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Myles Hodgson at Headingley
May 17, 2012
Yorkshire 100 for 3 (Jacques 59*) trail Hampshire 427 (Katich 196, Bates 103) by 327 runs
Sunshine may not be regarded as a common currency at Headingley but it remains an influential factor in conditions when in residence and, during another weather-interrupted day's play, it was Hampshire that profited most from its absence.
At their own admission, they enjoyed the better of the conditions on the opening day and settled down to bat with the sun on their backs after overcoming an early collapse. But it was an entirely different proposition for both sides once rain relented by early afternoon of the second day with consistent cloud cover providing new challenges for all concerned.
Already in a strong position on 352 for 5 when play resumed, Hampshire did their best to make hard work of passing 400 and claiming maximum batting points, losing three wickets in eight overs to ensure an unnecessary scramble to reach their target and were dismissed for 427. Yorkshire found equal difficulty in handling the conditions and lost three early wickets before finding a measure of stability through an unbroken 68-run stand between Phil Jaques and Gary Ballance.
The sudden change from boundaries to regular dismissals was begun by a lack of concentration from Michael Bates, who had brought up his maiden championship hundred two overs earlier but was slow to switch on when he was called for a quick single by Simon Katich.
Australian batsman Katich had pushed Steve Patterson, Yorkshire's whole-hearted seamer, back down the ground and set off for an easy single, but Bates was slow to react and finished several feet out of his ground by the time Andrew Gale threw from deep mid-on to wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy, ending a Hampshire record-equalling 170-run sixth wicket stand against Yorkshire.
From a position of relative comfort, that breakthrough changed the impetus quickly with Yorkshire turning to the legspin of Adil Rashid and earning immediate success. Now in his sixth season as a county player and two years since he was last considered as a legspinning allrounder of international class, Rashid has not developed as quickly as either Yorkshire or England would have liked.
Out-bowled by the offspin of Joe Root during the opening day, Rashid still provided the occasional delivery that almost begged to be hit yet improved considerably on his first day efforts. He will have been proud of the ball that ended Katich's six-hour innings four short of a double century, beating him in the flight as he attempted to sweep and inducing a leading edge to mid-on.
His other two wickets were the result of Hampshire, who only reached maximum batting points with seven deliveries of the 110 overs remaining, attempting to score quick runs from their lower order. Yet figures of 3 for 86 represent a considerable improvement after claiming only five wickets in his five previous matches.
Yorkshire's reply could not have had much worse a start with Adam Lyth, desperate for runs after struggling throughout last season, falling lbw to Kabir Ali shouldering arms to the fifth ball of the innings. Root chose defensive defiance as a strategy and edged to slip after taking 63 minutes to score eight runs.
Gale, a key figure in Bates' run out earlier in the day, suffered the same fate with Jacques pushing to cover and setting off for a single, only for Michael Carberry to pounce superbly and throw down the stumps with the Yorkshire captain short of his ground. At 32 for 2, it may not have been the best judgement of a single, but it should not detract from Carberry's athleticism to engineer the breakthrough, which was celebrated by a football-style celebration as his team-mates mobbed him.
Jaques and Ballance, whose 203-run partnership at Bristol enabled Yorkshire to chase down 400 at Bristol last week, halted the slide, but with 178 runs still needed to avoid the follow-on, they will hope for bright sunshine when play starts on the third morning.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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