|Ground:||North Marine Road, Scarborough|
|Scorecard:||Yorkshire v Hampshire|
|Player:||JM Vince, JHK Adams|
|Event:||LV County Championship 2010|
DateLine: 26th August 2010
Yorkshire’s hopes of winning the county championship this year suffered a bad blow as a poor bowling and fielding performance was countered by a fine batting display from Hampshire, effectively obliterating their chances of winning this match at Scarborough. Hampshire’s heroes were Jimmy Adams, who batted throughout the day to finish unbeaten with 162, and James Vince, who recorded an impressive maiden first-class century. For Yorkshire, most credit perhaps goes to the crowd of 4,000 – a typical size for this venue – who sat stolidly throughout a disappointing day for them, although most of them headed for the exits during the final hour as their team gently imploded.
Hampshire resumed their first innings at 8 for one wicket, in reply to Yorkshire’s first innings of 322 for nine declared. The first hour was important for Yorkshire if they were to have a serious chance of victory, but it did not go very well for them. Ajmal Shahzad began with a wide and continued to be erratic, although he did bowl occasional very good balls that beat the batsmen or had them defending very hastily. Steven Patterson and Olly Hannon-Dalby, Yorkshire’s other front-line seamers, tried hard but found little movement and were not accurate enough to sustain the pressure.
At first the overnight batsmen, Adams and Michael Carberry, were content to take their time, but once they were set they began to take greater toll off the loose deliveries. Adams was the more aggressive, and he reached his 50 off 76 balls with no fewer than 11 fours. The team 100 came up in the 31st over, bowled by Richard Pyrah; the breakthrough came later in the same over, as Carberry drove at a full-length ball and edged a head-high catch to second slip. He made 40, and Hampshire were 105 for one. Lunch soon followed, five runs later, with Chris Benham now partnering Adams.
After lunch Shahzad and Patterson pulled out all the stops and gave the batsmen a rather difficult time; they were not consistent, but they did produce many testing deliveries. Finally Shahzad broke through, producing a superb delivery to Benham (26) that swung in and then moved away off the pitch before taking the top of his off stump. Both bowlers gave the South African Neil McKenzie a torrid time before Patterson finally put him out of his misery, causing him to play on without scoring; 152 for three.
But that was as good as it got for Yorkshire. The bowling now lost its verve and the batting regained its composure. Adams was still there, building on his good record against Yorkshire, and James Vince gave him good support. As tea and Adams’ century approached, Vince unveiled more of his skill, from successive balls from Pyrah driving straight and then cutting, both with real power and both to the boundary. Adams had been somewhat laboured of late, but finally he forced a ball from Anthony McGrath through the covers for four to reach his century off 196 balls.
So, despite Yorkshire’s brief purple patch, Hampshire had the best of the afternoon session, which saw them reach 223 for three; some of the Yorkshire ground fielding was not up to standard.
Soon after tea Vince reached his impressive fifty off 64 balls. Hampshire played with increasing dominance and Yorkshire failed to impress either in bowling or fielding. Boundaries flowed more freely than ever as the second new ball was taken, and Adams had 131 when the batsmen had a bad mix-up in mid-pitch, only for the bowler to fluff the run-out. In the next over it happened again, although had the throw hit the stumps it would have been a tight call. The scenes were reminiscent of the Keystone Cops, with batsmen and fielders alike sprawling all over the place.
Soon afterwards a flurry of runs from Vince, culminating in two successive fours off Pyrah, brought him his maiden first-class century off 128 balls. It was a confident innings containing many good and powerful strokes, and he was rarely in trouble. At the close the fourth-wicket stand was still unbroken after adding 215 runs. Only the hard-working Patterson was able to contain the batsmen to any degree, and when Rashid came on again, his stock delivery appeared to be the gentle full toss. The Yorkshire team will be bitterly disappointed with themselves as they now face great pressure to keep their championship hopes alive, and indeed may struggle to save this match on the final day.