‘Nervous’ Brooks is back with his best figures
JACK BROOKS took his best figures in first-class cricket for Yorkshire in a rousing response to being left out of the previous Championship match.
Yorkshire could find no place for their leading wicket-taker when they played Sussex at Hove, picking a pace attack of Ryan Sidebottom, Steve Patterson, Liam Plunkett and Tim Bresnan
But Brooks returned at the expense of Plunkett – who is on England one-day duty – to claim 5-35 from 12 overs as Somerset were skittled for 110.
Adam Lyth then put his Ashes difficulties behind him to score 62 as Yorkshire reached 138-3 in reply, Gary Ballance finishing unbeaten on 49.
“I thought we bowled very well as a unit,” said Brooks, whose five-wicket haul was his sixth for Yorkshire in first-class games and his third of the season.
“I knew that if I came out of the blocks flying I could take some wickets, and the lads helped me with some great catches.
“I was actually quite nervous having been out of the team – probably the most nervous I’ve been all season before a match.
“But it was a good day and we’re in a great position, and hopefully we can get a solid lead and put pressure on them in the second innings.”
Brooks, whom coach Jason Gillespie stressed would have played even if Plunkett had been available, set the tone for a dominant display by the leaders, who went into the match 30 points clear with a game in hand.
After Andrew Gale chose to bowl with cloud around and a 10.30 start, Brooks got the ball rolling when he had Tom Abell caught at first slip by Alex Lees in the fourth over.
Sidebottom bowled Marcus Trescothick with a fine delivery in the seventh over – the former England man appearing to play down the wrong line – before Brooks took two wickets in four balls to leave the visitors 14-4.
Tom Cooper was caught at second slip by Lyth – Brooks’s 50th Championship wicket of the season – and Jim Allenby was bowled for a duck shouldering arms, the ball coming back just enough.
Somerset slid to 20-5 when Sidebottom had James Hildreth held at second slip by Lyth, and to 36-6 when Bresnan struck with his sixth delivery after replacing Brooks at the Kirkstall Lane end, having Peter Trego caught behind after a brief counter-attacking innings of 19 from 26 balls.
Yorkshire, who omitted Jack Leaning in favour of Aaron Finch, and who welcomed back Lyth and Jonny Bairstow from England duty as well as spinner James Middlebrook in place of another one-day international player in Adil Rashid, were briefly held up by Lewis Gregory and Luke Ronchi, who added 38 in 10 overs.
Gregory tried to knock Patterson off his length, on-driving him for four and then advancing down the track to club him to the mid-wicket boundary, while Ronchi, the New Zealand batsman/wicketkeeper, played some pleasant off-drives on his Championship debut.
But Brooks returned to trap Gregory with the sixth ball of his second spell, Somerset sinking to 85-8 right on lunch when Patterson had Craig Overton caught at short cover by Bresnan.
A heavy shower drove the sides from the field in the fourth over after the break, resulting in a 50-minute delay and the loss of five overs.
When the action resumed, Yorkshire needed only 17 balls to wrap up things.
Brooks completed his five-wicket haul when Ronchi was the victim of another catch at short cover by Bresnan after contributing the top score of 25, Patterson ending proceedings when Jack Leach was taken at second slip by Lyth.
Somerset – missing pace bowler Jamie Overton, who pulled up during the warm-up – should have got rid of Lyth for seven only for Ronchi to drop him behind the stumps as he turned Tim Groenewald to leg.
After a difficult few weeks, it was perhaps the moment of luck that Lyth needed, and he was soon into his stride with a pulled boundary off Craig Overton.
Lyth and Alex Lees were watchful during an opening stand of 46 in 20 overs, ended when Overton won an lbw decision against Lees on the stroke of tea.
After the break, Lyth sparkled in golden sunshine as he and Ballance pressed home the advantage.
The pair added 65 in 22 overs before Lyth was caught one-handed by Gregory in the gully off Allenby, who then had Gale dropped at second slip by Trescothick before he had scored.
Gale advanced to five before chopping on to Leach’s slow left-arm.