Yorkshire v Hampshire: Familiar tale as Andrew Gale’s side fight their way back

AFTER Yorkshire won their previous match against Kent at Canterbury, recovering strongly from 96-6 on the first morning to triumph by 172 runs, first-team coach Andrew Gale set his players the following challenge.

Yorkshires Ben Coad celebrates after picking up the wicket of Hampshires Mason Crane (Picture: Ash Allen/SWPIX.com).

“I’ve said to the lads, ‘We’re a good team, but it feels like we’re always 1-0 down. Can we go 1-0 up for once?’” said Gale.

“We seem to be fighting our way back into games a lot and we’re very, very good at doing that, but can we land the first blow from ball one, so to speak? Can we win the first few sessions of the game?”

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A few days on and Gale’s mantra will not be changing regardless of the outcome of this latest fixture.

Yorkshire have been playing catch-up ever since they were bowled out for 181 on the first day after choosing to bat, losing their last five wickets for 11 runs to hand Hampshire the initiative as no batsman managed to make a half-century.

Once again, Yorkshire showed their propensity for fighting back, dismissing Hampshire for 235 on a second day when two-and-a-half hours were lost to rain, then reaching 5-0 in their second innings, 49 behind.

The game could clearly go either way, but if Yorkshire are to triumph they will have to do so having trailed at half-time to adapt Gale’s football analogy.

Hampshire, in truth, have batted not much better, although the bowling from both sides has largely been good.

At 80-2 yesterday as lunch approached, Hampshire had Yorkshire not quite where they wanted them, but certainly at a point where they did not want to be releasing their foot from the jugular.

However, the loss of two quick wickets changed the mood as Ajinkya Rahane, India’s Test match vice-captain, first suffered a rush of blood, dancing down the track to off-spinner Dom Bess’s third ball from the Emerald Stand end and being so comprehensively stumped that wicketkeeper Jonny Tattersall had time to fumble the opportunity initially before recovering.

In the next over, after a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it innings of 12 from six balls, South African left-hander Rilee Rossouw followed a thumping off-side six off David Willey by top-edging him high into the slip area where Tom Kohler-Cadmore did what Tom Kohler-Cadmore does, which is basically to catch everything that travels his way.

The picture now looked decidedly different at 93-4 with Hampshire having also lost Joe Weatherley to a brilliant high catch at second slip by Adam Lyth off Duanne Olivier after resuming on 14-1 in initially pleasant conditions, with the sunshine watery and the winds light.

Weatherley, trying to pull, seemed to glove the ball and Lyth, running backwards, snaffled it one-handed to prove that he, like Kohler-Cadmore, is as good a slip fielder as any in the country.

Still Hampshire captain Sam Northeast remained, fresh from a match-winning hundred in last week’s match against Nottinghamshire on the Isle of Wight.

He showed his class with a back foot punch off Steve Patterson to the offside boundary, one of eight boundaries that flowed from his bat during an innings of 50 from 92 balls.

After Tom Alsop hung out his bat to Olivier and was caught at second slip by Lyth, Northeast played across a ball from Ben Coad and was lbw.

When Patterson trapped Ian Holland in almost identical fashion, Hampshire were 180-7, one run behind, and the match was in the “Gary Ballance”, as they say in these parts.

Any runs from that point were always likely to be vital, and an eighth-wicket stand of 27 between James Fuller and Keith Barker irritated Yorkshire and lifted Hampshire to the first batting point of the contest. Fuller, who bowled with lively pace on the first day, showed that he is no mug with the bat either, making light of Olivier’s speed by pulling him for four and then helping a no-ball from the South African for six over third-man.

Willey returned to have Barker caught at first slip by Kohler-Cadmore, and Fuller struck his second six when he danced down the track to launch Bess straight.

Mason Crane produced a handsome cover-driven boundary off his fellow spinner when the floodlights came on, closely followed by rain from 3.40pm.

Crane did not linger after the restart, bowled by a fine ball from Coad that pitched on off and straightened.

Fuller went to a 73-ball half-century with his third maximum, crunched over long-on off Patterson, finishing with the top score of 54 after Coad ended the innings by bowling Fidel Edwards, returning impressive figures of 4-41. Although the traditional time for inquests is after the match, the reality for Yorkshire is that they are once again playing catch-up after struggling with the bat.

Having gone 1-0 down again, so to speak, can they somehow emerge with another win?