A terrific batting performance from Yorkshire has seen them maintain their unbeaten start to the 2010 LV=County Championship season by drawing at Kent. Set a mammoth 392 to win in the Canterbury sunshine, the Tykes came close to a memorable victory before eventually accepting a stalemate which gives them 8 points to keep them top of the division one table.
When Andrew Gale was appointed Yorkshire captain he said that his sides would attack and play with passion. After three matches in the 2010 Championship he can stand by those words.
Much of the credit should go to openers Adam Lyth and Joe Sayers. After Kent had batted on in the morning session to add 24 runs to their overnight score, the two of them ended any chance of a home victory with a diligent and skilful stand of 155. In their 206 minute stay at the crease Lyth made 80 and Sayers 61, before both fell within six balls of eachother at the mid-way point of the middle session.
It was Lyth who was first to go – caught by Geraint Jones off James Hockley when trying to up the run rate. Then Sayers fell with an almost identical shot when he tried to cut James Tredwell and edged behind to Martin van Jaarsveld at second slip.
Their performance was full of guts and poise though and after departing the scene Anthony McGrath and Tim Bresnan, promoted up the order to try and up the run rate, continued the sterling work. Sadly by this time the required rate was already well over 5.7 and despite their best efforts in the end a draw became the only feasible result.
The Tykes did not give up hope though and with twenty overs left the equation was simple – Yorkshire needed 151 to win at 7.5 an over. That seemed possible for a time until McGrath was caught on the boundary by Joe Denly off James Tredwell for a valiant 59 – his best first-class score in 2010.
Then Jacques Rudolph went in exactly the same manner and with ten overs left the run rate had rocketed to more than 9 before Tim Bresnan was ran out for 70.
That brought Jonathan Bairstow to the crease to join captain Andrew Gale and eventually the two of them shook hands with their opponents to settle on a draw with 6 overs left.
The result sees Yorkshire maintain their position at the top of the table with the next four-day match starting at Headingley on Tuesday against Durham.
DAY THREE REPORT
Yorkshire look like facing another run-chase to make it three LV=County Championship wins in a row at Kent, but unlike the games against Warwickshire and Somerset they will not be favourites to succeed in this one.
It is after their hosts’ dominated day three at Canterbury to lead by 361 runs at the close of play, with a declaration expected either overnight or early on Saturday.
The fact Yorkshire face such a tough objective, in a game which for the most part has been nip-and-tuck, is down to the last session and a half at Canterbury when their attack failed to fire against industrious opponents.
James Hockley led them with a career best knock of 82, but credit should also go to Martin Van Jaarsveld who made 78 and James Tredwell who was unbeaten on 65 by the close.
Between them the trio put on 204 for the sixth and seventh wickets and that ultimately could be the difference between winning this match and losing it for Yorkshire.
It was all a far cry from earlier on in the afternoon session when, just five overs after lunch, David Wainwright completed a quick-fire triple-strike for the Tykes to remove Darren Stevens for five and leave Kent on 116-5.
At that stage Kent’s lead looked precarious at just 150 but it brought van Jaarsveld and Hockley together at the crease and the impressive response from the hosts began.
By the close they had reached 327-7 to make sure Rob Key’s men are favourites to win this game. When they do set Yorkshire a target on Saturday – plenty of that White Rose grit will be needed to salvage a result.
DAY TWO REPORT
A 126-run partnership between Jonathan Bairstow and Adil Rashid has hauled Yorkshire back into their LV=County Championship clash with Kent.
The two youngsters came together with the Tykes’ in real trouble on 120-6 but, their efforts have helped Andrew Gale’s side reach 280 for eight by the close – 37 runs behind the hosts’ first-innings score.
Under spring sunshine in Canterbury the two plundered 14 boundaries between them – before both fell within 9 balls of the new ball being taken inside the last 10 overs. Bairstow was the first to go for 70 – caught by James Hockley at second slip off Ajmad Khan before Rashid fell for 59 after being trapped lbw by Azhar Mahmood.
It was an important partnership between them though to help Yorkshire recover from a difficult start with the bat. Two wickets for Mahmood and James Tredwell, and one each for Khan and Darren Stevens decimated the top order.
Anthony McGrath made 40 and Jacques Rudolph 38 but, in truth the situation was looking ominous until Bairstow and Rashid’s excellent efforts.
After they had gone Ajmal Shahzad and David Wainwright successfully navigated the last 9 overs to make sure the Tykes’ are still well in this contest. At the close of day two, the mid-way point of this match, Shahzad is unbeaten on 12 with Wainwright on 16.
The challenge tomorrow will be to try and get as close to Kents score of 317 as possible.
Martyn Moxon could have been forgiven for feeling a little tired today after an early start. He was at Gatwick Airport at 5am this morning collecting Tino Best who has finally managed to find a flight from Barbados. It is anticipated that the West Indian fast bowler will make his UK Yorkshire debut against Essex on Sunday. Remember he has already represented the White Rose county on the pre-season tour.
DAY ONE REPORT
A late triple-strike from Yorkshire’s England representatives has improved their chances of picking up a third straight LV=County Championship win for the first time since 1995.
On the day the ECB confirmed that both Ajmal Shahzad and Tim Bresnan could play a full-part in this contest, they both claimed wickets within the last half an hour against Kent to firmly put the Tykes’ in control by the close.
First it was Shahzad to confirm his importance to the side when with 12 overs left he removed Darren Stevens for 92. Then Bresnan ousted James Tredwell for 32 and Azhar Mahmood with the last ball of the day to leave the hosts on 313 for nine at the end of day one at Canterbury.
“I thought they both bowled fantastically” said director of cricket Martyn Moxon. “Seven wickets between them is a super effort and it has tipped a topsy-turvy day our way”.
The duo’s late heroics certainly made sure good work earlier on wasn’t wasted.
By the mid-way point of the opening day the Tykes’ attack had reduced Kent to 131 for five to make the host’s decision to bat after winning the toss look ill-judged. That soon became 191 for six when Shahzad struck to remove James Hockley for 14, before Stevens and Tredwell came together to haul Rob Key’s side back into the match. Between them they engineered a seventh wicket partnership of 89, until the first of the late wickets wrote another chapter into an entertaining first days play at the St Lawrence Ground.
Kent were on 284-6 at this stage but Stevens, just eight short of his century, edged one to Anthony McGrath off Shahzad and the key breakthrough had been made. Then came Bresnan with his two wickets, to finish with season-best figures of four for 52, and the pendulum had definitely swung Yorkshire’s way.
It may be early days in the 2010 season but with two-from-two in the Championship and Yorkshire sitting on top of the Division One table the summer could not have started in better fashion.
The Club also received some great news from the England camp on Sunday with Andy Flower giving both Tim Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad permission to play in the Canterbury fixture. Our thanks to the ECB for that.
Tino Best however, will not play against Kent as he awaits an international flight from Barbados. The Club hope he might be able to hop on a plane on Wednesday, but the situation is up in the air at the moment, or not!
Joe Sayers, Adam Lyth, Anthony McGrath, Jacques Rudolph, Andrew Gale (Capt), Jonathan Bairstow (wk), Adil Rashid, Tim Bresnan, Ajmal Shahzad, Steven Patterson, Oliver Hannon – Dalby and David Wainwright.