Ottis Gibson has been reflecting on Yorkshire’s opening round LV= Insurance County Championship defeat at Headingley today, one which ended with Leicestershire chasing 389 to win by three wickets with seven balls to spare.
“First of all, what a fantastic game of cricket over the course of four days,” said the coach. “It was good cricket the whole time.
“You hate to come out on the wrong end of a result like that, but you saw two teams trying desperately to win.
“We could have batted on longer today, but sometimes you have to risk losing in order to win. The fact the game went down to the last two overs, we could have still won. But credit to Leicester, they deserved their win.”
As he spoke to the media shortly after close, the fact Gibson used the phrase “catches win matches” indicates where he felt this Division Two game got away.
“You can look at a lot of things,” he said.
“In the first innings, we could have made more runs. Today, on a flat pitch, we created enough chances to win. We dropped Patel, who got a hundred, and we dropped Handscomb as well. You give good players chances and they’ll punish you.”
The pitch was excellent for batting, offering very little to the seamers but some purchase to off-spinner Dom Bess today.
“Headingley is not a traditionally spinning pitch, so you need the ball moving sideways for the seamers, which it didn’t do – for both teams,” said Gibson.
“I know we have a good set of bowlers, but the key for me is to find the right combination of bowlers to suit the conditions.”
Gibson praised the likes of Fin Bean and Dawid Malan, both first-innings centurions, while he also did likewise to Bess following his 5-158 from 32 overs today. He kept Yorkshire’s hopes of victory alive pretty much right to the end.
“Dom’s gone away and worked really hard on his game this winter,” he said.
“We’ve had a lot of conversations. He’s desperate to do well, and I was happy for him today – the way he bowled and got his wickets.”
Next up is Gloucestershire at Bristol on Thursday.
Gibson added: “It was a good game of cricket, but unfortunately it didn’t go our way today.
“We’re not going to dwell on it too much because it’s the first game of a 14-game season.
“I’ve said to the lads, ‘When you go home and come back to training on Tuesday, please don’t bring it with you. Come back with a positive mindset and look forward to Bristol’.”
Pakistan batter Saud Shakeel arrived in Yorkshire today and is set to debut, while Matthew Fisher has recovered from his broken hand and will travel with the squad to the South West in anticipation of a season’s first appearance.