Yorkshire seamer Matthew Fisher has revealed his four-wicket haul on day one against Sussex at Headingley today included two of his best ever overs.
Fisher returned an impressive 4-53 from 13 overs as the hosts restricted Sussex to 120-6 in only 42 overs, with rain playing its part at the start of this LV= Insurance County Championship fixture.
The 25-year-old harnessed brilliantly with new ball partner Ben Coad, who returned a miserly 2-10 from 12 overs as they made Sussex’s decision to bat first upon winning the toss look questionable.
Fisher’s haul included the wickets of Tom Haines caught behind and James Coles bowled with successive balls before lunch. He then got Dan Ibrahim caught behind and Sussex captain Tom Alsop caught at third slip.
The one-Test England bowler came into this fixture on the back of taking two wickets in the draw against Worcestershire at New Road last week. The general consensus was that he deserved more reward for his endeavour in the Midlands.
Fisher, a man with high expectations, was happy with today’s work, though not completely 100 percent delighted.
“If you’d have said, ‘120-6’, I think we’d have probably taken it,” he said.
“It was a bit disappointing at the end, me especially. I felt like I bowled well all day and then let it off at the with that over (Fynn Hudson-Prentice and Nathan McAndrew took 15 off him late on) which went for a few runs.
“We want to keep backing up good spells and pass it on to your mate for him to come on, and I felt like I let the momentum go.
“But, all in all, we were happy.”
On Sussex’s decision to bat first, he said: “We would have bowled, but fair play to them. Farby (Paul Farbrace) used to coach here, so I wasn’t surprised they took the aggressive option.”
Of his own performance compared to Worcester last week and his two memorable overs, he said: “I went home really pleased with how I bowled last week but also a bit frustrated that I didn’t get what I felt like I deserved.
“I do think I’m fairly honest with myself. If I don’t bowl well, I’ll say so. But I felt like I really clicked last week.
“I bowled some really good balls and some really good overs today, but I didn’t feel in as good a rhythm as I did last week.
“But I still bowled two of the best overs I’ve ever bowled in my career today.
“One of them was the Ibrahim wicket over. That one was amazing.
“The other was the Alsop wicket. The reason for that was the plan we had to him.
“It was short, then in-swinger, short, in-swinger and then wobbled it across hoping that he’d play it because of the in-swingers before. He did and nicked it. It was exactly how we wanted to get him out.”
Yorkshire will clearly hope to wrap up the Sussex innings quickly in the morning, though they’re taking nothing for granted. Fisher added “Everyone can bat nowadays. There’s no genuine tail-enders knocking about.
“We had a change of ball at the end. The one which was swinging got wet down the bottom end (Howard Stand End) and the new ball didn’t do much.
“We’ve just spoken about it. We just need to keep building some really good spells and hopefully the wickets will come quickly that way.”
Sussex head coach Paul Farbrace added: “It was an interesting day from the point of the view that we were convinced it was the right thing to do to bat.
“Yorkshire will say they’re in a good position. They will be happy with their day’s work. But if we can get a score north of 200, we think we’ll have a decent score on the board on that pitch. It wasn’t necessarily that we feel it’s a good pitch to bat on first. It’s more that we don’t feel it will get any better as the game unfolds. The more runs you can get at the start, the better.”