Harry Brook continued his extraordinary LV= Insurance County Championship season with his ninth score over 50 as Yorkshire piled on the runs on a flat pitch at The Ageas Bowl.
Brook, who was released from the Test squad to play in this match, has played 10 red ball innings in 2022 with a lowest score of 41 and three centuries.
Against Hampshire, he showed his class with 76 but it was George Hill who spent the majority of the day grinding out a 220-ball century, the second of his career, before eventually departing for 131. Yorkshire reached close on 324 for five.
Last season, Sussex’s Tom Haines and Matt Critchley, then of Derbyshire, were the players with the most 50-plus scores, both with nine. Brook – who scored seven in 2021 – has already reached Haines and Critchley’s tally in half the number of matches.
But it was Hill that caught the eye early on after his skipper Steven Patterson had chosen to bat first. His straight drives were a particular highlight in a slow-going morning session. He rather scuffed one past Kyle Abbott before opening the face of the bat the following ball, he’d later gloriously drive Keith Barker through mid off as well.
The straight drives were joined by a number of pull shots through midwicket, including to bring up his half-century in 131 deliveries.
The 21-year-old lost Adam Lyth driving the accurate Ian Holland to third slip in the morning after a 51-run opening partnership and Will Fraine – a victim to Hill’s driving – run out while backing up at the non-striker’s end.
Brook joined Hill, something that would have happened a number of times during their schooling at Sedbergh in Cumbria. The pair were national schools champions together in 2017.
Hill had the choice of pretty much any professional sport, having also excelled at hockey, been ranked in England’s top-four tennis players in his age group and won another national cup in Sedbergh’s rugby team.
Hockey, tennis and rugby’s loss was certainly Yorkshire’s gain as he showed patience to see off the new ball – which was Mohammad Abbas-less. As Sedbergh director of cricket Martin Speight told the Yorkshire website recently: “He’s very understated, and I don’t think he realises it yet, but a lot of people have said to me how calm he looks when he gets going. Once he’s in, he looks very calm and unflustered.”
Those words rang true, especially once Brook had joined him as the pair reached a hundred stand in 154 balls, Hill accelerating to contribute 41 of them in good time. Two sixes back over Liam Dawson’s head proved his quality against spin bowling, matched by his pace mastery on show throughout.
At the other end, Brook batted like a man who knows he is at the top of his game. His high back-lift, small backward step trigger and his punchy flourishes were all lined up and timed together perfectly. He struck 11 boundaries in all – 10 fours and a six – with his wagon wheel fairly equal in all points.
He fell falling into James Vince’s leg slip trap, but that failed to halt Hill from reaching his three figures with a guided cut shot to the boundary. The second new ball ended his 257-ball vigil as Abbott sneaked one through the gate to clip the bail between middle and off stump.
Harry Duke had his off stump kissed by Holland as the shadows lengthened with the day's blue skies only interrupted by the rare cloud.
Nick Gubbins moved past 500 LV= Insurance County Championship runs for the season with his fourth half-century but Yorkshire remained on top at the Ageas Bowl.
The left-handed Hampshire batter averages 56 this season after two centuries and two other innings which past fifty as he settles into life on the south coast having moved from Middlesex almost a year ago.
Jordan Thompson had snared both Hampshire openers within the first five overs of the riposte but Gubbins’ 58, coupled with Liam Dawson and Ben Brown’s unbroken 114-run stand, made sure the hosts weren’t blown away, albeit still 203 runs in arrears.
Dom Bess had earlier notched his 11th career half-century, an unbeaten 51, as Yorkshire were bowled out for 428 – with Brad Wheal claiming four for 59.
The pitch provided far more pace and bounce than it had on the first day. The pace element was evidenced when Bess edged and dropped at second slip by Dawson; while the bounce did for Matthew Waite, as Dawson made amends after Keith Barker had found the shoulder of the bat.
