Jordan Thompson is hoping he has found the consistency he has been searching for.
The all-rounder, aged 23, has been the star of Yorkshire’s 100 percent start to their Bob Willis Trophy campaign.
In wins at Durham and Nottinghamshire, Thompson has scored 132 runs in three innings, taken nine wickets with his seamers and chipped in with a direct hit run out earlier this week at Trent Bridge.
Against Notts, his first-innings swashbuckling 98 was a career best score in only his fourth first-class career appearance.
He is hoping to build on his success when Yorkshire continue their Bob Willis North Group campaign against fellow pacesetters Derbyshire at Emerald Headingley, starting tomorrow.
“In the past few seasons, it’s been frustrating for me in the red ball stuff,” he admitted.
“I’ve been scoring runs one game and then not doing for another two or three. I’ve also bowled ok and not taken wickets.
“Striving for consistency is always a part of my game, and hopefully I’m starting to hit a consistent patch, which will be good for me.”
Thompson says extended time away from the game through lockdown could have helped him and his Yorkshire team-mates: “We’ve come back fresh and hit the ground running. So maybe it’s been a good thing to switch off a bit,” he reasoned.
His chance at Durham came in unexpected fashion. Matthew Waite would have played instead, only to go down injured with a lat’ muscle tear the day before the game.
“I was very disappointed when Waitey was injured, but I took that chance and backed it up at Notts.
“I’m enjoying my cricket at the moment and performing for the team, which is the main part.”
A player with 19 limited overs career appearances, he very much sees himself as a three-dimensional cricketer, as the direct hit run out of Joe Clarke from point in Notts’ first innings proved.
“That’s one of the main parts of my game, and I’m always working hard on it,” he said. “I’d back myself to get run outs in those positions most times.”
He is also clearly a team man to the core.
His aforementioned comments about Waite are proof of that, as was the way he did not put himself first when on 98 in Yorkshire’s first innings at Trent Bridge.
Instead of taking two easy runs on offer with the field spread wide, he went for the jugular and tried to hit a fifth six.
“A few people messaged me saying, ‘What where you doing getting to 98 and not taking a hundred?’” he reflected.
“But I got the team into a decent position, which is the main thing. I haven’t really thought too much about it because, fortunately, we won the game.
“Looking back now, Could I have taken two and the hundred? Yes. But I don’t regret any moment of it.”
Derbyshire arrive at Headingley leading the North Group table by four points having beaten Notts and Leicestershire.
This is a clash between the only two teams in the group with two wins from two, making it a key fixture in the race for top spot and a shot at qualifying for next month’s five-day Lord’s final.
Only the two best finishing winners out of the three groups qualify.
But Thompson insists it is not the end of the road for the losing team.
“Derbyshire have done well so far, but we go back to Headingley for the first time, and we back ourselves to win there all the time. We go back on a high.
“There’s still two games to go afterwards, but it’s going to be a very good game. Two unbeaten teams.
“We haven’t played them in a while in red ball cricket, so it will be interesting to see what they’re like.”
Yorkshire continue to be without injured bowling duo Ben Coad (oblique) and Matthew Fisher (abdomen), while Gary Ballance (illness) remains unavailable.
But David Willey comes into the squad after England one-day duty and could feature.
14-man squad to take on Derbyshire at Emerald Headingley:
Jonny Bairstow (Wicketkeeper)
Steven Patterson (Captain)
Ben Coad misses out with a side strain, whilst Matthew Fisher has an abdominal strain. Both players will be monitored on a week-by-week basis.
Bob Willis Trophy North Group table
- Derbyshire last defeated Yorkshire in the County Championship in 2003, that match also being at Headingley.
- Derbyshire’s win percentage of 8.74 is the lowest against Yorkshire amongst all of the other 17 counties.
- In the previous first-class game between these two counties at Headingley, in 2013, both made their highest-ever totals at the ground: Yorkshire’s 677 for seven declared followed Derbyshire’s 475.
- The same match also produced each county’s highest individual innings on the ground in this series: Chesney Hughes carried his bat for 270 not out for Derbyshire and Joe Root made 236 for Yorkshire. Hughes’s score is the highest for Derbyshire against Yorkshire on any ground.
- Only three bowlers have ever taken ten wickets in an innings for Yorkshire and one of the four instances occurred against Derbyshire – by Frank Smailes (10-47) at Sheffield in 1939. Derbyshire’s best against Yorkshire is nine for 27 by John Hulme, also at Sheffield, in 1894. He also opened the batting in the same match!
- When David Bairstow took 11 dismissals in the 1982 match at Scarborough he equalled the record for all Championship cricket; it has since been further equalled but not beaten. Derbyshire’s best against Yorkshire is nine by Bob Taylor at Chesterfield in 1975.
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