County Championship round-up: Yorkshire on the up under Jason Gillespie


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The Independent Online

Bowler of the day

Stiffening up the competition for bowling places was part of coach Jason Gillespie's blueprint for Yorkshire success and it is the strength in depth the Australian former Test bowler has at his disposal that is underpinning a burgeoning title challenge from the Red Rose county in their 150th year.

Winter signing Jack Brooks is missing through injury but even in his absence Yorkshire dismissed fellow contenders Middlesex for 175 at Lord's before enforcing the follow-on. A revitalised Liam Plunkett, their other winter recruit, increased his tally for the season to 18 wickets but his four were matched by Steve Patterson, the Beverley-born right-arm seamer, who has so often been under-valued at Headingley but who is their leading wicket-taker this year with 24.

Batsman of the day

Three years after being told his Lancashire dreams were over, the thrill of driving the second ball he faced in Championship cricket back past the Essex bowler for four must have been particularly exhilarating for 22-year-old left-hander Luis Reece, whose 24 represented an entirely respectable debut innings after being given the tough task of opening in place of the experienced Stephen Moore. Reece played age-group cricket for Lancashire from 11 upwards and was in the second XI at 16, but at 19 was told he would not be offered a contract.

Instead, he resumed academic studies at Leeds Metropolitan University, became part of the Leeds-Bradford MCCU team and found the perfect platform for his cricketing talents. A useful seam bowler, Reece took 7 for 21 as Leeds-Bradford beat Sussex in a famous victory last season and Lancashire invited him back. This year he has 114 for the students against Leicestershire and 77 against Lancashire, as well as a double-hundred for Lancashire seconds.


Nottinghamshire might not want to be labelled as a one-man team but there is no escaping how much stronger they are with Andre Adams in their side. The New Zealander, 38 next month but leading wicket-taker for the last four seasons, has missed the last four matches with a calf injury, during which time Notts have won only once, against struggling Surrey.

Back in action against Derbyshire, Adams made the most of what little play there was at Trent Bridge, breaking the 165-run partnership between Wayne Madsen and Shivnarine Chanderpaul by trapping Madsen leg before with a full inswinger, before bowling Chanderpaul off an inside edge as Derbyshire, who were 245 for 2 overnight, closed on 306 for 6.