Vitality County Championship Match Preview: Yorkshire v Glamorgan

Vitality County Championship Match Preview: Yorkshire v Glamorgan

Mason Crane

Can Yorkshire afford to wait any longer for a win?

With almost a third of the season gone for Yorkshire they currently sit in fifth place in Division Two, 10 points behind second placed Northamptonshire. Most pundits would have expected them to be clear at the top by now and while, like all the other counties, they have been affected by weather, they cannot say they have had a win snatched from them. They have a squad that the other teams in Division Two could only dream of, with the availability of Joe Root and Harry Brook for five of the first seven matches and coach, Ottis Gibson will be expecting them to produce. In the last round they were unable to make significant inroads into the Derbyshire batting and could have been in trouble early in their innings if catches had been held. Yorkshire’s frustrations were highlighted by Gibson after the game when he explained that Derbyshire had been unwilling to agree to any chase on the final day.

When these two teams met last summer Glamorgan had much the better of the first encounter at Headingley, dismissing the home side for just 107 in their first innings, Michael Neser taking 7/32. They then failed by one wicket to get the win, Yorkshire saved by an innings of 174 from Adam Lyth, although he was dropped twice. In the return fixture it was Glamorgan who had to hang on on the final day, having been made to follow on and they did so comfortably thanks to a century from Eddie Byrom and 166 not out from Sam Northeast.

Glamorgan did not play in the last round having so far recorded three draws and in their last game against Northamptonshire they were undoubtedly saved by the rain on day four. Glamorgan’s resources have been stretched due to injuries, requiring loan signings. As well as Mason Crane, who is in Cardiff for the whole season, fellow Hampshire bowler Brad Wheal played against Northamptonshire following an injury to Jamie McIlroy in the previous match.

Earlier Craig Miles had been brought as cover for Harry Podmore, who injured his hand in a warm up game and Timm van der Gugten, who picked up a calf injury while playing for the Netherlands. The problem for Glamorgan is that they do not have the depth to be able to rest their main seamers and even with the addition of Pakistan’s Mir Hamza, the attack is far from threatening. The hope is van der Gugten will be back soon and they will be pleased to have McIlroy fit as there are no loan options. Crane has come in to provide a spin option and had a successful outing in the first innings against Derbyshire, but he needs to put in consistent performances.

The batting looks stronger, with Eddie Byrom likely to return to the top of the order. This will be Byrom’s first match this season having dislocated his shoulder in training, but he has been playing in Zimbabwe over the winter. He will replace Zain ul Hassan who has struggled for runs, while Billy Root is set to stay at the top of the order having had some success in his new role. Marnus Labuschagne is due back this month, but will not make an appearance until the next match. Dan Douthwaite has come in to fill the all rounder role, but is rested this week.

The problem for Gibson is who to leave out of the Yorkshire batting line up. Brook and Root are due to play this week and both England players made centuries against Derbyshire. It seems unlikely that they will fall in a heap as they did against Middlesex. Yorkshire’s bowling resources are being tested by a foot injury to Mickey Edwards and a recurrence of back problems for Matt Milnes. He played in the first two matches, but following his stress fracture last summer he has had further issues and is playing a second team game this week just as a batter. They relied on the off spin of Root in the last match, omitting Dan Moriarty and with the forecast of rain on and off throughout the game, will likely stick to that plan.

It is difficult seeing the Glamorgan attack causing the Yorkshire batting too many problems and it is a matter of whether the Yorkshire bowlers can dismiss the more than capable Glamorgan batting twice.

Key players:

Jordan Thompson has perhaps prospered more as a white ball cricketer, playing in various franchise competitions around the world and has played just 45 first class games. He took 30 wickets at 30.60 in his 11 Championship games last summer and scored 299 runs at 23.00. The 27-year-old all-rounder averages 27.10 with the ball and 20.69 with the bat and will be hoping to improve both those numbers, although he is pushed down the order by George Hill and Matthew Revis. More importantly he will want to support Ben Coad and Matthew Fisher and build on the eight wickets he has taken so far this season, to gain Yorkshire some wins. He has to do this while managing his diabetes, which was diagnosed when he was starting out in cricket at the age of 16.

Billy Root has been pressed into service at the top of the order having had a successful season last year batting in the middle order. He scored 884 runs at 52.00, but his rather frenetic footwork, particularly early on in his innings, would not at first sight be ideally suited to facing the new ball. However, he has made a steady start and with the return of Byrom he remains in his new position, ul Hassan making way. He will be tested by the Yorkshire bowlers, but Glamorgan will hope he and Byrom can give them a solid base.

Team News:

The hope will be that the frontline seamers can get through another week, before getting a rest during the next round.

Yorkshire squad (from): Shan Masood (c), Finlay Bean, Harry Brook, Ben Coad, Matthew Fisher, George Hill, Adam Lyth, Dan Moriarty, Matthew Revis, Joe Root, Jonathan Tatersall (wk), Jordan Thompson, James Wharton

Byrom and McIlory return and will likely start in place of ul Hassan and Brad Wheal, with Andy Gorvin replacing Douthwaite in the starting eleven. Asa Tribe and Ben Kellaway are unavailable due to university commitments so Tom Bevan and Will Smale come into the squad.

Glamorgan squad: Sam Northeast (c), Tom Bevan, Eddie Byrom, Kiran Carlson, Chris Cooke (wk), Mason Crane, Andy Gorvin, Mir Hamza, James Harris, Colin Ingram, Jamie McIlory, Billy Root, Will Smale

Weather and Conditions

Rain is forecast on and off, with Saturday set to be the best day.

Yorkshire will be desperate for a result so they might ask for a bit more of a green tinge to the pitch this week to assist their stronger bowling attack.

Date: 3rd May 2024

Time: 11:00

Ground: Headingley Stadium, Leeds


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