Andrew Gale admits he is “pretty pleased” with Yorkshire’s unbeaten start to the season.

The White Rose have won three and drawn two from the opening five LV= Insurance County Championship games – the halfway stage of the Group Three campaign.

The draw with Kent at Emerald Headingley, which finished today, leaves them seven points behind leaders Lancashire and, more importantly, 18 points clear of third-placed Northamptonshire.

“First and foremost, I’m happy with the attitude and character we’ve shown towards our cricket,” said Gale. “We’ve won some real tight games that could have gone against us.

“As a bowling unit, we’ve been outstanding. We’ve been really consistent.

“We know there’s work to do on our batting. We are talking about it and working hard on it – the lads are working hard in the nets. That’s all you can ask.

“We have played some decent cricket, but we are always striving for the perfect game. We haven’t quite nailed it yet, but we are going in the right direction.

“It’s always a good sign when you’re winning and not playing at your best. I’m pretty pleased as we sit here halfway through the group stage.”

Yorkshire face Glamorgan at Cardiff in their next game on Thursday, when Joe Root will play his final county fixture before England’s early June Test series with New Zealand.

Gale revealed further mixed availability news: “David Willey will come back into the fold. He’s had a week’s rest and is chomping at the bit,” he said.

“Matthew Waite scored a great hundred in the second team last week. It’s good to see him back playing, albeit he’s not quite up to speed on his bowling.

“Unfortunately Matthew Fisher has had a bit of a setback on his abdomen, so he’s not going to be playing for a few weeks now.”

Further down the line, Yorkshire play Lancashire at the end of May when potentially they could have Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan available following the IPL.

Gale said: “I’ve spoken to Jonny, and he’s an England player. We will have to see what the ECB say about him.

“I’ll have to chat to Dawid. I’m hopeful that he will be available for the Lancashire game. Joe won’t be available for that because he will be getting ready for the Test Match.”

On this weather-affected Kent game, which had four sessions wiped out by weather on days three and four, Gale said: “I thought we bowled nicely in this game and had them on the rack for a while before they had a good partnership at the end of their innings.

“We batted nicely and picked up a few more batting points. We have spoken about that a lot, and that was a positive. Gary Ballance back amongst the runs as well.

“Overall it was a frustrating few days with the weather, but there were still some positives we could take.”

And on Gary Ballance, who made 96 before being run out on day four, the coach added: “He’s been a bit rusty over the last few weeks, which is understandable given the amount of cricket he’s missed over the last year or so.

“But he looked back to his best in this game. He left the ball really well, and it’s always a good sign when you see Gary driving through the extra cover area.

“When you see Gary in that sort of form, he’s a massive asset to us. Long may it continue.

“I was gutted for him that he missed out on a century given everything he’s been through. He was gutted as well.

“He took his pads off and went straight to the gym and took his anger out in there.

“It’s one of those things. A badly judged run and he’s missed out on three figures.”

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