IT never rains but it pours.
If the problem of how to arrest their poor one-day form was not enough, with this defeat representing their fourth in four limited-overs games this summer, Yorkshire have the additional headache of a mounting injury crisis.
Martyn Moxon, the club’s director of cricket, revealed last night that Jack Brooks has a quad injury and that fellow pace bowler Matthew Fisher has had a second recurrence of a hamstring strain that he initially suffered in March.
Allied to the fact that Ryan Sidebottom has not played since late April due to an ankle injury, and that further drains could be made on the bowling department with the impending announcement of England’s one-day squad to face Sri Lanka, and it may soon be the case that the first name on the teamsheet is the last man standing.
Messrs Sidebottom, Brooks and Fisher may all be out for another month, and if Messrs Willey, Plunkett and Rashid are selected for the ODI series that starts on June 21, Yorkshire would be down to the bare bones bowling-wise.
In that event, no one would begrudge them if they had to dip their toe into the loan market or take some sort of drastic action, with even Yorkshire’s resources not a bottomless well.
Moxon said the club will assess things early next week, with Yorkshire potentially facing a personnel crisis for their next County Championship match at Durham starting on Monday week.
“We should have a better idea next week as to who is likely to be available,” said Moxon, whose side lost their Royal London opener by seven wickets with 24.3 overs to spare after three straight defeats in the T20 Blast.
“Brooksy has a slight tear in his quad, which he felt towards the back end of the Championship game against Lancashire, and it could be a few weeks before he’s back.
“Matthew Fisher had a recurrence of his hamstring while playing as a batter in the Academy, and Ryan is only just coming out of his (surgical) boot.
“But there’s no point feeling sorry for ourselves. We’ve had the luxury of not having had many injuries in the last four or five years, and there’s no rhyme or reason why it should happen now.”
While there is uncertainty regarding when Yorkshire’s injured will return, there is no uncertainty regarding Yorkshire’s one-day form.
Performances need to improve, with this defeat as one-sided an affair as one could reasonably expect to witness.
Before a crowd of 2,530 on the hottest day of the season so far, with the temperature up in the mid-20s, pretty much the only thing that went right for Yorkshire was that they won the toss.
Thereafter, it was difficult viewing for the home support, who vented their frustration when Yorkshire were dismissed for 170 with 28 balls of their innings unused.
Gary Ballance top-scored with 30, one of seven batsmen to reach double figures.
Worcestershire bowled well on a sluggish pitch, Jack Shantry returning remarkable figures of 2-10 from 7.2 overs, but Yorkshire’s innings was a tame affair, with batsmen seemingly unsure whether to stick, twist, or what on earth to do.
After eight overs, Yorkshire had 13 runs on the board and had lost a wicket – a far cry from the exhilarating rate of scoring seen at Trent Bridge 24 hours earlier, when Notts and Northants had shared 870 runs in 98.2 overs, the highest aggregate for a one-day game in England.
Something even remotely similar was never likely here yesterday, given conditions, but Yorkshire’s innings was more like a throwback to the old 60-over Gillette Cup.
For Moxon, it betrayed a lack of confidence rather than a lack of quality.
“This game has shown that there is just not that confidence there at the minute,” he said.
“We’re hoping rather than expecting. Batsmen are just not in their best form. There’s a bit of a fear of getting out as opposed to looking to score runs.
“It’s a mental thing as much as anything. The players are working hard and doing so much hard work in practice.”
After Yorkshire posted such a low score, their bowlers never stood a reasonable chance.
Joe Leach, who earlier took 2-30 from nine overs, and Tom Kohler-Cadmore attacked so vigorously that 50 were on the board in 4.5 overs. They added 107 in total in 13 overs, Leach top-scoring with 63 from 35 balls, with Rashid the pick for Yorkshire with 2-39.