Andrew Gale was delighted by what he saw from his Yorkshire team against Lancashire, admitting: “They look ready.”
Yorkshire have one more two-day friendly against Durham at Emerald Headingley, starting on Monday, prior to Saturday’s start of the Bob Willis Trophy against the same opponents at Emirates Riverside.
The White Rose had the better of the two days against Lancashire, their first outing of the summer.
After posting 337-5 yesterday, the bowlers reduced their arch-rivals to 107-5 before an evening recovery saw the visitors close today’s second day on 223-5 from 86 overs.
Adam Lyth hit 108 not out and Tom Kohler-Cadmore 70 on day one.
Matthew Waite also enjoyed an excellent couple of days, hitting an unbeaten 43 and taking two wickets today with his seamers.
Captain Steve Patterson employed himself as one of eight bowlers used, with their only period of significant frustration coming through the evening as all-rounders Danny Lamb and George Balderson recovered Lancashire from their early troubles and ensured the hosts went wicketless.
“It’s been good,” said Gale.
“I expected it to be intense because we are a week away from the season, so it has to be. And there’s competition for places.
“I wanted the lads to make sure the intensity was as near to first-class cricket as it could be, and it has been.
“What we’ve seen from Yorkshire is that we look well drilled and ready, which is what we’ve put our efforts in for over the last five weeks.
“Some of the lads were flagging a bit at tea, saying, ‘I’d forgotten how long a day in the dirt was!’ But they look ready.
“Usually in the pre-season games against the Universities, we’ve looked a bit shellshocked. But we haven’t looked like that.
“It’s been encouraging. It’s a pre-season game, but there’s been lots of positives.”
Gale will use more players in Monday’s two-day friendly against Durham as he looks to spread the workload.
He used 12 in this match and could use as many as 14 in the second.
But he admitted in terms of picking his team to face Durham in the North Group opener on Saturday: “I think we are just about there.
“There’s still uncertainty around Gary Ballance with his physical fitness. He’s been ill, so he’s still not where we’d want him to be.
“He’s a doubt for that first game, so there’s a place up for grabs at four. Missing Gary would be a big miss for us.
“The first game may also come too soon for Duanne (Olivier) given he’s not had the build-up that the rest of the lads have had.
“It sounds like they’ve had a pretty strict lockdown over there in South Africa, so it would be pretty high risk to throw him into that first game.
“I think he’d bowled the last 10 days before he’d come over, 12-15 overs at 80 percent. He’d also sent me some videos of him bowling into his bed sheet in his garden!”
Olivier will return to action in a two-day intra-squad friendly at Weetwood later next week.
Gale also confirmed he will be playing a spinner in the four-day game at Durham.
Jack Shutt bowled 19 overs, 1-43 against Lancashire and dismissed their captain Dane Vilas stumped. Josh Poysden will play against Durham on Monday.