Yorkshire v Hampshire: Yorkshire's bid for title stutters as bowlers toil

WITH a sweep of the pen and a click of the camera, a new 10-year deal to stage county cricket at North Marine Road was officially signed yesterday.

Yorkshire's chief executive Stewart Regan, Scarborough chairman Bill Mustoe, Welcome To Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity and Scarborough Borough Council chief executive Jim Dillon finalised the arrangement during the tea interval on day three of the County Championship match against Hampshire.

The agreement guarantees 10 days' Yorkshire cricket at North Marine Road each summer until 2020 and comes after months of negotiations.

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That it was by far the most interesting development yesterday reflected not only the significance of a happy event but the nature of a day's cricket that was among the most unremarkable to have been conducted at the famous venue.

So often a theatre of compelling entertainment and quirky happenings (in recent years the public address system has picked up commentary from a nearby bowls match and the oration from a local funeral service), Scarborough was yesterday a stage of sedate activity as Hampshire gained a narrow first-innings lead.

In weather that was also still and becalmed, with sunshine intermingling with cloudy skies, the visitors progressed from 8-0 overnight to 367-3 in reply to Yorkshire's first innings 322-9 declared.

Hampshire opener Jimmy Adams frustrated the home side with a splendid 162, made from 294 balls with 25 fours, while James Vince scored 122 from 149 deliveries with 19 fours – his maiden first-class hundred as the pair added an unbeaten 215 in 50 overs.

Whether the final day proves of anything other than academic significance remains to be seen, but the loss of the first day to rain has hardly assisted the quest for a positive result as Yorkshire seek to enhance their title aspirations and Hampshire to eliminate the threat of relegation.

The first session set the tone as Adams and fellow opener Michael Carberry batted with relative comfort against inconsistent bowling.

Both ticked along without fuss or fanfare before a subdued 4,700 crowd, and Yorkshire's need for a wicket quickly grew as desperate as a cowboy's need for water in the middle of a desert.

Occasionally, the mirage of a breakthrough was generated by an lbw shout or strangled appeal, but each time it was no more than a tantalising illusion as the bat held sway.

Not until 15 minutes before lunch did Yorkshire find their oasis, Richard Pyrah locating the edge of Carberry's bat as the batsman mistimed a drive to Anthony McGrath at second slip.

The opening stand was worth 105 in 31 overs, Carberry contributing 40 on a day when he played second fiddle.

Ajmal Shahzad came back well after a disappointing start from the Trafalgar Square end, the pace bowler seemingly fighting a battle with himself as he continues his comeback from an ankle injury, while Steve Patterson gave captain Andrew Gale a much-needed degree of control.

The home team were clearly inconvenienced by the absence of Tim Bresnan, who left the match the previous night to join the England squad for today's final Test against Pakistan at Lord's, but Pyrah tried hard in his place, even if his figures were a trifle expensive.

Shahzad claimed Hampshire's second wicket on 135 with one of the best deliveries of the day, a beauty that shaped away from Chris Benham and clipped the top of off-stump.

The only other wicket to fall was that of Neil McKenzie, who looked curiously out of sorts as he chopped on to Patterson for an 11th-ball duck that left Hampshire 152-3 in the 50th over.

Adams reached his hundred just before tea from 195 deliveries with 17 fours, while Vince brought up his milestone from 128 balls with 15 fours, celebrating with an elaborate jump and much waving of his bat towards the Hampshire dressing room.

Adams had a let-off on 108 when an inside-edge off McGrath wrong footed wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy, and again on 133 when Shahzad missed an opportunity to run him out.

When Vince dropped a delivery from Shahzad into the leg-side, the bowler was quickly on to the ball but missed the stumps at the non-striker's end.


James Vince

The 19-year-old right-hander had a day to remember as he scored 122 not out, his maiden first-class hundred, as Yorkshire toiled at North Marine Road.

Yorkshire v Hampshire

Scarborough: Hampshire (3pts) lead Yorkshire (3) by 45 runs with seven 1st inns wkts standing.

Overnight: Yorkshire 322-9 dec (A U Rashid 76, A Lyth 63; D G Cork 5-64). Hampshire 8-0.

Yorkshire First Innings

A Lyth c Bates b Cork 63

J A Rudolph c Bates b Balcombe 34

A McGrath c Bates b Cork 21

A W Gale c McKenzie b Tomlinson 3

J M Bairstow lbw b Cork 5

G L Brophy c Benham b Cork 44

A U Rashid c Bates b Ervine 76

T T Bresnan c Bates b Cork 20

A Shahzad not out 21

S A Patterson c Ervine b Balcombe 7

O J Hannon-Dalby not out 1

Extras b12 lb5 nb10 27

Total 9 wkts dec (91 overs) 322

Fall: 1-61 2-126 3-129 4-133 5-141 6-252 7-287 8-292 9-310

Bowling: Cork 23 6 64 5; Tomlinson 22 6 96 1; Balcombe 16 4 58 2; Ervine 14 5 41 1; Briggs 16 2 46 0.

Hampshire First Innings

M A Carberry c McGrath b Pyrah 40

J H K Adams not out 162

C C Benham b Shahzad 26

N D McKenzie b Patterson 0

J M Vince not out 122

Extras b12 lb2 w1 nb2 17

Total 3 wkts (67 overs) 367

Fall: 1-105 2-135 3-152

To Bat: S M Ervine, M D Bates, D G Cork, D J Balcombe, J A Tomlinson, D J Briggs.

Bowling: Bresnan 2 0 7 0; Shahzad 21 5 74 1; Patterson 23 5 58 1; Hannon-Dalby 17 4 55 0; A U Rashid 17 1 65 0; Pyrah 11 0 62 1; McGrath 7 0 27 0; Rudolph 1 0 5 0.