The opening day of Warwickshire’s County Championship clash with Yorkshire was heavily affected by the rain, but there was enough time for young Yorkshire seamer Ben Coad to catch the eye once more.
Coad’s 4-47 left Warwickshire struggling on 152-8, with Keith Barker not out on 33 when rain brought a premature end to the day. It was a continuation of his good form from the opening round, where he took 6-37 in Yorkshire’s defeat against Hampshire.
After the match, Bears all rounder Barker spoke about Yorkshire’s Ben Coad, and was full of praise for the young seamer.
“Coad delivered exactly what you’d want from a young lad. He was their stand-out bowler,” said Barker.
“He bowled really well and kept a line and length that tested us. He swung the ball away from the right handers. Also, there was a bit of nip in the pitch, more than I expected.”
23-year old Coad, in just his fifth first-class match, troubled all the Warwickshire batsmen. He has so far, in three matches this season, taken 15 first-class wickets at a cost of 14.5 apiece. None of those wickets is more prized than one he got today, as he told Deep Extra Cover:
“Yes, Jonathan Trott,” Coad said. He was one I was aiming for, a big wicket.”
With several key bowlers – Brooks, Plunkett, Sidebottom – missing from the Yorkshire attack, Coad realises that he has to seize his chance while it is there.
“The young players in the second team were told that we had to put pressure on the first-teamers so that’s what we are doing – not just me but a few others as well. The ball is coming out well at the moment and it’s great to have the support of the other bowlers who are ready with advice when I need it.”
With the nip in the wicket that Keith Barker mentioned and the possibility of more rain over the next three days, it is impossible to be sure whether Warwickshire’s score so far is poor, very poor or, maybe, slightly better than it looks.
As for Coad, his 4-47 could have been five if Adam Lyth hadn’t spilled a regulation catch at second slip off Jeetan Patel. So there’s no doubt that he will be keen to get at least one of the last two Warwickshire wickets. A precious five-for beckons. And few would begrudge him that based on the quality of his bowling so far.