“I think we’re pretty close now.” That is the message from Yorkshire captain Steve Patterson in terms of preparation ahead of next Thursday’s LV= County Championship opener against Glamorgan at Emerald Headingley.
Patterson was talking after the county’s third friendly fixture of four, a three-day draw against Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities at Headingley.
The contest saw both sides enjoy success with the bat on a superb late March pitch, with the bowlers toiling hard for their rewards.
Only 12 wickets – not including batsmen who retired out – fell across the three days, while there were three centurions in Yorkshire’s Tom Kohler-Cadmore and student duo Taylor Cornall and Josh de Caires.
The majority of home batsmen spent significant time at the crease as they racked up 485-5 declared in the first innings.
As the students responded with 382-9 declared, Yorkshire’s nine bowlers got good miles in their legs, with Matthew Revis’s 3-35 from 10 overs the pick of the figures.
“We’ve had three good practice matches (including Middlesex and Derbyshire last week), and we’ve had some great facilities and wickets to train and play on,” said Patterson.
“The lads have had some good time in the middle with the bat, and the bowlers have got through a decent volume of overs. So we’re happy with where we’re at.
“Hopefully some lads will get a bit more practice at the weekend, and we’ll be in good shape for Glamorgan.”
Yorkshire wrap up their pre-season programme with another three-day game against Durham MCC Universities, starting on Saturday.
Dom Bess, Adam Lyth and Duanne Olivier will all make their first appearances of 2021, but it is expected that a significant number of other key players will be rested with Glamorgan in mind.
This week has seen a high-scoring game played out in unseasonably warm conditions.
“It’s been a bit more like the end of August. We’ve been very fortunate,” said Patterson.
“It took us a while to get outdoors given the rain early in March. But since we have done, we’ve been grateful to be able to stay dry. We’re looking forward to next week now.
“It’s a lot flatter surface than I would have expected for the last week of March. It was a brilliant practice situation, and the students played very well to be fair.
“They made it difficult for us, but that will stand us in good stead. It’s just a reminder to the lads the standard you need to be at to play at first-class level.
“I think we’ve done everything we can, and we’ve got the best preparation possible leading into the year. Now it’s about going out and performing.”
The final day saw Leeds/Bradford resume their first innings on 205-1, with second-wicket pair Cornall and de Caires on 97 and 94 respectively.
Their 204-run partnership was already a Leeds/Bradford record against county opposition, and they advanced that to a 270-run alliance before de Caires retired out on 118 40 minutes before lunch.
Cornall moved to an equally superb 142 before falling caught at long-leg to Revis in the final over of the morning (302-3).
After lunch, Yorkshire asserted their authority, reducing the students to 350-9.
Revis, with his seamers, troubled the visitors with extra bounce in claiming his three-for, while Matthew Waite, David Willey and Harry Brook also struck.
Leeds/Bradford declared at tea, allowing Yorkshire to bat again.
Those who failed to get much of a chance in the first innings were elevated up the order.
Unfortunately, Willey was bowled for a duck two balls into the innings by Josh Fallows before Jonny Tattersall (nine not out) and Matthew Fisher, unbeaten on 31, took the score to 39-1 from 12 overs upon handshakes just before 5pm.