Davies impresses, but Bairstow keeps Tykes in contention

Saturday 7th April 2012

Men’s First Team

Davies impresses, but Bairstow keeps Tykes in contention

On the third day of Kent's match at Headingley, Jonny Bairstow celebrated his inclusion in the England Performance Squad with his first home LV= County Championship century.

The 22-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman hit 107, kept Yorkshire in with a chance of making the 388 they require to avoid the follow-on, bad light ending play on 316 for six with a further 72 wanted.

Bairstow last summer converted his maiden century into a double one at Trent Bridge and he also reached three figures at Taunton but this was his first century in front of hishome fans.

He got to the landmark off 129 balls with 13 fours and two sixes but his innings ended soon afterwards when he was caught behind by Geraint Jones off Darren Stevens.

Bairstowplayed a variety of powerful shots, although he enjoyed one moment of good fortune on 24, his edge off the impressive Mark Davies being grassed at second slip by Ben Harmison.

Yorkshire began the third day on 32 without loss, still a massive 505 runs adrift of Kent, and they were quickly in trouble as Davies picked up two wickets from the first two balls of the second over of the morning.

Joe Sayers could not avoid edging an excellent delivery for Adam Riley to hold on at third slip and Anthony McGrath was lbw first up. Debutant Davies had immediately found an excellent length and line and skipper Andrew Gale just survived the hat-trick delivery by narrowly failing to make contact with one which left him.

Charlie Shreck was also a danger for Yorkshireuntil Gale relieved the pressure by hitting him for three boundaries in an over. He was rested and replaced by Matt Coles, the previous day's centurion, who struck in his first over as Joe Root tickled one down the legside to be caught by Jones for 25.

In came Bairstow, who took Yorkshire to 103 for three at lunch but shortly after the interval Gale propped forward at Davies and was lbw for a hard-struck 44 which contained seven boundaries, most of them through the cover region off the middle of the bat.

At 111 for four, with Richard Pyrah effectively out of the match with a broken bone in his left hand, Yorkshire were up against it but they were rescued by a rousing partnership of 115 in 27 overs between Bairstow and Gary Ballance. Had Bairstow been held by Harmison, however, they would have remained under the cosh at 132 for five.

The introduction of off-spinner Adam Riley brought a rapid acceleration in the scoring as Bairstow struck three fours in his opening over, the first of them raising his half-century from 82 balls.

Three further boundaries to Bairstow in an over from Riley charged the stand into three figures but the assault on the slow bowler was temporarily halted when Ballance failed to make contact with an intended sweep and was lbw for 45, with eight boundaries.

Bairstow continued to target Riley with a couple of big sixes over mid-wicket. The second of them hurried him to 99 and he pushed the next ball into the on-side for a single to go in at tea on 101, with Adil Rashid 12 not out and Yorkshire 265 for five.

Stevens would have had the wicket of Rashid for 23 if Jones had not put down a chance behind the stumps but he soon made amends by holding on to Bairstow off the same bowler.

Two boundaries soon helped Ajmal Shahzad to settle in but the light began to deteriorate and when it became too dark to continue with 18 scheduled overs remaining, Rashid had reached 40 and Shahzad 17.

Click here for the scorecard

Click here for Day 3 video highlights

Photo: Sarah Ansell SarahCanterbury.com