BUOYANT Yorkshire signed off from championship duties to send a powerful warning to other counties after a comprehensive innings victory over Warwickshire at Headingley inside three days.
Their triumph by an innings and 155 runs enabled Yorkshire to leapfrog their opponents to the top of LV County Championship division one as they sign off from championship cricket to tackle the next hurdle in their attempt to challenge for more than one trophy this season with the start of the NatWest Blast Twenty20 competition on Friday.
Yorkshire wasted little time in securing an extra day off before that opening match against Northamptonshire by ruthlessly destroying Warwickshire, who arrived at Headingley as championship leaders having won their two previous matches.
Resuming the third morning on 136-6 and trailing by 308 runs, Warwickshire were dismissed for 200 and, after being asked to follow on, were skittled out for only 89 after losing five wickets for ten runs in 25 balls against the new ball.
Warwickshire’s chief tormentor was Jack Brooks, just one member of Yorkshire’s multi-talented attack, who claimed seven wickets in the match. He is now convinced this squad is capable of challenging for more than one trophy this summer.
“I would like to think with this squad we could compete for more than one trophy,” he said.
“It’s been such a long time since one team bossed all three competitions – probably Warwickshire in the 1990s – so it’s quite difficult in the modern game to do that, but this squad is capable of doing that.”
From the very start of the day, it became clear that Yorkshire’s hopes of forcing through victory with a day to spare would depend on their ability to dismiss Warwickshire captain Ian Bell, who had held their first innings together with an unbeaten 58 overnight.
He progressed to only three shy of his century, but wickets continued to fall at the other end and when he edged Brooks behind down the leg-side, Warwickshire’s fate in following on was sealed.
They fared little better second time around and were blown away by Brooks and Tim Bresnan with the new ball, with Bell falling amid the early carnage that left Warwickshire on 31-5.
Warwickshire briefly halted their capitulation but Steve Patterson returned to the attack to claim two wickets in an over, halting a promising 49-run sixth wicket stand by bowling Tim Ambrose and then having Keith Barker caught behind.
Bad light and rain delayed play for two hours with Warwickshire on the brink at 84-7, but Yorkshire lost no time in completing their comprehensive conquest when play resumed in bright sunshine and only nine overs left of the day’s allocation.
They needed only 20 balls to end Warwickshire’s resistance with Brooks having Jeetan Patel expertly caught in the slip cordon by Adam Lyth to move Yorkshire closer to their victory target.
Fittingly Plunkett, outstanding throughout the game and surprisingly overlooked by England for their one-day series against Sri Lanka, finished the game off with wickets off successive balls to return Yorkshire back to the division one summit.
LV County Championship
Yorkshire v Warwickshire
Yorkshire First Innings: 444 (L Plunkett 86, K Williamson 75, J Root 69, T Bresnan 61; C Woakes 4-68).
Warwickshire First Innings: 200 ( Bell 97; J Brooks 39).
Warwickshire Second Innings: 89 (J Brooks 4-37, S Patterson 2-10, L Plunkett 2-12, T Bresnan 2-26).