JASON GILLESPIE last night hailed the “ugly win” that reignited Yorkshire’s County Championship challenge and then insisted his team can get better.
Yorkshire’s first-team coach was delighted with the fighting spirit shown by his side as they beat title rivals Middlesex by four wickets at Leeds.
And in an observation to cheer Yorkshire’s supporters and concern those of their Division One competitors, Gillespie stressed there is more to come from the defending champions.
“It was a fantastic win, an ugly win, and the boys did themselves and the club proud,” said Gillespie, whose side chased 213 to win inside three days.
“The conditions were challenging, and the lads had to fight with bat and ball against a very good side.
“As well as we played, we also feel we can be better.
“It’s basically things like ticking off partnerships, really nailing the top-six batting, ensuring the bowlers maintain their focus, and so on, and making sure we keep challenging ourselves to improve.”
Yorkshire’s display was a significant improvement on their last outing against Somerset, when their bowling was off-colour.
It was still not the perfect performance, with only Jonny Bairstow (125 not out) passing 20 in the first innings in easily the standout contribution of the match.
But Yorkshire fought hard to chase a nuisance target and obtain a result that left them with three wins and three draws from their opening six games.
“I felt we played well in patches at Somerset but not enough, and this was a lot better,” said Gillespie. “The bowling was more ruthless – Jack Brooks got a five-for, and Steve Patterson was fantastic.
“The scores over the four innings showed it was difficult conditions for batsmen, but Jonny made it look simple in the first innings.
“Then, in the second innings, a number of players chipped in and got the job done.”
Gillespie was particularly pleased with his side’s positive approach to the run-chase.