Bal­lance full of praise for bowler af­ter he points York­shire to­wards vic­tory

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FRONT PAGE - CARL LIVESEY SPORTS RE­PORTER ■ Email: ■ Twitter: @YPS­port

GARY BAL­LANCE heaped praise on emerg­ing pace bowler Ben Coad af­ter he put York­shire on the brink of a first County Cham­pi­onship vic­tory of the sea­son against War­wick­shire at Edg­bas­ton.

Coad, who lodged his maiden first-class five-wicket haul in de­feat at home to Hamp­shire last week and fol­lowed up with an­other in the first in­nings in Birm­ing­ham, added a third with 5-27 – giv­ing him 10-79 in the match.

It left the home side’s bat­ting line-up in tat­ters, with War­wick­shire, re­quir­ing 203 to avoid an in­nings de­feat, even­tu­ally end­ing the third day on 85-9.

York­shire were de­nied the op­por­tu­nity to wrap up vic­tory in­side three days due to the fad­ing light that forced the teams off at around 7.15pm.

Coad fed vo­ra­ciously on War­wick­shire’s brit­tle con­fi­dence and, as if his match could not get any bet­ter, his vic­tims in­cluded War­wick­shire cap­tain and former Eng­land bats­man Ian Bell.

Fol­low­ing his first-in­nings haul, the 23-year-old ad­mit­ted the War­wick­shire wick­ets he cov­eted most were Bell and Jonathan Trott.

Af­ter dis­miss­ing the lat­ter in the first in­nings, he re­moved Bell in the sec­ond with a brute of a ball, which lifted to take the glove on its way to slip.

At one stage, War­wick­shire were 7-5 and by no means cer­tain to reach 35, their low­est to­tal against York­shire. They avoided that em­bar­rass­ment but their col­lapse was alarm­ing enough.

Af­ter­wards, York­shire cap­tain Bal­lance was quick to praise his team’s ef­forts, al­though he un­der­stand­ably sin­gled out Coad, who has been a rev­e­la­tion for the White Rose af­ter com­ing in to fill the gap left by in­juries to the club’s lead­ing pace bowlers, in­clud­ing Ryan Side­bot­tom, Liam Plun­kett and Jack Brooks.

“This morning the guys bat­ted very well to get us a lead of just over 200, which was per­fect,” said Bal­lance.

“We put a lot of pres­sure on them. Then, the way the guys bowled, Dave and Coady set it up bril­liantly. They bowled very well and took some early wick­ets.

“Last week, we played some good cricket for most of the game. We were dis­ap­pointed to lose, but we came into this game with a bit of con­fi­dence, and so far the guys have proved it.

“I’ve seen Ben bowl for the last two months, and I knew that he could bowl well and put in good per­for­mances. But, hon­estly, I can’t say I would have seen him do­ing this well.

“It’s bril­liant bowl­ing and he’s done it by get­ting top play­ers out. It’s de­served. The hard work he’s put in is pay­ing off now.

“He must be sur­prised. He’s got 18 wick­ets in four in­nings. I think any­one would be sur­prised. You don’t ex­pect some­one to come in for their sec­ond cham­pi­onship game and tear it up like he is. He’s done very well and, hope­fully, he can carry on.

“We’ve played some good cricket in this game, and we’ve been a bit more ruth­less than we were last week against Hamp­shire, which is what we spoke about.”

Af­ter York­shire re­sumed on 295-6, Adil Rashid and An­drew Hodd ex­tended their part­ner­ship to 52 be­fore the lat­ter was bowled by Keith Barker.

Rashid reached his 37th first­class fifty, but then edged Rikki Clarke to Trott at slip for an in­nings of 65 that in­cluded 10 fours dur­ing his 96-ball stay.

Trott pounced again to catch Steve Pat­ter­son off Clarke and David Wil­ley nicked Olly Han­non-Dalby but, with the lead past 200, York­shire’s pace­men were keen to get bowl­ing.

War­wick­shire were then blitzed by a dev­as­tat­ing pas­sage of play.

In six overs be­tween lunch and a rain-break they scored one run and lost three wick­ets.

Wil­ley’s fifth ball af­ter lunch re­moved Alex Mel­lor, caught by Tim Bres­nan at first slip, and his sixth pinned Trott lbw.

Bell kept out the hat-trick ball, but col­lected only a sin­gle be­fore cop­ping a near-un­playable of­fer­ing from Coad.

Af­ter rain lopped off 21 overs, Coad re­sumed his ram­page.

He knocked out Sam Hain’s off­s­tump as the bats­man of­fered no shot, trapped Tim Am­brose lbw and had Rikki Clarke caught at sec­ond slip.

Fur­ther rain af­ter tea, with War­wick­shire 36-6, cleared to leave York­shire 11 overs to try to fin­ish the match off in three days.

Pat­ter­son had Barker caught be­hind, Wil­liam Porter­field edged Coad into the cor­don and Rashid bowled Wright.

But, frus­trat­ingly, the light closed back in be­fore the 10th wicket could be cap­tured.

On Satur­day, Aus­tralian Test star Peter Hand­scomb showed ex­actly the qual­ity that York­shire hoped he would in­ject.

In re­ply to the home side’s 178, York­shire fin­ished the day 117 ahead, and it was Hand­scomb who caught the eye.

Com­ing in at 9-1 af­ter the early dis­missal of Adam Lyth, the 25-year-old bat­ted with im­me­di­ate freedom and con­fi­dence. He en­joyed some luck, es­pe­cially early on, but seized ra­pa­ciously on any­thing loose on his way to 75 off 110 balls, in­clud­ing 12 fours.


ON THE BRINK: Gary Bal­lance and his York­shire team re­turn to Edg­bas­ton tho­day, need­ing just one War­wick­shire wicket to wrap up vic­tory by an in­nings. The York­shire cap­tain was full of praise for bowler Ben Coad, who has taken 10 wick­ets in the match so...

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