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Hampshire v Yorkshire (SCC)

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Adams Hundred Helps Hampshire Pick Up Balanced Day-Night Draw

Jimmy Adams battled to his first Specsavers County Championship century for almost a year as Hampshire claimed a draw against Yorkshire

Day Four

Ollie Rayner and Ian Holland both took a wicket but Harry Brook and Jack Leaning staunchly ensured a draw on the final day of the day/night Specsavers County Championship match at the Ageas Bowl.

The pair made sure Yorkshire avoided any chance of losing with a 108-run stand, which stretched over 38 overs, as they both chalked up milestones.

Yorkshire and Hampshire both move above Lancashire into fifth placed of the Division One table as they moved level on points – the former taking 10 points to Hampshire’s 11 from the match.

Yorkshire had started the day with a slender two run deficit, with two wickets intact – with key batsmen Gary Ballance and Cheteshwar Pujara at the crease.

But both departed within the first hour to spark Hampshire’s hopes of starting a collapse, and possibly a route to victory.

The pair had added exactly 50, having been joined the previous night, before Ballance edged on loan off-spinner Ollie Rayner behind to Tom Alsop.

The England middle-order batsman had only managed to add three runs to his overnight score in 14 afternoon overs.

An over later Indian Test man Pujara was bowled between bat and pad by Ian Holland, the American born Australian’s first wicket of the season.

Just as Yorkshire were staring at a slump, Brook and Leaning came together for the fifth wicket to take the game back towards a stalemate.

Brook was the more aggressive and actively sought the bad ball to drill towards the boundary, while Leaning set in for the long haul.

The completely soft first pink ball offered little chance to bowlers, while making it almost impossible for the batsmen to get value for their shots.

Brook accelerated from 35 to his half century in a single Holland over – caressing a quartet of boundaries through the off-side – with the milestone shot his 68th delivery.

The 19-year-old had early scored 79 in the first innings to prove his talent as one of the most exciting young players on the circuit.

The new ball, taken with a minimum 53 scheduled overs remaining, also failed to take effect as Dale Steyn and Fidel Edwards struggled to get anything out of it the ball or slow pitch.

Brook fell in freak circumstances as he was run out at the non-strikers end, after Gareth Berg had pushed Leaning’s straight drive into the stumps.

But Leaning continued and completed a second half century of the season in an epic 174 balls.

Jonny Tattersall reached 22 before he was bowled by Rayner – the debutant ending with figures of four for 54.

When Steven Patterson and James Vince eventually shook hands at 8.50pm, Leaning had crawled to 54 from 191 balls – with Yorkshire ending 169 runs in front.

Day Three

Ollie Rayner grabbed his first two Hampshire wickets but Yorkshire kept the game in the balance by taking a slender two run deficit into the final day.

Left arm spinner Rayner only joined Hampshire on loan at the beginning of the week, having been dropped from Middlesex’s squad to face Leicestershire– to cover injuries for Mason Crane and Brad Taylor, along with England Lions’ Liam Dawson.

And while Dawson performed an impressive four wicket haul on international duty, Rayner deputised with skill during a six over spell of two for four.

Yorkshire had been given the entire 35 overs of the night session to eat away at Hampshire’s 93 run first innings lead, after Gareth Berg’s fifty with the tail, and start to rebuild an advantage of their own.

Alex Lees, having only scored 10 runs in his previous five Specsavers County Championship innings this season, started off with vigour taking Fidel Edwards for four boundaries in his first over – including an angelic cover drive.

Opening partner Adam Lyth was more circumspect with his 17 but became Rayner’s first Hampshire wicket as he tentatively left his bat outside off stump to edge to keeper Tom Alsop.

Exactly two overs later, Rayner was celebrating again when he had Lees lbw to a straight delivery, for a confidence building 39.

Yorkshire ended the day with key batsmen Gary Ballance, who scored a century in the first innings, and Indian’s Test star Cheteshwar Pujara unbeaten on 18 and 14.

Earlier, Jimmy Adams and Tom Alsop started the day looking to build on their 132 and 62 not outs – but the latter could only add a single before departing in the second over of the day.

The left hander was plumb lbw to Brooks – ending a slow paced 179-run stand, from a mammoth 67.2 overs.

The run scoring remained hard going throughout the morning session, with accurate bowling with a difficult to get away soft pink ball offering nothing to either side.

Adams in particular struggled to get going again on the third day, only managing 15 runs in 85 minutes before he was undone by extra bounce from Tim Bresnan and was caught behind for a season high 147.

Hampshire tiptoed to 300 as they managed to reach a third batting point with seven balls of the spare before Brooks had Ian Holland, after a patient 31 caught, and Steven Patterson dismissed Ollie Rayner for a duck both caught behind.

Just as Yorkshire sniffed a first innings lead, Kyle Abbott and Berg added 74 in a frustrating eighth wicket stand – with the all-rounders accelerating the run-rate.

Spinner Adam Lyth broke the stand when Abbott, after an enterprising 35, charged down the wicket and slashed to sub fielder Jordan Thompson at a deep cover.

Meanwhile, Berg moved to his tenth half century for Hampshire with a delicious pull from his 89th ball.

The ninth wicket, worth another 58 – with Dale Steyn pumping a maximum straight over Lyth.

Steven Patterson bowled Steyn before Fidel Edwards edged Brooks behind – handing the fast bowler figures of five for 124.

