Ottis Gibson could not hide his frustration after his Yorkshire side were denied the opportunity to try and complete victory over Sussex at Hove today.
Rain on day four at the 1st Central County Ground meant Yorkshire, 138-3 overnight chasing 201, were unable to get on the field and chase the final 63 runs required.
It meant they left the South Coast with nine points under their belts from a second draw in three Division Two games, added to a defeat.
Heavy overnight and morning rain abated at approximately 1pm, but umpires Neil Pratt and Rob White decided at 4.45pm that conditions hadn’t improved significantly enough and called the day off. It actually started raining again shortly after the decision was made.
“On a scale of 1-10, my frustration’s about 12. But that’s the way things are sometimes,” rued the coach.
“I wish the sun was as warm as it is at home in Barbados so it could dry the ground a bit quicker and we’d have got even 40 minutes in this evening. That probably would have been enough for us to get the job done. But it’s not to be.”
Yorkshire had a fabulous third day yesterday, which started with them on 216-7 in reply to a first-innings 361. They got up to 298 before bowling the hosts out for 137 second time around to set up a realistic victory target.
“We played well, and that’s what I’ve said to the guys just now,” continued Gibson.
“The way we bowled (in the second innings) having given up a lead is the template for us going forwards. That’s the way we need to approach it. Had we bowled better on the first day, perhaps we would have got a different outcome.
“When you’re behind the eight-ball, you need your key players to stand up. And everybody stood up. They showed a lot of skill, great character and fighting spirit and togetherness as well.
“To bowl them out for 137 on that pitch – it was still a good pitch – was a great effort.
“There were a lot of really good signs. We haven’t won the game, which is of course disappointing. But we’re playing good cricket, and I’m sure the win will come sooner rather than later. There is a lot of confidence in the squad.”
Gibson pointed to a number of impressive individual performances; Ben Coad, Dom Bess, Adam Lyth and Fin Bean to name four.
He also praised debutant Mickey Edwards, the big quick who was unlucky not to claim more than his solitary second-innings wicket.
“Mickey, I thought had a really good debut,” said Gibson. “He beat the bat and got those inside-edges on the first day. On another day, he could have had three or four wickets. Those were really good signs.”
Gibson and the Yorkshire squad said their farewells to West Indian wicketkeeper-batter Shai Hope, who played the last of his three-game overseas spell here. He departs having scored two fifties in four innings.
He could be replaced in the team by Jonny Bairstow, who returns to action in Yorkshire’s second team against Nottinghamshire at Headingley this week.
Yorkshire’s next Championship match is against Glamorgan at Headingley on May 4.
Gibson said: “Jonny is going to play this week against Notts at Headingley in the twos.
“We’ll go and have a look at him and see how he goes. He’s had such a long lay-off, so it’s a fitness assessment for him to see what his capacity is and what he can do on the field in terms running around in the outfield or standing behind the stumps. He will probably do both to see which one he’s most comfortable with.”
Yorkshire may also ask for new captain Shan Masood to be released early from Pakistan’s limited overs squad for that Glamorgan game as he hasn’t yet played in the ongoing series against New Zealand.
Gibson added: “I think Goughie’s dealing with that, and we have spoken about whether we could get him sooner. But I don’t know where we are with that one.
“It’s a good idea. If they say he’s not going to play, can we get him a game early? We’ll try and see. We have a couple of days now to see if we can make something happen.”