Determined Hampshire Secure Draw Against Champions Yorkshire

Hampshire bowled brilliantly to pick up eight wickets on the final day

Day One: 

Adam Lyth and Jonny Bairstow came to Yorkshire's rescue by each scoring centuries against Hampshire on the first day of the Specsavers County Championship match at Headingley.

The pair put on 205 together in 44 overs after Yorkshire had been struggling on 41 for three, Hampshire opting to field first without a toss.

The partnership came to an end when Lyth was lbw to Sean Ervine for 111 off 188 balls with 18 fours but Bairstow went on to complete his own century from 167 deliveries with 13 fours and a six.

The England wicketkeeper-batsman was unbeaten on 107 and Yorkshire were 270 for five when bad light ended play for the day.

Lyth lost his England place after failing to impress in last summer's Ashes series and in his seven Championship appearances he managed only 315 runs with a top score of 67.

But he was back to something near his best in this game in making his first Championship century since his 122 against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in September, 2014.

Bairstow was in the same destructive form that brought him 1,108 Championship runs in nine matches last year at an average of 92.33 to win back his Test place.

The start of the game was delayed half-an-hour while ice melted on the outfield and there was early help with seam and swing for Hampshire's seamers who had much the better of the morning session, although Lyth survived it after Fidel Edwards failed to hold on to a return catch when the batsman was 14.

Alex Lees was taken at third slip by James Vince off James Tomlinson and Gary Ballance soon departed when he was unable to withdraw his bat in time against Chris Wood.

Captain, Andrew Gale, failed to get off the mark as he brushed a legside delivery from Ryan McLaren into Adam Wheater's gloves and at 41 for three Yorkshire had a lot of repair work to do.

But Bairstow was soon playing with complete authority, pulling Tomlinson for six and striking a couple of fours and Yorkshire went in to lunch on 80 for three.

Batting with increasing confidence, Lyth dashed to his century from 177 balls with 17 boundaries but departed in the first over after tea and in the following over Jack Leaning edged a good ball from Wood to give Wheater his third catch.

Bairstow, partnered by Rashid, mis-hooked a bouncer from Edwards for four to reach his century from 167 deliveries with 13 fours and a six in an innings in which he rarely seemed in any sort of trouble.

His progress was halted by bad light and play was called off at six o'clock with 30 overs having been lopped off the day's ration.

Day Two:

Hampshire captain James Vince hit a defiant unbeaten half-century in the midst of a strong Yorkshire performance on day two of the Specsavers County Championship match at Headingley.

Jonny Bairstow plundered a career-best 246 off 270 balls with 29 fours while Liam Plunkett hammered 126 from 102 deliveries as the champions reached 593-9 declared in their first innings – their highest score ever against Hampshire.

Two early wickets kept Hampshire on the back foot before Vince led from the front to hit an unbeaten 76 to leave Hants 141-5 at stumps, trailing by 452 runs.

Bairstow added 102 runs to his overnight 107 during the morning session and Plunkett was only four runs short of completing his century before lunch.

The pair scored virtually at will against a Hampshire attack which was missing Liam Dawson, off the field with a stomach bug, and it was further depleted when paceman, Chris Wood, hobbled off with a knee niggle while bowling his 19th over.

They tried nine bowlers in all and two of the wickets were picked up by young Thomas Alsop, his first in the first class arena. One felt sympathy for Fidel Edwards who finished without a wicket after conceding 145 runs, yet he had been Hampshire's best bowler on the first morning.

Bairstow and Plunkett departed in consecutive overs from Alsop and Will Smith and when the declaration came Yorkshire had overtaken their previous highest score against Hampshire of 585 for three at Portsmouth 96 years ago.

Although Hampshire lost a wicket in the third over of their reply, they did not crumble under pressure and Vince led by example.

Alsop soon fell lbw to Ryan Sidebottom and Michael Carberry and Vince took the score to 34 before Carberry drove too casually at Plunkett and was well caught by Alex Lees diving to his left at first slip.

Dawson had recovered sufficiently to bat and he began by straight driving Steve Patterson for four but Vince dominated the partnership by reeling of several boundaries, consecutive fours bringing him his 50 off 102 balls.

With the stand worth 59, however, Smith became Sidebottom's second lbw victim and Hampshire were struggling again on 125 for four, their crisis deepening in the next over when nightwatchman Tomlinson deflected a short ball from Plunkett to Jack Leaning at fourth slip.

Adil Rashid and Adam Lyth bowled the day's last five overs in fading light and Vince's unbeaten 76 came off 142 balls with 11 fours.

