Warwickshire's season of glory brought many memorable moments and innings for Rob Yates - but his most important knock of all he can barely remember!
On the magnificent day at Edgbaston when the Bears seized the title and banked copious lifelong memories along the way, homegrown batter Yates unfurled what he regards as “almost a forgotten hundred.”
It was not forgotten by all the onlookers, of course. Yates’s unbeaten 132 against Somerset will be long appreciated as an innings which set up the memorable wicket-hunt that followed.
But for the 22-year-old himself, as the title celebrations began after the sensational plot unfolded through the afternoon, that morning session, and his fourth century of the season, already seemed like a distant memory.
“That amazing day is a bit of a blur,” Yates recalls. “We had gone out to bat the previous night with a bit of intent and Will Rhodes came in and played perfectly in that scenario so I could just keep ticking over.
“Then I did the same in the morning until the declaration and was really pleased to score a century and have contributed for the team. But, to be honest, it’s almost a forgotten hundred because by the end of the day, so much had happened that I’d completely forgotten I’d scored it because we’d just won the championship!
“It was an incredible ending but, to be honest, I enjoyed every minute of the season. The belief in the squad just grew and grew as we went along.
“Going into that last day, although the cards seemed stacked against us, I had a feeling we would do it. We had won games during the season deep in the fourth day at Edgbaston so we all felt that, even though it was a flat pitch, we could do it.”
Moseley batsman Yates was a huge contributor to the triumph, topping the Bears’ championship batting averages with 793 runs at 37.76. He struck four centuries in the competition and rounded off the season with another three-figure score, 113 against Lancashire to help the Bears lift the Bob Willis Trophy at Lord’s.
“That was very pleasing,” he said. “I played at Lord’s in a school game a few years ago but this was my first proper game there, so it was great to score a century and get my first hundred away from Edgbaston. Lord’s is a very special place, but I felt very comfortable. The slope is just like the Moseley slope so I felt at home!Rob Yates
“It was a very exciting week and, after all the hard work in the season, nice to have some celebrations after winning the Bob Willis Trophy. It was a great season and I was kind of sad when it was over.
“Now I’m just looking forward to getting to work in the winter. I have done okay but there are areas for improvement that I am keen to work on. If I do that and keep doing what I did well last season and add to it, then hopefully I can get to where I want to be.”
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