Sussex v Yorkshire (Day Three): CLOSE— 18 June 2014
Jonny Bairstow continued his outstanding all-round display to claim his first championship century in over a year as Yorkshire attempted to force an unlikely victory over Sussex on a slow wicket at Arundel.
Having claimed six catches during Sussex’s first innings of 316 – one short of the Yorkshire record for a wicketkeeper held by his late father, David – Bairstow junior has since also contributed with the bat on a slow wicket where aggressive stroke play proved difficult.
His unbeaten 161, after resuming the third morning on 33, was his first century for Yorkshire since scoring 186 against Derbyshire at Headingley in April last year, and helped guide his side to a lead of 154 before they declared on 470 for seven.
It gave Yorkshire’s bowlers 10 overs to go at Sussex’s tired openers, but they failed to find a breakthrough with Sussex reaching 21 without loss , trailing by 133 runs by the close of the third day.
While Bairstow celebrated a memorable day, it was one of great frustration for 20-year-old Jack Leaning, who appeared devastated after falling just one run short of his maiden championship century.
The pair had resumed overnight with Yorkshire on 208 for three trailing by 108 runs aiming to accelerate far enough beyond Sussex to perhaps establish a winning position.
They were frustrated in that by a wicket that has become increasingly slower, but Leaning and Bairstow attempted to build a foundation for later acceleration during the morning session.
The pair added 125 in 41.4 overs with Leaning, playing only his third championship match of the season, closing in on a memorable century when off-spinner James Tredwell took a brilliant, one-handed reflex return catch to his right to dismiss him for a heart-breaking 99.
Leaning had batted for over five hours, hitting 12 fours, and his demise was quickly followed by Aaron Finch, trapped lbw for 3 by Steve Magoffin trying to force the pace.
But Bairstow was joined in a profitable 138-run stand spanning 50.3 overs with Tim Bresnan with the pair gradually wearing down Sussex’s attack after nearly two days in the field.
Bresnan was dropped on 63 by Rory Hamilton-Brown at slip trying to cut Tredwell, but it was not a costly error with the England all-rounder falling for 68 when he was bowled by Magoffin attempting a drive.
Azeem Rafiq also fell before the declaration, mis-cueing another drive off Tredwell to mid-off, but Bairstow remained defiant and had batted for nearly seven hours when the declaration came, facing 289 balls and hitting eight fours and three sixes.
Jack Leaning fell just one run short of a maiden championship century as Yorkshire attempted to take control of their match against Sussex at Arundel.
The 20-year-old batsman from York resumed the third morning on a career-best 75 with Yorkshire on 208 for three, still trailing by 108 runs, with a first century in his sights.
But after progressing to 99 as Yorkshire pressed on the accelerator in an attempt to claim precious bonus points, Leaning was brilliantly caught by James Tredwell as he attempted to drive down the pitch.
Leaning’s dismissal was quickly followed by Aaron Finch, trapped lbw by Steve Magoffin for three, as Yorkshire reached 274 for five at lunch, still trailing by 42 runs.
Playing only his third championship match of the season, Leaning hit 12 fours in his five-hour innings and looked devastated as he made his way back to the dressing room after adding 125 in 41.4 overs with Jonny Bairstow.
His dismissal brought Finch, Yorkshire’s big-hitting Australian, to the crease but his attempts to force the pace back-fired when Magoffin caught him on his crease only three overs after Leaning’s demise.
Bairstow, however, reached an unbeaten 69 at lunch while Tim Bresnan was on three with Yorkshire hoping to press on during the remainder of the day in an attempt to force victory.