Gale Century Hands Hampshire Defeat on Thrilling Final Day

Andrew Gale's century lifted Yorkshire to an exciting five-wicket victory over Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl

An impressive century from Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale (125) saw Hampshire stumble to a five-wicket defeat on a thrilling final day in the LV= County Championship match at the Ageas Bowl.

Before play commenced at 10:30am on the final day, both captains came together and agreed that a Yorkshire declaration followed by Hampshire forfeiting their innings would potentially produce a result that could be beneficial for both sides.

Hampshire therefore began the day needing 10 wickets for victory whilst the visitors required 304 runs for victory and it was the home-side who enjoyed the better of the two starts.

An excellent opening spell from Fidel Edwards (3-74) and Gareth Berg (1-41) initially reduced Yorkshire to 37-3.

Desite their less than ideal start, Gale's side recovered well as the captain combined excellently with Jack Leaning (76) to guide the away-side towards victory. 

Although both eventually fell, Tim Bresnan (35*) finished unbeaten to see them home safely to their 10th four-day win of the season

Following the early-morning developments both Edwards and Ryan McLaren bowled tightly to begin and it was the former who was first to strike – dismissing Alex Lees (5) with a full, swinging delivery clipping the top of off stump.

Two more wickets fell in quick succession with former England duo Adam Lyth (12) and Garry Ballance (17) departing to leave Yorkshire in a difficult position.

However Leaning soon joined Gale in the middle, and the pair scored a flurry of boundaries to lead the recovery seeing their side to 96-3 at lunch.

Gale brought up his half-century shortly after the interval and despite some probing bowling from Edwards, his efforts went largely unrewarded.

Liam Dawson (0-63) was also unfortunate not to pick up a wicket himself as managed to find some turn out of the final day surface, however Gale and Leaning persevered to push their partnership past 100.

Leaning then passed his fifty during the 49th over however more tight bowling from Hampshire meant that only 26 more runs were added before tea.

No more wickets fell before the tea interval, meaning Hampshire needed seven wickets in the evening session but Yorkshire continued where they left when play resumed with Gale bringing up his well-made century.

Edwards finally made the breakthrough as he accounted for the wicket of Leaning and he dismissed Gale soon after with Yorkshire still requiring 40 runs for victory.

However, some big hitting from Bresnan saw the required target reached with just five overs to spare.