Yorkshire provided further evidence of the strength in depth they hope will guide them to their first title since 2001 after dominating the opening day of their championship match with Nottinghamshire today.
Despite losing Kane Williamson to New Zealand’s tour of the West Indies – quickly replaced by Aaron Finch – and Gary Ballance, Joe Root and Liam Plunkett to England’s first Test squad, Yorkshire used their resources to keep their momentum going.
Their bowlers stepped up in Plunkett’s absence to dismiss Nottinghamshire for just 205 after they decided to bat first upon winning the toss and then 20-year-old Jack Leaning hit an unbeaten 23 to help Yorkshire recover from the early loss of both openers.
It was an impressive all-round display, typified by the performance of Leaning in his third championship match in refusing to buckle against a fired-up Peter Siddle when Adam Lyth and Alex Lees both fell to catches behind after edging the Australian Test bowler.
Leaning was also at the centre of the day’s major controversy involving the run-out of Nottinghamshire captain Chris Read, who was clearly unhappy at being given out after lunging to complete a single after driving to mid-off.
Umpire Martin Saggers gave Read out, who had driven to substitute fielder Josh Shaw at mid-off, who parried to Leaning at mid-on to throw down the stumps, although Read’s accidental collision with Patterson may have contributed to his frustration.
Read’s departure at 139-7 left Nottinghamshire in serious trouble after they were unable to cope with Tim Bresnan and Jack Brooks on a bouncy pitch, both claiming three wickets. Their situation could have been even worse had several sharp chances not also been dropped by Yorkshire.
The hosts were frustrated by a 65-run partnership between Siddle and Luke Fletcher spanning only 11 overs that threatened to allow them to reach a challenging total.
It was only broken when both Fletcher and last man Andre Adams drove Adil Rashid to long on, leaving Siddle unbeaten on 39 off 35 balls and clearly fired up for Yorkshire’s reply.
Running in from the Kirkstall Lane End, it took just two balls for Siddle to make his mark, getting one to lift and entice Lyth into edging behind. That was quickly followed by Lees pushing outside off-stump to a full-length ball.
It needed great composure from Leaning, given his chance at No 3 following Williamson’s departure for the Caribbean, to prevent Nottinghamshire making further inroads into Yorkshire’s batting line-up.