Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale hailed Dawid Malan’s brilliant unbeaten 153 against Derbyshire, saying: “It’s the sort of innings and the reason why we signed him.”
Home debutant Malan has underpinned Yorkshire’s healthy 288-4 from 79 overs after two days of their Bob Willis Trophy clash with fellow North Group pacesetters Derbyshire at Emerald Headingley.
He has gained helped from Jonny Tattersall, unbeaten on 64, with the pair sharing an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 182.
Unfortunately, only one over of play was possible during the second day, owing to rain and bad light. But Malan hit two boundaries and moved from 145 to pass 150.
The former Middlesex left-hander pulled and cut boundaries off left-arm seamer Michael Cohen when play began at 3pm following morning rain.
Umpires Peter Hartley and James Middlebrook immediately took the players off for bad light before more rain forced an abandonment at 4.50pm.
Across the two days of his third first-class appearance in all for Yorkshire but first on home turf, Malan has hit 23 fours and a six in 153 not out off 186 balls.
He has played fluently in challenging batting conditions to steer Yorkshire away from potential danger at 106-4 shortly after lunch on day one.
“Dawid’s played well,” said Gale.
“It’s the sort of innings and the reason why we signed him – you lose a couple of quick wickets and your experienced player plays the situation nicely.
“He looked good in the two days of preparation leading up to the game.
“He’s very much a feel sort of player, and he said he felt good going into the game.
“This Derby attack, it’s quite young and inexperienced. I felt if we could defend our stumps, they would give us balls to hit.
“He looked really fluent and latched onto anything that was wide or full.”
This could actually be somewhat of a farewell present from the 32-year-old as he has every chance of being selected in England’s limited overs squads for forthcoming series against Pakistan and Australia.
The squad are due to link up at Emirates Old Trafford later this week before the Australia series finishes on September 16.
That means Malan may not be available until the final two Vitality Blast North Group games next month and for any possible Bob Willis Trophy final.
As for now, the attention remains on this fixture and how the final two days play out.
Is a win realistic or are bonus points the main priority as they aim to cut the four-point gap between themselves and leaders Derby at the top of the North Group?
With only the two best placed group winners advancing to the final, every point could be vital at the end of the five-game group stage.
Gale added: “It’s hard to know how we’ll play it from here. It just depends on how much time we lose moving forwards.
“The forecast looks a bit mixed.
“There’s still enough time left in the game to get a result if we don’t lose any more time. But if we lose a day tomorrow, bonus points become paramount.”