Just before coach Ottis Gibson started chatting to the media after Yorkshire’s draw with Sussex was confirmed amidst soggy scenes at Headingley, he joked: “Can you not just cut and paste what I’ve said before.”
BBC Radio’s Jonathan Doidge started his interview with: “Ottis, it’s like Groundhog Day isn’t it.”
The two comments aptly summed up the mood as draw number five from nine LV= Insurance County Championship games was sealed, with umpires Paul Baldwin and James Middlebrook calling things off at 12.30pm.
Rain had fallen steadily – at times, heavily – throughout the morning at Headingley. And everybody knew what was coming. It was why Yorkshire played so positively yesterday, bidding to wrap up victory inside three days and take the weather out of the equation.
Instead, Sussex held firm to reach close last night on 236-7 in their second innings, leading by 88 with three wickets in hand.
Yorkshire have now seen rain prevent them from chasing victories against Sussex both at home and away and Worcestershire away. They were also completely washed out without a ball bowled against Gloucestershire at Bristol back in April.
“I don’t even know what to say!” said Gibson with a rueful smile as Yorkshire took 11 points to consolidate sixth place in Division Two.
“Look, I’m really proud of the way we’ve played, especially yesterday.
“Last year when I came (to the club), I can remember having a conversation around sometimes having to risk losing in order to win.
“Yesterday morning we sort of forecast how it was going to be, and I thought we did everything we possibly could to try and win the game yesterday.
“Credit to Sussex for the way they played, but I thought my boys were excellent in trying to push the game and get a result.
“The old cliche in sport, ‘Control the Controllables’. We did exactly that. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. This is at least the third time that the rain has put paid to some really good play from us. But we’ll keep going.
“I’ve said to the players just now, ‘Real credit to them’. Quite often a coach has a feeling or an idea. But yesterday it was Ben Coad who came up with the idea that we went for. And everybody bought into it and tried hard.”
Yorkshire had some standout performances in this game, led by Adam Lyth’s first-innings 115. Dawid Malan also made 92, while Matthew Fisher claimed four wickets in the first innings.
“Lythy was fantastic,” said Gibson.
“Again, I said to the lads, ‘There will always be a captain in the team, whether it’s Tatts or Shan. But good teams still rely on leadership from other places in the team’.
“Adam’s experience, Malan’s experience. That’s great leadership. They got two good scores.
“Coad and Fisher playing again together – great leadership with the new ball. They played their roles. Jordan Thompson also came back in and bowled really well I thought.
“There was nothing there for Moriarty, but he was still able to control an end.
“We’re playing some really good cricket.”
Gibson was also asked whether he thought a roof for Headingley might be a good purchase: “A roof?! Nah. There’s nothing you can do about the weather and it’s frustrating. But you have to find a way to laugh about it at some point.”
Instead of a rueful smile or laugh, there will be genuine joy next week if Yorkshire can beat runaway Division Two leaders Durham at Scarborough, starting on Tuesday.
Gibson added: “Durham have proven themselves to be the best team in the division. They’re playing really well and are very positive.
“We had a nail-biter up there at Chester-le-Street (one-wicket defeat), and we know that over four days we can push them if we play the way we have been playing the last couple of games.”