Bresnan fires for Yorkshire
Kent 313 for 9 v Yorkshire
England seamer Tim Bresnan proved Yorkshire's star turn with the ball at a chilly St Lawrence where hosts Kent rallied from 131 for 5 to post two batting bonus points for their workmanlike 319 for 9 by the close.
Bresnan, who bustled in down the Nackington Road slope to bag 4 for 52 with six maidens, was the pick of an impressive Yorkshire attack that troubled the Kent batsmen throughout the opening day of this top versus bottom clash in Division One.
Kent lost three wickets in each session and might have lost more than the three in the opening two-hour stint had they held onto all of their chances as Bresnan, Huddersfield-born Ajmal Shahzad and the willowy Oliver Hannon-Dalby continually asked questions of the home top-order.
Rob Key nicked a lifter from Shahzad to the keeper, Joe Denly lifted a drive against David Wainwright to short extra then Geraint Jones, when also seemingly well set, chopped on against Bresnan to go for 28.
Kent's demise gathered momentum after lunch when they lost two more in as many deliveries. Sam Northeast, having taken 45 minutes to get off the mark, swept across one from Wainwright to go leg before then Martin van Jaarsveld gloved Bresnan's next ball, a bouncer, to be caught down the leg-side by Bairstow.
Shahzad was gifted a second scalp when James Hockley tossed away his wicket for 14; ballooning a 'tennis ball bouncer' into the hands of deep mid-wicket and at 195 for 6 Kent were in need of some steel.
Surprisingly perhaps, it was delivered by Darren Stevens, the Leicestershire-born right-hander who prefers to go for his shots rather than battle it out. He contributed 92 in a shade under three hours to a seventh wicket stand of 89 in 26 overs with James Tredwell. Eight short of a deserved hundred, Stevens sparred at one to edge to second slip and give Shahzad three for 61. Tredwell's resolve ended soon after when his 97-ball stay for 32 ended, the left-hander dragging on against Bresnan.
Azhar Mahmood went for his shots in fading light, clubbing a couple of boundaries in a cameo 21 from 34 balls only to fall to the final ball of the day. Squared up by a Bresnan leg-cutter he edged to slip where Jacques Rudolph took a stunning reflex catch.
With honours almost even, Yorkshire may well live to regret the 39 extras conceded on the opening day, 18 of them byes to Bairstow who held on to his catches but suffered a scrappy day otherwise.
Mark Pennell is the managing director of freelance reporting and public relations agency Kent & Sussex Sport. His new book, Trophies & Tribulations: Forty years of Kent cricket, is published shortly.