Berg was left stranded unbeaten on 84, with Hampshire bowled out for 443 and boasting a strong lead of 93.

Day Two

Jimmy Adams battled to his first Specsavers County Championship century for almost a year as Hampshire fought back into a strong position against Yorkshire.

Veteran left handed opener Adams was forced to rebuild after quick wickets with a gritty and sensible ton.

His runs backed up Dale Steyn’s first five wicket haul since August 2016 as Yorkshire were bowled out for 350 – their highest total of the season.

Adams, who is considering retiring at the end of the season, hadn’t reached three figures in the Championship since a 144 against Surrey last July – but never looked in danger against the pink ball.

Opening partner Joe Weatherley fell in just the fourth over when he was lbw to Jack Brooks – a delivery which nipped back late and would have gone on to hit the right hander’s off-stump.

James Vince had destroyed Yorkshire’s bowling in an outrageous 171 earlier in the week in his side’s Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final victory.

But despite a glimpse at his exceptional shot making, in a 54-run stand with Adams, the Hampshire captain was castled by a Brooks with the fourth ball after the tea interval.

An over later Sam Northeast, on his first Championship innings since fracturing a finger in his hand, stroked a delicious straight drive down the ground, before he had his middle stump uprooted by Steven Patterson.

That brought Alsop to the crease and saw a rear-guard and hard-working stand with Adams.

Adams reached fifty in 96 balls, moved to with a forceful cut, as he was quick to punish anything off line.

Meanwhile, Alsop was taking his chance having been handed the wicket-keeping gloves from Lewis McManus for this match by starting a marathon – which saw his pass 50 in a glacial 151 deliveries.

Adams then reach three figures with another cut backward of square from his 182nd ball.

He ended the day unbeaten on 132, with Alsop on 62, having shared a 177 for the unbroken fourth wicket.

Earlier, Hampshire wrapped up the Yorkshire tail – although the visitors managed to grab a fourth bonus point for the first time this season.

The hosts had looked set to wrap things up quickly as Tim Bresnan and Brooks both fell within the first three overs of the day.

Bresnan was bowled by a Fidel Edwards yorker, before Brooks followed him back when he edged Steyn to Ollie Rayner at second slip.

The Brooks scalp handed Steyn a deserved five wicket haul, as his fitness ahead of South Africa’s Test series with Sri Lanka next month continued to move in the right decision.

The fast bowler ended with figures of five for 66 from his epic 29 overs.

Captain Patterson guided his side to an additional bonus point, taking them to four with the bat, with 37 runs, before Kyle Abbott celebrated his first wicket since early May when he had Patterson caught scooping to mid-off.

Day One

Gary Ballance seemed to allayed fears of batting against the pink ball by scoring his first Specsavers County Championship century of the season.

Ballance, who is colour-blind, had previously struggled to pick up the different coloured ball against the white sightscreen, but looked comfortable in his 109.

Despite his flawless innings Ballance was dismissed in freak circumstances by Hampshire’s star bowler Dale Steyn.

As the natural light dimmed and the floodlights were switched on, just before the dinner interval, Ballance slowly started to contend with picking the ball up.

As the twilight approached just before 8pm, he appeared completely blinded to an oncoming fast bouncer from Steyn.

Instead of ducking or avoiding a predicted path of the ball, Ballance stood, without footwork, in his stance and wafted his bat to flick the ball to Sam Northeast at mid-wicket.

Ballance had been brought to the crease prematurely after Yorkshire had slumped to 21 for three having won the toss and elected to bat on a good looking wicket under blue afternoon skies.

Alex Lees lasted just five balls before he was undone by a Fidel Edwards delivery destined to jag back and into leg stump before the ball crashed into the opener’s pads.

Chesteshwar Pujara also followed for a duck when he was castled by Steyn – the second time the South African had dismissed the Indian this week, having got him out in the Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final on Monday.

Adam Lyth, who had scored every run in the first 11 overs, continued the collapse when he was caught behind off Gareth Berg.

But the slump was stopped when Ballance and Harry Brook met in the middle as the rebuilding started immediately.

Ballance had taken 23-balls to get off the mark, but ground out his fifty in 99 deliveries – which he brought up with an uncharacteristic hook for six off Fidel Edwards.

Partner Brook was the more aggressive, albeit not outrageously so, moving past 50 for the second time this season in 74 balls – which included a six down the ground to Ollie Rayner.

The former England under 19s captain looked on course for three figures but was undone by the increasingly speedy Steyn – as he was plumb lbw.

Ballance, playing his first competitive day/night, had scored a match saving century and double century in the corresponding fixture last season, and looked unnerved by the softening ball.

In the over before the second break, he steered a classy drive behind point for his 15th four to take himself to three figures from 171 balls – before his freak wicket.

Jonny Tattersall, on his first-class debut, followed soon after as Steyn grabbed his fourth of the day with an outside edge to Rayner at second slip.

Hampshire’s overseas star Steyn finished the day with fiery figures of four for 48 from his marathon 25 overs, as his fitness ahead of South Africa’s tour of Sri Lanka continued to increase.

The second new ball, under the lights, caused more problems to the batsmen - Jack Leaning was dropped by James Vince at first slip before he was bowled by Edwards.

But Tim Bresnan and captain Steven Patterson negotiated the tricky night session with a 38 run stand as Yorkshire ended the day on 315 for seven.