Yorkshire showed the strength in depth that has maintained their championship challenge by shrugging off a disappointing morning to bounce back strongly on the opening day of their match against Sussex at Arundel.
Denied the services of Liam Plunkett on England duty, Ryan Sidebottom with a hamstring strain and Adil Rashid on paternity leave, this was possibly Yorkshire’s biggest test of their resources after Sussex won the toss and reached a commanding 104 for one at lunch.
But Yorkshire re-grouped during the interval to claim six wickets in the afternoon as Sussex reached 300 for nine, with Jon Lewis hitting an unbeaten 50 off 53 balls to help forge an unbroken 52-run last wicket stand with Lewis Hatchett.
While Yorkshire’s bowlers deserve credit, it was also a memorable day for Jonny Bairstow, who claimed six catches – just one short of the Yorkshire record for a wicketkeeper in an innings set by his father David Bairstow against Derbyshire at Scarborough in 1982.
Yorkshire were forced to make one change from the line-up that drew with Nottinghamshire at Headingley last week to consolidate second place in the LV=County Championship division one, with Azeem Rafiq replacing Rashid for his first championship outing since last August.
His comeback looked like it may be short-lived after he limped off the field after only 10.3 overs, with what looked like a serious ankle problem sustained on the outfield, only to return 25 minutes later after receiving treatment.
By the time he had returned, Yorkshire had made their only breakthrough of the morning session with Steve Patterson striking with his first ball after replacing Tim Bresnan from the Park End.
It was Yorkshire’s only success for 20 overs with Luke Wells and Rory Hamilton Brown adding 60 runs until Tim Bresnan began a collapse of five wickets for 55 runs in 21 overs by making the breakthrough just three overs after lunch.
Hamilton-Brown had been aggressive from the start and had reached 45 from 74 balls, including four fours and a straight six off Rafiq, but played one shot too many and edged behind.
Bresnan struck again in his next over when Ed Joyce edged behind pushing forward defensively and Luke Wright perished in a similar manner to Hamilton-Brown, playing a loose shot and edging Jack Brooks behind.
Matt Machan was a notably exception during the collapse, becoming the first batsman not to be dismissed to an edge behind by cutting Patterson to backward point.
Yorkshire strengthened their grip with Richard Pyrah having Luke Wells caught behind to give Bairstow his sixth catch – equaling his performance against Middlesex at Headingley at the end of last season – and end the Sussex’s opener’s determined innings of 74 only two balls before tea.
Bresnan claimed his third wicket by winning an lbw decision against James Tredwell, making his debut for Sussex after signing on loan, after the interval while Aaron Finch had Steve Magoffin caught at short mid-wicket.
Yorkshire’s attack bounced back strongly from a frustrating first session to take control of the opening day of their championship match against Sussex at Arundel.
Having lost the toss and sent to field, Yorkshire struggled to make any impact with Sussex cruising to 104 for one at lunch.
But Yorkshire used the interval well to re-group and claimed five wickets for 55 runs in 21 overs before Richard Pyrah claimed their sixth wicket of the session in the over before tea to leave Sussex reeling on 188 for seven.
Steve Patterson had been the only successful bowler during the opening session, striking with his first ball to have Chris Nash caught behind and end a threatening 48-run opening stand.
It was Yorkshire’s only success for a further 20 overs before Bresnan made the breakthrough only three overs after lunch that began their collapse, with Rory Hamilton-Brown driving loosely outside off-stump and edging behind for one of six catches for wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.
Joyce followed soon after, the second wicket in five balls for Bresnan, when he also edged behind pushing forward defensively, while Luke Wright also drove loosely at Jack Brooks and gave Bairstow another catch.
Matt Machan was the only exception during Sussex’s collapse, cutting Patterson straight to backward point, before Pyrah claimed a bonus wicket two balls before the tea interval to remove wicketkeeper Ben Brown.