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Gale enthused by White Rose batting

— 9 September 2017

Andrew Gale praised his batsmen and felt Yorkshire had much the better of their rain-ruined draw against Middlesex at Headingley, which finished today.

Coach Gale saw 198 overs lost to weather across the four days, with only 38 inked in to be bowled today following overnight and morning rain.

Play did not start until 3.10pm when Middlesex, replying to 358, resumed their first innings on 108-3 and advanced to 272-8 declared 3.1 overs early.

Today’s play was about nothing other than a pursuit of bonus points.

Yorkshire claimed one more bowling point and Middlesex two batting.

Today’s standout performer was Middlesex’s Australian batsman Adam Voges, who finished 65 not out and shared a speedy 66-run stand for the eighth wicket with Ollie Rayner, who made 37.

Yorkshire claimed eleven points and Middlesex 10 from this draw.

Gale’s side leapfrogged Middlesex by a place to fifth in the Division One table courtesy of having won three matches this season to their two.

They both have 114 points with three left to play.

Second-bottom Somerset, having beaten Warwickshire at Edgbaston, closed the gap to 13 points.

Yorkshire travel to the Oval to face Surrey on Tuesday, another team who could be dragged into the fight for survival.

Middlesex host Hampshire at Uxbridge and Somerset host Lancashire at Taunton.

Gale was delighted to see his batsmen bounce back from a difficult run, and some criticism, to post 358 in the first innings on days two and three.

Jack Leaning scored an excellent 85 and Andrew Hodd made 51.

“The most pleasing thing this week was how we approached our batting,” confirmed the coach.

“We’ve had a difficult time with the bat, but over the last two weeks the work ethic and attitude towards it has been outstanding.

“You want to see that transferred out on the ground and we did that. The key is to replicate that in the last three games.”

Although Middlesex probably had the better of the play possible today, Gale went on: “They chanced their arm a bit today.

“I still thought we bowled quite nicely. Voges played well, but I still thought we dominated the match really.”

On the battle at the foot of Division One, he said: “It’s tight. There are four or five teams who can go down. If we bat like that, we know we’ve got the bowling attack to back it up.

“We are where we are because of the cricket we’ve played. It’s as simple as that. We are where we are because of some poor performances. But we can’t afford to look back.”

Liam Plunkett struck twice today in a fiery five-over burst from the Football Stand End having replaced Ben Coad early on.

He bowled Paul Stirling for 24 with a nip-backer to leave the score at 137-4 after 37 overs – that was his sixth ball of the day – before undoing John Simpson with extra bounce and getting him caught at second slip with 143 on the board in the 41st.

Coad returned to the attack from the Kirkstall Lane End and picked up the sixth wicket of the innings as Yorkshire clinched their second bowling point.

He had Middlesex captain James Franklin caught at second slip, with Adam Lyth taking his second catch as the score fell to 184-6 after 52 overs.

Rashid had James Harris for 19 caught at deep square, leaving Middlesex at 206-7 in the 58th.

That was the visitors first batting point, with Voges reaching a 100-ball fifty as part of a breezy stand with Rayner as they hard a go at getting 300.

That ended when Tim Bresnan bowled Rayner, sparking a declaration to stop Yorkshire picking up the ninth wicket for another point.

The day started with a series of inspections from umpires Richard Illingworth and Jeremy Lloyds as they were unhappy with the boggy nature of the outfield in front of the Football Stand, a facility used for the final time before redevelopment work starts on Monday with seats being taken out.

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