Warwickshire v Yorkshire (Day 2 of 4)
6th July 2015
My, but this was fun – even if for a long spell it appeared the day would be anything but.
I was aware the forecast was dodgy, but had awoken to clear blue skies so had driven to Edgbaston with no small degree of optimism. But just as I gained my first sight of these unmistakable leaning floodlights, the first spots of the inevitable rain appeared on my windscreen.
This was naught but a brief shower however - a mere warm-up act to the real diva - and play on this the second day between Warwickshire and Yorkshire commenced just 15 minutes late. But the skies looked ominously leaden and, after just nine balls had been bowled in anger, the heavens opened big style and on went the covers once more.
But oddly enough I did not really mind. Sitting patiently at a cricket ground waiting for the rain to stop always struck me as an integral ingredient of the English cricketing experience. So I settled down with my radio to while away the time alongside a hundred or so equally contented looking folks – middle aged or elderly males to a man, I must say – as the rain rattled off the roof of our stand like the sound of someone throwing gravel at a tin shed.
|The morning session begins watched by 100 men and a pigeon.|
|Those rather alarmingly leaning floodlights|
|Edgbaston South Stand|
|Panorama of Edgbaston|
|The most superfluous announcement ever !|
|Jonathan Trott has just been given the go-ahead that play will recommence at 1:45pm. |
He soon rather wished he had not.
But after a while the clouds, as promised by the remarkably precise MyWeather2.com webpage, drifted off to rain on someone else’s parade, and play recommenced at 1:45pm. Warwickshire must have felt rather pleased with themselves having on Day 1 bowled out table-topping Yorkshire for a rather modest 231. But, with the loss of two quick wickets, they had closed the day on 11-2.
Ryan Sidebottom had claimed both of those strikes and, once he got into his stride this afternoon, he produced as devastating a spell of bowling as I have ever been privileged to witness, single-handedly decimating Warwickshire to 35-6.
The local radio commentators were just discussing the possibility of the man taking all 10 innings wickets, when his bowling partner Jack Brooks suddenly got in on the action and snaffled a further three wickets for the loss of two further runs. The home side’s collapse had included a period where they had lost five wickets in 30 balls (failing to add a single run in the process), and now at 37-9 were staring down the barrel of a humiliation of epic proportions.
All this much to the chagrin of the home supporter a few rows in front of me who, as each wicket fell slammed the seat next to him down to use as a table to update his scorecard. Each slam just that touch harder than the last. Redirected aggression, I think they call it. Eventually he huffily stomped off somewhere –possibly home.
There looked at this point the very real possibility that Warwickshire would fail to reach the 64 required to prevent the follow-on, but Rikki Clarke briefly stemmed the tide, and he guided the score past 50 to ironic applause from the home support. Steve Patterson it was who finally bowled the stubborn Clarke to leave Warwicks all out for 69 – a first innings Yorkshire lead of 162. Was this one-sided rout really, I wondered, a tussle between two of England’s top sides?
With the long trip back to Caledonia facing me, I sloped off before Yorkshire commenced their second innings, but I knew I had already witnessed more fun in the previous three hours than the average County Championship spectator gets to experience in a whole day.
Who needs T20 when this sort of stuff can be served up?
|Will Rhodes - Yorkshire|
|Rikki Clarke - Warwickshire|
|Trott defends with Bresnan waiting.|
|Warwickshire v Yorkshire - July 2015|
(Boyd Rankin receives from Yorkshire's headband-wearing Jack Brooks)
|Edgbaston from Edgbaston Road, Birmingham|
|Panorama of Edgbaston (with seat clattering grump in black)|
Yorkshire (not surprisingly) won the match by 174 runs, with Ryan Sidebottom having taken a total of 10 wickets over the match.