Yorkshire coach Ottis Gibson has admitted his satisfaction at ending the summer with a morale-boosting win over Worcestershire at Headingley today to jump up a place in the final Division Two standings.
Yorkshire chased down 360 inside 70 overs, winning by six wickets.
Shan Masood led from the front with a brilliant 123, while James Wharton contributed 89, Adam Lyth 51, Jonny Tattersall 44 not out and George Hill 38 not out.
Yorkshire’s third win of the summer, earned after a contrived finish was set up this morning, gained them 20 points and elevated them off the bottom of Division Two – an impressive achievement given 48 points were deducted midway through the summer.
“I’ve got to thank the Worcester boys,” said Gibson.
“We went to them with an idea about trying to create a situation where the game doesn’t peter out like it could have done. They went along with that, and we played really well and chased it down.
“There’s been highs and lows throughout the season, but to finish on a high today is nice for the players in the dressing room but also, I suspect, for the fans as well.
“When we got the 48-point deduction, we sat down and said, ‘Let’s not try and finish on the bottom of the table’. The decision today to force some competitive cricket was part of that reason.
“I think had Gloucester lost at Sussex today and had we drawn, we could have overtaken them. But we wanted to play positive cricket. There’s a lot of satisfaction not finishing bottom of the table, for sure.”
Lyth’s 51 took him beyond 1,000 runs for the season, a Championship milestone opening partner Fin Bean just missed out on today.
“It’s a proud moment for me and a nice little milestone to tick off,” said Lyth.
“But even if I didn’t get those runs today, it would still have been a very good red ball season for myself.
“I feel for Beany because he deserved those extra 17 runs. He’s played so well this year. I know he’s disappointed, but when he looks back on it in a few days he has cemented his place in this team and should be very proud of the way he’s played.
“We’ve struck up a nice little partnership at the top of the order. We’ve scored over 2,000 runs together, which I think it’s the second highest opening partnership in the county season.
“Hopefully this is something we can build on for years to come.”
Gibson praised captain Masood, who played in dreamy fashion today.
“We know Shan’s a top, top player,” he said.
“He did it at Derbyshire last year. When he wasn’t selected for Pakistan (World Cup squad), it hurt him and it showed in his cricket. But once he knuckled down and got back to it, he showed that he’s a fantastic player. Hopefully we can have him for a lot more next year.
“He’s our club captain, and I know if we have him for the full season there’s almost a guarantee of 1,000 runs off his bat.”
Yorkshire would have finished third in Division Two without those 48 points.
Without circa 1,900 overs lost to the weather, there is every chance they would have got promoted ahead of Worcestershire – even with the points deduction.
It means they will surely be the favourites for promotion in 2024.
Players have progressed.
“When I came here, there were two things,” said Gibson. “I wanted to win cricket matches and develop players for England. I feel like we’re on our way to doing that.
“George Hill is an England player in the making, I’ve said that about Revis already. Fin Bean has developed nicely this year as well. He’s had a fantastic season.”
And others may join.
The coach added: “There’s no signings in the pipeline.
“We still have to look at where we’re going and what we’re thinking about with overseas players for the Championship.
“We know Shan is coming back, and we have to look at whether we go for an experienced middle order batter.
“We have looked around locally and reached out to a few people who didn’t fancy it. That’s up to them. Therefore we might to have to look at the overseas market.
“If not, Mark Steketee who came here was fantastic. We enjoyed him.
“Sometimes with overseas, people want a superstar. I just want a good bloke who comes to play cricket. If he’s available and a bowler’s what we need, I would be keen to get someone like him back.”