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  • Specsavers County Championship 3m

    Yorkshire close in on emphatic win

    Ben Coad continued his dream start to the season as Yorkshire powered to the brink of victory over Warwickshire

    Ben Coad continued his dream start to the season as Yorkshire powered to the brink of Specsavers County Championship victory over Warwickshire on the third day at Edgbaston.

    Coad, who lodged his maiden first-class five-for against Hampshire last week, and followed up with another in the first innings in Birmingham, added a third as his five for 27 (10 for 79 in the match) left the home batting in tatters. Warwickshire, requiring 203 to avoid an innings defeat, ended the third day on 85 for nine.

    Coad fed voraciously on Warwickshire's brittle confidence and, as if his match could not get any better, his victims included Ian Bell. Following his first-innings haul, the 23-year-old admitted the Warwickshire wickets he coveted most were Bell and Jonathan Trott. After dismissing the latter in the first innings, he removed Bell in the second with a brute of a ball which lifted to take the glove on its way to slip.

    At one stage, Warwickshire were seven for five and by no means certain to reach 35, their lowest total against Yorkshire. They avoided that embarrassment but their collapse was alarming enough.

    After Yorkshire resumed on 295 for six, Adil Rashid (65, 96 balls, ten fours) and Andrew Hodd extended their partnership to 52 before Hodd was bowled by Keith Barker. Rashid reached his 37th first-class fifty before edging Rikki Clarke to Trott at slip. Trott pounced again to catch Steve Patterson off Clarke and David Willey nicked Olly Hannon-Dalby but, with the lead past 200, Yorkshire's paceman were keen to get bowling.

    Warwickshire were then blitzed by a devastating burst of postprandial turbulence. In six overs between lunch and a rain-break they scored one run and lost three wickets.

    David Willey's fifth ball after lunch removed Alex Mellor, caught by Tim Bresnan at first slip, and his sixth pinned Jonathan Trott lbw. Bell kept out the hat-trick ball but collected only a single before copping a near-unplayable offering from Coad.

    After rain lopped off 21 overs, Coad resumed his rampage. He knocked out Sam Hain's off-stump as the batsman offered no shot, trapped Tim Ambrose lbw and had Rikki Clarke caught at second slip.

    Further rain after tea, with Warwickshire 36 for six, cleared to leave Yorkshire 11 overs to try to finish the match off in three days. Patterson had Barker caught behind, William Porterfield (20, 58 balls, three fours) edged Coad into the cordon and Rashid bowled Wright but the light closed back in before the tenth wicket could be captured.

    Yorkshire captain Gary Ballance was full of praise for Coad: "I've seen Ben bowl for the last two months and I knew that he could bowl well and put in good performances. But, honestly, I can't say I would have seen him doing this well. It's brilliant bowling and he's done it by getting top players out. It's deserved. The hard work he's put in is paying off now. He must be surprised. He's got 18 wickets in four innings. I think anyone would be surprised. You don't expect someone to come in for their second championship game and tear it up like he is. He's done very well and hopefully he can carry on."

    At the close of play, Warwickshire first-team coach Jim Troughton said: "We are very disappointed. It just hasn't clicked for us going into the season. The guys were well-prepared going into the season but, as a batting unit, we just haven't been able to withstand any kind of pressure. We have a lot of questions to ask ourselves individually and collectively as to how we are going to address that and get through those difficult periods."

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