Day Three:

James Vince (119) and Sean Ervine (123) both hit centuries to give Hampshire a fighting chance of salvaging a positive result as they dominated the third day of the Specsavers County Championship match against Yorkshire at Headingley.

The Hants skipper hit his first ton of the new campaign in 173 balls (15 fours) before lunch as Hampshire made a bright start to the day.

Ervine was then excellently supported by Adam Wheater (62) after lunch and the pair broke the record for the highest seven wicket partnership ever for Hampshire versus Yorkshire.

It was then Ryan McLaren’s turn to continue his promising form with the bat as he hit an unbeaten 55 to help Hampshire avoid the follow-on and reach 450-8 at stumps, 143 runs behind.

When Hampshire began the third day on 141 for five they were still 452 runs adrift on the first innings but the Specsavers County Championship title-holders were only able to pick up three scalps in the three sessions and the visitors closed on 450 for eight, having just avoided the prospect of following on.

Vince, 76 overnight to Ervine's seven, made his way in some style to 119 before he left a ball from Steven Patterson which cut back and trapped him lbw.

Vince's stand with Ervine had added 75 in 26 overs and when Ervine was on 20 he was struck painfully on the left hand by a rising ball from Liam Plunkett which caused him to have several minutes of on-the-field treatment before he was able to continue.

Although in some discomfort, Ervine survived a barrage of short stuff from Plunkett, his most anxious moment coming soon afterwards when Andrew Gale just failed to reach a chance at short leg.

If the Zimbabwean was suffering it only seemed to add to his resolve as he and Adam Wheater tamed a Yorkshire attack which is the envy of other counties. They were able to deny Yorkshire a third bowling bonus point and at the same time feel some satisfaction at securing three batting points for their own side.

Ervine stood on 49 at lunch and 99 at the tea interval with Yorkshire desperate enough to turn to Adam Lyth and Gary Ballance for a few overs before the second break. Ervine pulled Ballance for six but had to wait a while for his 18th first class century which came with a delicate cut to the boundary off Patterson. He had faced 205 balls and struck 12 fours and a six.

Wheater's no-frills half-century arrived off 126 balls with eight boundaries but when he had helped add 143 for the seventh wicket he carted Patterson to Ballance at mid-wicket and departed for 62.

Alex Lees at cover failed to make a hard chance stick when Ervine was on 107 and the batsman finally fell for 123, edging Sidebottom to wicketkeeper, Jonny Bairstow. It was Sidebottom's 1000th wicket in all forms of professional first team cricket and Ervine left the field to a generous ovation.

At 391 for eight, Hampshire were still not prepared to throw wickets away and Ryan McLaren and Chris Wood not only held firm but also scored freely together. With one over remaining, McLaren went to his 50 off 77 balls with eight fours, the same shot also making sure the follow-on was avoided.

McLaren was 53 at the close and Wood 28 with Yorkshire far less sure of victory than they were at the start of the day. 

Day Four:

Hampshire produced a brave and determined display on the final day of the Specsavers County Championship match to secure a draw against Champions Yorkshire at Headingley.

The visitors were seemingly up against it before a ball was even bowled when Fidel Edwards picked up an injury in the warm-up.

However the Hants bowlers produced an outstanding display with the ball, picking up regular wickets throughout the day to end any chance of a Yorkshire win.

James Tomlinson (3-31), Chris Wood (1-21) and Ryan McLaren (2-26) were the pick of the bowlers as Yorkshire finished the day on 183-8 declared at stumps, as Hampshire make the trip back to the Ageas Bowl with a well-earned nine points.

Hampshire, 450-8 overnight, added only three in 20 minutes before Chris Wood was caught by Adam Lyth at second slip to bring Ryan Sidebottom his fourth wicket and with last man Edwards unable to bat the innings closed, Yorkshire gaining a first innings lead of 140.

Ryan McLaren was unbeaten on 55 from 98 balls with eight boundaries.

Wood, who went off with a knee injury in the first innings was able to open the bowling with Tomlinson who had Alex Lees lbw in the first over and Yorkshire's situation quickly worsened.

Gary Ballance drove Tomlinson straight into the hands of Thomas Alsop at short cover and McLaren joined the attack to claim a wicket in each of his first two overs, both the result of catches by wicketkeeper Adam Wheater. Lyth wafted wildly outside off-stump and Jonny Bairstow received a great delivery which lifted and left him and made contact high up the bat.

Captain Andrew Gale and Jack Leaning did enough to ensure there would be no shock result before one departed shortly after the other and Yorkshire were left with little option but to bat out the draw which came when they declared at the earliest opportunity at 183 for eight, 323 runs ahead.