By Lewis Oldham
On Friday Yorkshire’s fourth outing in the new County Championship Cricket season gets underway as they face Essex.
The 2014 and 2015 Division 1 winners Yorkshire have had a mixed start to the season. Their opener was against Essex, but it ended in a non-contested draw after heavy rain meant there was no play at all during the four days.
Yorkshire’s first victory came in their second game against Nottinghamshire, as they ran out winners by 164 runs. Ben Coad shined with the ball, with match figures of 10-130 while their Captain, Gary Ballance high scored with a knock of 82 in Yorkshire’s second innings.
Last time out Yorkshire were defeated by Somerset. This was a game that they were always chasing after being bowled all out for just 98 in their first innings. Jack Leaning scored 68 in their second innings to put up some resistance, but they ended up losing by 118 runs.
Yorkshire’s Coach, Andrew Gale, blamed first innings failings and the batting of his top order for the defeat to Somerset:
— Yorkshire CCC (@YorkshireCCC) April 30, 2018
Essex have the better record of the two sides so far. After their first game against Yorkshire was rained off, their first win of the season came against last years runners-up in Division 1 Lancashire. In a tightly contested affair, Essex edged it in the end by just 31 runs.
In their previous game, they drew with Hampshire in a weather affected match that only saw one innings played by either side. Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara starred for Essex with the bat, getting 84 runs apiece.
England opener Alastair Cook is available again for Essex on Friday, after he impressed with the bat in their last game against Hampshire.
Yorkshire meanwhile have been boosted heading into Friday’s game, as both Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow have been made available to play. They have been missing up to now after returning with England from their tour in New Zealand.