JONNY BAIRSTOW sent out a clear message that he does not intend to give up his Test place without a fight by scoring his 10th first-class century – equalling the total of his late father David.
Bairstow hit 123 on the third and final day of Yorkshire’s match against Leeds-Bradford MCCU, treating a sparse crowd to his full range of shots.
It was a fine innings by the talented 24-year-old, who played in England’s last Test against Australia in Sydney but who faces a battle to keep his spot for the Test series against Sri Lanka.
He can do no more than what he did yesterday, converting an overnight 61 into a century that carried an inevitable air.
Bairstow’s innings was unable to help mastermind the victory that Yorkshire’s performance merited, with bad light ending their hopes of forcing a win in their opening first-class game of the season.
No play was possible after tea as the gloom that had enveloped the ground for much of the day finally closed in to decisive effect.
After Bairstow’s efforts had elevated Yorkshire to a first innings score of 454 and a lead of 315, the students were 63-2 in their second innings when umpires Graham Lloyd and Peter Hartley decided no more play was possible.
Annoyingly for the few spectators present, the decision to finally abandon proceedings could not be taken until 5pm, one hour after the final session had been due to resume.
Yorkshire began the day on 366-5, with Dan Hodgson the other not out batsman.
He advanced to 18 before being run out by Zafir Patel running in from deep backward square-leg, Liam Plunkett following shortly afterwards when he slapped the off-spin of Alex MacQueen to mid-off, where Peter Ross clutched the catch at the second attempt.
After Bairstow went to his century from 134 balls with nine fours and three sixes, Ryan Sidebottom was caught by Ivan Thomas at mid-wicket off MacQueen.
Bairstow dragged the spinner to mid-wicket to end a 156-ball stay, MacQueen removing last man Jack Brooks with a catch down the ground to finish with 4-116 from 34 overs.
Tight bowling made for a slow start to the students’ second innings, with Yorkshire’s pace attack posing plenty of questions.
Dan Young was caught behind off Brooks and Christian Davis lbw to Steve Patterson as the visitors slipped to 18-2, Nick Gubbins resisting gamely to finish unbeaten on 31 with Will Vanderspar on 20.