Jordan Thompson would not have known whether to laugh or cry at the end of day three between Yorkshire and Leicestershire at Emerald Headingley.
Laugh because he helped to put the White Rose in a winning position against the Foxes ahead of tomorrow’s fourth day; the visitors are 50 behind in their second innings with only five wickets remaining.
Cry, though, because ultimately this was the day which saw the White Rose’s hopes of a Lord’s final appearance end when they failed to reach 400 in their first-innings reply to Leicester’s 124.
“It is frustrating (we can’t qualify), but we can’t really do much about the weather we had against Derby and Lancs,” said the all-rounder who hit 62 with the bat and then claimed three wickets.
“With the team we’ve had, losing Dawid Malan to England and getting Jonny Bairstow coming and going again, we’ve done really well.
“We’ve had young lads make their debuts and stand up.
“Durham was a good win and at Notts as well – we defended 180 there.
“The wins we’ve got, we’ve really worked hard for.”
Unbeaten Yorkshire have two wins and two losses from four games, and they look set to add a third win which should see them top the North Group ahead of Derbyshire.
Leicester, who started their second innings 128 runs in arrears, slipped to 78-5 at close, with Thompson striking three times in as many overs.
“It’s been a good day for us,” he said, also praising fellow half-centurions Harry Brook and Jonny Tattersall.
“It was tough with the bat. I got going quite quickly before lunch, but it got a bit gloomy after lunch when we turned the lights on and was difficult.
“It was tricky to score. Myself and Tatts had to dig in and build a partnership, and that’s what we did.
“I didn’t actually bowl as well as I’d like to.
“Looking at the highlights, you’d think I’d bowled pretty well, but a couple of the wickets weren’t the best. But that happens sometimes, with the pressure built up from the other three lads, who did bowl well.”
Thompson has now taken 13 wickets – with power to add on day four – and scored 234 runs at an average of 46.80 in the Bob Willis Trophy.
Talk about a breakthrough campaign!
The 23-year-old, who hit 98 in the win against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge last month, added: “When we spoke at Notts, I wanted to be consistent and carry it on through the season.
“The weather’s been a bit hit and miss against Lancs and Derby, but I’ve continued it this week.”