After a 44-run partnership with Bess, Thompson fell edging to first slip having failed to cut a ball too close to his body, the first of Wheal’s four tail-end scalps. The Scotland international also wrapped Bess on his gloves, which needed medical attention but was fine to bowl later in the day.
Bess showed a flair for finding gaps with guided shots for much of his innings, although peeled off an opulent cover driver off Barker, before reaching fifty in 81 balls with a late cut to the ropes off Dawson.
Around Bess, Wheal had Matthew Revis lbw while attempting a straight drive, Dominic Drakes adjudged to have gloved a bouncer behind and sent Steven Patterson’s off stump to celebrate his 100th first-class wicket. Yorkshire bowled out for 428.
Hampshire had selected Ian Holland and Felix Organ as their openers despite the return to fitness of Joe Weatherley, mainly due to the bowling benefits they bring. Both fell to the new ball to leave Hampshire 12 for two.
Holland was squared up by a Thompson delivery which moved away off the seam. Organ was undone attempting to drive the quick bowler and was struck on the pads.
Gubbins and James Vince veered Hampshire away from a collapse with an 82-run stand, although the former was given a life on 31 as both Adam Lyth and Will Fraine both dropped the same ball in the slips.
Both departed either side of tea. Vince looked set on 33 but was leg before to Waite and Gubbins fell victim to ‘Nelson’ when Patterson angled a ball in and caught his outside edge. Hampshire were again in danger of caving in at 111 for four, but Dawson and Ben Brown rectified things.
Neither could initially be described as fluent. Dawson required 11 balls to get off the mark, pinched a three then took another eight deliveries to score again. It took him 48 balls to find the boundary, although the slashed cover drive was worth the wait. In similar patience, Brown was four off 21 balls.
Dawson ticked along and reached his fifty with a well-judged cut off 91 balls, with the duo’s century stand arriving in 170 balls as they warmed into the aging ball. Brown followed his partner to the milestone with a top edge of the keeper in 98 balls. Dawson ended the day on 61, Brown on 52 and Hampshire 225 for four.
Keith Barker gave Hampshire hope of beating Yorkshire at home in the LV= Insurance County Championship for the first time since 2008 with a wicked evening spell of fast bowling.
Lancashire-born Barker picked up three for 22, with Kyle Abbott and Brad Wheal also picking up a wicket a piece, to ignite a match seemingly heading for a draw. Yorkshire slumped to 101-5, a lead of 119 at the close.
Earlier, Hampshire’s last four wickets put on 142 runs, which included a useful 38 from Barker, to frustrate the visitors before they were bowled out for 410. That meant Yorkshire took a slender 18-run first-innings lead, with the teams who started the round in second and third in Division One both picking up six bonus points each.
In a juxtaposition of county team-mate Jonny Bairstow’s heroics in the Test match, things appeared to be meandering as Adam Lyth and first-innings centurion George Hill scored 36 in 18 overs. But wickets began to tumble, and trouble followed.
Barker picked up Hill pushing to James Vince at a wide first slip and Lyth nicking a classic delivery on a fourth stump line behind. The left-armer then bowled Harry Brook, via a deflection, for 10. It was the first time Brook had been dismissed for a score lower than 41 this season.
Will Fraine continued the collapse when Kyle Abbott found a patch of exaggerated bounce just back of a length to clip the shoulder of the bat through to keeper Brown.
Wheal joined in the carnage when Matthew Waite clipped uppishly to James Fuller at square leg to leave Yorkshire 81 for five before a short rear guard before stumps.
At the start of the day, Yorkshire needed to pick up the final six wickets before Hampshire passed the follow-on target, giving hope of repeating 2019’s innings victory here. A new ball 11 overs into the day gave hope of that possibility.
Ben Brown and Liam Dawson, who both recorded half-centuries the previous evening, had their 118-run stand ended before the new cherry appeared. Dawson was caught at first slip when attempting to drive spinner Dom Bess.
Yorkshire’s fielding let them down at various points during the Hampshire first innings. Nick Gubbins had survived a drop and Brown a missed stumping on day two, and that trend continued into day three.
