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Yorkshire Title Defence Begins with Commanding Victory

Yorkshire began the defence of their Division One County Championship title in outstanding fashion as they thrashed opponents Worcestershire by ten wickets at New Road. Despite a number of absences, and a first innings deficit, the White Rose county were able to overcome their opponents in style and with confidence during a one-sided second innings.

Last season, Yorkshire lifted the trophy after being the leading side for much of the season and their pre-season favourites tag looks to be justified once again as they showed a strength in depth that few counties can match. Yorkshire have no fewer than six players currently touring with the England squad in the West Indies – Joe Root, Liam Plunkett, Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Adil Rashid and Adam Lyth – but despite a wobble in the first innings the selected team did their county proud.

Confidence and morale is clearly high in the Yorkshire camp as they rallied from a position of 193-7 in their first innings, 118 runs adrift of Worcestershire’s first innings total, to eventually be all out for 307, just four runs behind.

It was then the bowlers turn as the impressive England Lion Jack Brooks (4-28) and Steven Patterson (5-11) destroyed Worcestershire as they collapsed to 100 all out, handing the advantage to Yorkshire. The batsmen duly accepted the bowlers gift as stand-in captain Alex Less (52no) and youngster Will Rhodes (45no) chased the required winning score of 105 in just 17 overs before tea on day three.

Yorkshire will only get stronger from this point. Australian star Aaron Finch and Pakistan’s Younus Khan are yet to arrive at Headingley and captain Andrew Gale is also due to return after serving a ban imposed last season by the ECB. Let’s not also forget that former England bowler Ryan Sidebottom was unable to bowl in the second innings due to injury.

Whilst England will continue to take players away from this Yorkshire side coach Jason Gillespie knows that he has a strength in depth unrivalled in the county game and this performance must have been one of the most pleasing from a Yorkshire point of view in recent times.

It will take a very good side to beat Yorkshire this season: who could be their nearest challengers when the season reaches a conclusion in September?


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