Andrew Gale pulled no punches in his assessment of Yorkshire’s bowling display for the vast majority of a difficult opening day against Kent at Emerald Headingley.

Kent recovered from 39-5 at the start of this penultimate round Specsavers County Championship clash to close on 482-8 from 96 overs.

Darren Stevens hit a sensational career best 237 and Sam Billings added 138.

The pair shared 346 for the sixth wicket as records tumbled.

Duanne Olivier claimed four of the first five wickets to fall and finished with a five-for. Matthew Fisher also bowled nicely with the new ball and arguably could have had more reward than his two wickets – one at either end of the day.

Unfortunately, there was little else to cheer as Kent claimed the early advantage as both sides battle to finish third in the Division One table.

Gale said: “The first half hour was very good, but from then on in it was poor – very poor.

“Fair play to Stevo, he played well. We just bowled both sides at him and couldn’t create any pressure.

“We know what works at Headingley, top of off-stump for long periods of time. We just couldn’t do that.

“The energy in the field was also poor, dropped catches in mid-afternoon. We’re lucky they haven’t got 700 on the board at the end of play there.

“That was well, well below par from the standards we set ourselves.

“We’ve got to come back in the morning, bowl them out and bat well. It’s as simple as that.

“Duanne bowled nicely early on. To have them 39 for five after they elected to bat, you’re thinking, ‘Can we bowl them out for under 150 and kill the game early on?’ That was what we didn’t manage to do last week (at Somerset).

“From 11am onwards, we haven’t managed to build any pressure. When you’re slightly off against a player like that, he will crucify you.

“We have to bat well. It will do a bit with the new ball, but it’s not a quick pitch. It’s slow and didn’t do that much. We have to get stuck in and show some grit and determination. If lads get an opportunity to get in, they’ve got to go big.”

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