Harry Duke fumbled another stumping chance when Brown was on 53 before failing to break the stumps when Brown looked short of his ground. Aneurin Donald was also given two lives by Dominic Drakes and Lyth, which Yorkshire would later rue as they fell a wicket short of a seventh bonus point.
Brown departed seven overs into the second new ball when he pushed to first slip. Donald and Barker put on 57 before both fell within three overs; the former lbw to Matthew Revis and the latter bowled while missing a reverse sweep.
Fuller and Abbott put on the afterburners to race past 350, the South African flicking the most nonchalant of sixes over mid-wicket before his partner thrice stuck Bess over the ropes. Their 50 partnership came up in just 45 deliveries and eventually reached 74.
Jordan Thompson picked up the final two wickets in consecutive overs – Fuller and Abbott both holing out to the short legside boundary – to end up with four for 68.
Liam Dawson guided Hampshire through a thrilling chase to complete a two-wicket victory over Yorkshire and maintain their LV= Insurance County Championship title ambitions.
Dawson, who had scored 61 in the first innings, got his side out of a sticky position at 103 for six when chasing 197 with a boundary-filled 67– with a crucial 67-run stand with Keith Barker.
The victory was Hampshire’s first over Yorkshire at home in the Championship since 2008 and only third at the Ageas Bowl.
Hampshire claimed 22 points to keep pressure on Surrey, with the gap at the top of Division One just three points. Yorkshire take away six points from the topsy-turvy match to drop to fourth.
Barker had led a third evening assault on Yorkshire’s top order, with the left-armer claiming three of five wickets to leave the visitors on 101 overnight. Hampshire wanted a quick repeat in the morning session to set up an easy chase.
It started perfectly as only two runs had been added before Harry Duke edged Kyle Abbott onto his stumps with the seventh ball of the day. Bess was then lbw to the South African, with Jordan Thompson driving Brad Wheal to wide second slip two balls later.
At that point, Yorkshire’s lead was just 142 with a bountiful number of overs but Dominic Drakes and Matthew Revis combined to add a crucial 44 runs while eating up 68 minutes. Both soaked up deliveries – typified by four maidens on the bounce – with Drakes’ pulled six a rare moment of aggression.
Ian Holland eventually broke the partnership with the first ball following lunch – Drakes driving to first slip – before Steven Patterson had his off stump removed by Wheal, with Revis unbeaten on 28.
Felix Organ began the 59-over chase with two cut boundaries but he failed to score another run before he guided a back-of-a-length delivery from Thompson to third slip. Thompson then pinned Holland in front to leave Hampshire 23 for two.
Nick Gubbins and James Vince had rescued a similar situation in the first innings with an 82-run partnership, this time around they showcased their famed shot-making traits. Both edged over the slips but Vince’s front foot pull and Gubbins’ all-around play caught the eye.
Both struck sixes – Gubbins on the pull, Vince with a leg-side jab – to keep up with, and get ahead of, the required rate.
The partnership ended on 55 after 59 balls when Gubbins was struck on the pads by Patterson while attempting a sweep before Vince feathered Bess behind six balls later. Hampshire still 117 runs away from the target.
Only 14 more runs had been added when Bess found some good turn and bounce to develop an edge to slip before Aneurin Donald was bowled through the gate by Patterson just nine more runs down the line.
Dawson and Barker took a risk-free approach and ticked off the runs at a sullen rate.
Any pressure was relieved in the 38th over when Dawson drove, advanced over long-on and swept his way to a four-six-four combination - with 16 runs coming from the over. He reached his 54-ball half-century with a boundary in the following over, which also included the 50 stand with Barker.
Even as Barker was strangled down the leg side for 21 with 27 runs still needed, Hampshire had things under control with Dawson unfurling three glorious cover drives.
Dawson hooked to long leg with seven required but James Fuller and Abbott took Hampshire over the line, with Fuller's uppercut completing the chase with 13.4 overs to spare.