Ottis Gibson reflected on Yorkshire’s draw against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road and said: “There’s a lot to be happy about with the way we played this game.”
The county’s head coach saw his side fall three wickets short of a second successive victory to start the LV= Insurance County Championship season.
Northants, set a target of 499 in a minimum of 120 overs late on day three, finished on 318-7 from 119.4.
Yorkshire finished with 13 points from a game in which young all-rounders George Hill and Matthew Revis impressed.
Hill posted his maiden first-team century, a superb second-innings 151 not out, while Revis claimed three wickets in each innings, took a superb catch and hit 31 with the bat in the first innings.
Gibson also spoke on some injury and availability news ahead of Thursday’s clash with Kent at Headingley, including reporting a stress reaction in his back for Matthew Fisher.
“There was some good effort all the way to the end, and that’s how we intend to play our cricket going forward for the rest of the season,” said the coach, who described the pitch towards the latter stages of the game being as flat as the M1.
“The first two days, the game moved nicely along. The last two days, it slowed right down.
“Today, trying to get them out on a pitch that was offering us nothing, we had to dig deep. It was a shame we couldn’t get over the line, but we showed a lot of fight, character and spirit, and that’s very pleasing.”
Yorkshire declared just after tea on day three, and Gibson fielded the question as to whether they could have declared earlier.
“Perhaps,” he said. “There are lots of ifs, buts and maybes in the game of cricket. But we felt that 120 overs would be enough to bowl them out. It proved not to be.”
On the performances of Hill and Revis, he went on: “We want those young guys to make the most of the opportunities, and Matt certainly made the most of this week.
“We know about his batting, but he bowled really well and took important wickets all the way through. That’s good for him going forward.
“All the other young guys at the club, that’s what you do when you get an opportunity. You take it like he took his this week.
“We saw a lot of good signs from George in pre-season. We backed him at the top of the order in the first game, and when Dimuth came we moved him to three.
“He looked good for his 150. Hopefully that’s the catalyst for him to kick on and have a really good season.
“He’s a good player, a good kid who works hard. Ali Maiden and all the coaches, we’re trying to help him understand his game a little bit better – range of shots and options.
“It was really good to see him not afraid to use his feet against spin and hit over the top, being brave. That’s what we want to see from young cricketers. A bit of youthful exuberance, I call it.
“The batting looks good and the bowling looks good.
“Even though we couldn’t get over the line, there’s a lot to be happy about with the way we played this game.”
Fisher left the field early on the final day against Gloucestershire at Bristol last Sunday, reporting a stiff back.
“Matt’s had, it’s not a stress fracture, a (stress) reaction,” said Gibson. “The last time I spoke to medical team they said he’d be out for about four weeks.”
And on other injuries, he said: “Coady should be not far off. He’s training every day and is going to be with us this week.
“I don’t think he’ll be ready for the next game, Kent. But hopefully for Essex he should be right.
“We’ll have to see how Dom Leech is. Two weeks ago, he had a bit of a sore side. I don’t know if he’s going to be ready yet.
“The thing is with county and international cricket, you start and you look like you have six or seven fast bowlers. Then a couple go down and you’re only more injury away from a crisis.
“We’re not at crisis point yet, but there are a couple of guys who we are monitoring.
“Tom (Kohler-Cadmore), he’s working and is probably a couple of weeks away.”
Joe Root is also edging closer to a return to county cricket after winter Test assignments in Australia and the West Indies.
Gibson added: “Rooty’s welcome whenever he’s ready. Not this week, but I think Essex. I spoke to him a couple of days ago and he said against Essex (May 5-8, Chelmsford) he should be ready. We can’t wait to see him.”