Yorkshire were delighted with the way they bounced back from their recent shock defeat against Middlesex at Lord’s, despite having to settle for an LV= County Championship draw against champions Durham yesterday.
The White Rose county’s overall performance in the North East was positive, both with bat and ball on a pitch which was not the usual bowler’s paradise you find at Emirates Durham.
They made Durham follow-on 201 runs behind on first innings shortly after lunch on day four, and gave the hosts a scare by reducing them to 42-4 second time around.
At that stage, there was the best part of 42 overs left in the day. But opener Keaton Jennings and Paul Collingwood shared an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 58 inside 35 overs to finish on 100-4 and thwart Yorkshire, who finished with eleven points.
Jennings reached 54 not out off 166 balls, and the left-hander even had to face an over of medium pace from York’s Jonny Bairstow after tea - his first in any form of professional cricket.
His last over in any kind of competitive match was for Driffield against Yorkshire’s Academy in the Yorkshire Premier League in August 2010.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid bowled beautifully for his 1-22 from 14 overs in the second innings having taken three wickets in the first.
Ryan Sidebottom will also be chuffed to have got Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara out twice cheaply, both times caught at second slip by Adam Lyth.
"It was bitterly disappointing to lose at Lord's because we thought we'd got into a strong position,” said director of cricket Martyn Moxon, whose side were hurt by Middlesex’s pursuit of 472 last week.
“To lose that game could easily have knocked us coming here against the champions.
“It's a tough game here at the best of times. With that looming over us, it would have been easy to put in a poor performance. But it showed the character of the team that we did bounce back.
"We spoke about that before the game, and we thought it was going be a scrap up here. You always come up having to be prepared to scrap, and we certainly had to do that in the first innings in particular.
"I thought we batted as well as I've seen for quite some time as a team given the conditions. Everybody applied themselves and showed great skill. I thought that batting performance was outstanding.
"Then, apart from dropping a few catches, I think we've done pretty much all we could in the field. The effort and sticking to the task, we couldn’t ask for any more.”
Yorkshire have now drawn two, won one and lost one of their first four matches of the season, and their fifth is against leaders Warwickshire at Headingley on Sunday.
Bairstow is expected to regain the gloves after forgoing wicketkeeping duties in this match to give his broken finger some more rest.
Moxon is also hopeful that batsmen Joe Root and Gary Ballance will be available for selection following one-day international duty with England against Scotland at Aberdeen tomorrow.
“We haven't got absolute confirmation of that, but I would hope that unless one of them gets injured in that match, they would be available," he added.
LV County Championship
Durham v Yorkshire
Yorkshire first innings 589-8 dec (A Gale 124, A Lyth 104, K Williamson 97, J Bairstow 95, A Rashid 68).
Durham first innings 388 (M Richardson 148, M Stoneman 131; A Rashid 3-73, L Plunkett 3-74).
Durham second innings 100-4 (Keaton Jennings 54no).
Match drawn - Yorkshire 11 points, Durham 9 points.