Yorkshire beat Worcestershire by 10 wickets

It may only be mid-April, but Cricket's County Championship is up and running once again in its 125th season, with Yorkshire beginning their campaign in much the same manner as they ended the last one, beating Worcestershire in the First Division with over a day to spare at New Road, Worcester.

The reigning champions had been in some trouble on day two when chasing the host side's solid first innings total of 311, as they stuttered to 193-7, but Tim Bresnan's resilience down the order helped them to ultimately trail by just four runs by the time that Worcestershire batted again.

Yorkshire's formidable bowling unit then tore through their opponents' batting line-up to dismiss them for just 100 runs second time around, allowing the Tykes' batsman to canter to 105 without loss to claim a memorable victory and with it a handy 22 match points.

Yorkshire's success last year could yet be their undoing this time around though, with as many as six of their players away on England duty in the first month, including Gary Ballance and Joe Root who are taking part in the first Test in the West Indies at present. Their success at Worcester demonstrated their strong squad though, with captain and opening batsman Alex Lees top scoring on 87 in the first innings and then remaining unbeaten with another half-century to see his side home to the win when they batted again.

Bresnan's knock of 83 proved invaluable to bring his side up to almost parity on first innings.

Lees' side utilised the ebullient Jack Brooks, complete with his trademark headband, to skittle the opposition out in both innings. His match figures of 9-84 represented his best-ever return, but he received commendable support from Bresnan (3-48) in the first innings and then Steven Patterson (5-11) in the second.

Patterson in particular will have been pleased with his best figures in first-class cricket.

Worcestershire had belied their tag as relegation favourites on the first two days, outscoring the visitors thanks in no small part to the contributions of Moeen Ali (62), Tom Fell (114) and all-rounder Gareth Andrew (59) with the bat.

Andrew then took 5 wickets, ably assisted by Jack Shantry with four wickets in helping to bowl their rivals out for 307. Their capitulation on the final day though does not bode well for their chances during the campaign, as only Tom Kohler-Cadmore with 24 offered any notable resistance in their second innings. Their batting woes may deepen if Ali is called up by England to join the party in the West Indies in the next week or so, as has been rumoured. He seems to have recovered from the side strain he picked up during England's recent disappointing World Cup competition.