Dom Bess has spoken of a “rewarding” couple of days after impressing with 3-55 from 21 overs for Yorkshire as they bowled Worcestershire out for 389 in the first innings at Headingley today.
Worcestershire advanced their first innings from 280-5 overnight, with off-spinner Bess adding two morning wickets to one he took last night.
After getting Kashif Ali caught and bowled for 93 on day one, Bess bowled Ben Allison for 75 today and had Joe Leach caught at short fine-leg.
He finished with the pick of the figures in an attack which shared the wickets around; Ben Coad, George Hill and Matt Milnes all added two wickets apiece.
“The last two days have been quite rewarding considering the type of pitch we’re playing on. There’s not that much in terms of seam movement, and I’d probably call it anti-spin,” said the off-spinning all-rounder.
“You can play on some interesting pitches in September which spin and it’s all or nothing.
“It seems like this last couple of weeks has been nothing. It’s been a bit frustrating for myself – quite a frustrating summer in general. But it’s been nice to show what I can do.
During a day which saw only 29 overs bowled, with bad light and rain forcing no play beyond 1.30pm, Yorkshire closed on 24-0 in their reply.
Looking ahead to the next two days, Bess said: “It’s a belter of a wicket. It’s the ODI wicket. If we bat really well, we can go above and beyond their score. If there’s time to have a look at them with the ball, we will do that.
“The flipside is if we don’t respect it, it can soon be two days batting where they need to take 20 wickets.
“But I’m confident that with our batting line-up – we bat really deep with Coad at 11 and Milnes at 10 – we should be alright if we apply ourselves.”
There is of course always the chance of more weather at this time of year, and with the game still in its infancy it could potentially require some creative thinking between the two dressing rooms on Friday in order to manufacture a finish.
“Personally, I’d be all for setting up a game if we get to that position, but there’s still quite a bit to play,” said Bess.
“There’s two days left, and we know how quickly cricket can change.”
Bess has now taken 22 wickets in the Championship, joining Ben Coad (35), Jordan Thompson (30) and Matthew Fisher in passing the 20-wicket mark.
This is the former Somerset man’s eighth game, and it excludes the two games he played on loan at his former county and Warwickshire. He took five wickets in those.
“We looked at some stats the other day, and before the Glamorgan game (at Cardiff, week before last) I’d bowled 160 overs with 16 wickets this season,” he reflected.
“With Glamorgan and here, there’s probably about 100 overs there. I’ve almost caught up in two games.
“It shows you hard it is to bowl spin up here and how much I’m impacting the game. That’s not what I want to see.
“I just have to find ways and bowl more often like yesterday and today to show that people can chuck me the ball no matter what the situation is.”
Bess went out on loan during late June and early July when Ottis Gibson and Darren Gough opted to take a look at a different spin option in left-armer Dan Moriarty, who signed on loan from Surrey.
Moriarty has since signed a three-year contract at Headingley to bolster the spin bowling department and increase competition.
Bess added: “I’ve been in situations like that before, and I back myself. We’re two different options with him being a left-armer. We’ll have to see how it goes.
“I don’t think I’d be here if I wasn’t up for that challenge.
“I challenged with Jack Leech down at Somerset for a while, and we had a lot of success down there.”