheffield (BL) 1902
In Somerset 8-46 AE Bailey Taunton 1907
Best bowling in a match
Yorkshire 15- 50 R Peel Headingley 1895
In Somerset 15- 51 A Drake Weston-super-Mare 1914
At Taunton 13-154 SP Kirby 2003
Somerset 15- 71 LC Braund Sheffield (BL) 1902
In Somerset 14-247 EJ Tyler Taunton 1895
A century and five wickets in an innings in the same match
GH Hirst 111 & 117*; 6-70 & 5-45 Bath 1906
W Rhodes 100; 4-49 & 5-28 Weston-super-Mare 1924
DB Close 128 & 34; 0-72 & 6-87 Bath 1959
DB Close 103; 5-36 & 0-4 Hull 1961