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  • Specsavers County Championship 2m

    Handscomb moves Yorkshire into commanding position

    Peter Handscomb showed his quality as the White Rose took command against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

    Australian import Peter Handscomb showed exactly the quality that Yorkshire hoped he would inject into their top order as the White Rose took command against Warwickshire at Edgbaston. In reply to the home side's 178, Yorkshire were 295 for six, 117 ahead, at the close of the second day of this Specsavers County Championship match.

    Their impressive collective bowling effort had a home-grown heart as Ben Coad, Harrogate-born and Thirsk-educated, took five for 52 to complete back-to-back five-wicket hauls in his fourth and fifth first-class matches.


    But the foundation stone of their batting was Melbourne-made. Handscomb went in with team wobbling on nine for one and, as befits a player with a Test average of 54.27, batted with immediate freedom and confidence. He enjoyed some luck, especially early on, but seized rapaciously on anything loose on his way to 75 (110 balls, 12 fours).

    Despite high-scoring Handscomb was dissapointed: "I'm happy with the score but also disappointed in a way. I felt in, and it's the best I've felt in England so far. To get out in the manner I did, I was a bit disappointed. Moving forwards, I need to turn those into big ones.

    "I just tried to be positive, not so much aggressive. It gets my feet going. From that, if you're looking to score, I think your defence is a lot more solid. It wasn't as if I was going out there, trying to hit them over the top, it was calculated risks and shots."

    After Handscomb's departure, Tim Bresnan (61, 103 balls, 12 fours), supported by Jack Leaning and Adil Rashid, patiently extended Yorkshire's advantage against a softened ball in the final session.

    After resuming on 152 for eight, the home side soon lost Chris Wright, whose cartwheeling off-stump provided Coad's fifth wicket. Keith Barker posted his second successive half-century (50, 88 balls, four fours) before edging Bresnan to wicketkeeper Andrew Hodd.

    Warwickshire needed to strike back hard but took only one wicket in 16 overs before lunch. Adam Lyth gloved a legside delivery from Wright to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose, but Alex Lees and Handscomb added 88 in 24.5 overs before the former edged Barker to Rikki Clarke at second slip.

    Hanscombe, making a particular effort not to let spinner Jeetan Patel dictate, played with considerable aplomb. It came as a surprise when he perished, inside-edging a big drive at Wright on to his stumps, but he left his side only 46 behind with seven wickets intact.


    Gary Ballance (22, 60 balls) edged the first ball after tea, from Olly Hannon-Dalby, to Ambrose but Leaning (40, 114 balls, five fours) and Bresnan took their side in front with a stand of 60 before the former fell to a sharp short-leg catch by Sam Hain off Patel.

    Barker trapped Bresnan lbw with the new ball but Rashid, a century-maker in this fixture in 2013, settled solidly in and Yorkshire's lead steadily grew as dusk fell on the Second City.

    Warwickshire captain Ian Bell said: "It's been a tough day at the office again. It's been a tough start to the season. We bowled really nicely in patches but when you have only scored 178 in the first innings you have to bowl incredibly well. We are hanging in there and fighting but our levels have not been as high as they should be so far this season.

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