Ottis Gibson reflected on a tough day at the office for Yorkshire as Warwickshire held on for a draw at Headingley, but the county’s coach admitted: “I’m proud of the way the boys fought today.”
Warwickshire started day four on 57-3 in their second innings, trailing by 148.
But unbeaten centuries for Will Rhodes and Sam Hain, they shared a double century partnership, pushed the Bears to 252-3 and a lead of 47 when the players shook hands at 4.50pm.
It left Yorkshire with 14 points from their fifth successive LV= Insurance County Championship draw, following on from an opening round win against Gloucestershire.
The county have jumped up to third in the Division One table on 90 points, 15 behind leaders Surrey, as the competition breaks for approximately a month to make way for the start of the Vitality Blast this week.
“It was very tough for the players. When everybody woke up this morning, that’s not what we saw or expected,” said Gibson. “But, fair play to the two Warwickshire batters, they played really well and batted nicely.
“The pitch, again, didn’t offer us much with the ball.
“They showed that, on that type of wicket, if you apply yourselves, it’s very hard to get you out.
“The first two innings the ball did a bit. But maybe it was the four heavy rollers (which deadened the pitch) – two per innings.
“It’s a difficult one for the boys. We tried really hard, but there was nothing there for us. Also, it’s a been long six-week slog. To come at the end of that and have to bowl a team out on a very flat pitch, meant that we perhaps didn’t have anything left in the tank.
“But I’m proud of the way the boys fought today even though we didn’t get a wicket.
“We still tried different things, different bowlers, round the wicket, short balls and things like that. It just wasn’t to be.
?“Credit to the boys. We won the first game and were on the front foot in all the other ones apart from the Lancashire game when we were never at the races. This game, we dominated from the beginning.
“We talk all the time about creating opportunities to win, and we have done that quite often. We’ve just not been able to drive home that advantage when we’ve had it. It’s tough.”
Adam Lyth’s first-innings 145 was the standout personal contribution for the hosts, the opener’s first century of 2022.
It had been a difficult start to the summer for the left-hander, who had previously only scored two half-centuries in eight innings.
“It was nice to see Lythy come good in this game and play a really good innings,” said Gibson. “They bowled well up front in our first innings, and he had to graft. You could then see the fluency coming back in his strokeplay. He played beautifully.”
Yorkshire’s next Championship game is on June 12 against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
Before then, Gibson’s men begin their Blast campaign, starting against Worcestershire at Headingley on Wednesday.
“Everybody is looking forward to the Blast,” said Gibson, who won the competition as a player with Leicestershire in 2004.
He has given an update on availability, starting with captain David Willey, who will miss the start due to IPL commitments with Royal Challengers Bangalore.
“The captain, his team qualified for the play-offs in India. He’s not going to be here for the first three games, I think,” said Gibson.
“The England lads are available for the first three games, that’s Joe Root and Harry Brook, who are involved in the Test team.
“Adil Rashid is available for the first block of games, as is Dawid Malan. They will be with us until England go to Holland for some one-day games.
“Haris (Rauf) is fit again and Shadab (Khan) has arrived.
“Tom (Kohler-Cadmore) will be available and will keep wicket.
“We will get together on Tuesday. Jordan Thompson has had a long six weeks. Whether he needs a little freshen up, we’ll see.”