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LV=CC: Yorkshire v Kent day one match report

Sunday 12th September 2010

Yorkshire v Kent
LV = County Championship Division One
Monday, 13 September – Thursday, 16 September 2010
Headingley, Leeds

Kent won the toss and elected to field

Yorkshire first innings: 205 for seven, 58 overs
Bairstow 62*, Gale 39, Rashid 29
Nel 4-47, Coles 2-52, Cook 1-46

A dogged display from Kent’s makeshift bowling attack boosted their LV=County Championship division one survival hopes as they reduced title challenging Yorkshire to 205 for seven at stumps on a rain affected opening day up in Leeds.

Spearheaded by Dewald Nel, who claimed four for 47, Kent’s bowlers had the Tykes on the back foot throughout. At one stage they were wobbling on 93 for five, but an unbeaten 62 from Jonathan Bairstow made sure the home side stayed in touch in a game which both sides need to win for very contrasting reasons. Frequent rain delays made sure only 58 overs were available in the day, but with the wicket likely to produce a result – weather permitting – it is will be all to play for on day two at Headingley on Tuesday.

In murky conditions up north, Kent skipper Rob Key unsurprisingly put Yorkshire into bat on a green top. With conditions as they are and rain in the air, the visitors made one change from the side that lost to Hampshire last week as seamer Nel was selected in place of leg-spinner Malinga Bandara.

After a 15 minute delay to the start of play due to rain, Yorkshire“s openers, Adam Lyth and Jacques Rudolph, came out positively – taking 19 runs off the first two overs. However, the Kent attack soon got into their stride and Simon Cook struck, extracting an edge out of Lyth on 17 as James Tredwell (pictured) pouched the catch at slip. One soon became two in the very next over when another edge flew to the slip cordon, this time Matt Coles was the bowler, Martin van Jaarsveld the catcher and Anthony McGrath perished for one attempting to drive on the front-foot. The Tykes had wobbled to 31 for two.

Rudolph was joined at the crease by captain Andrew Gale, and the pair soon steadied the ship for the title challengers, with the skipper in particular looking in fine fettle as his first thirty runs contained six boundaries. However, just as their partnership reached fifty, Gale fell in the final over before lunch when Nel trapped him beg before on 39 as the home side reached 81 for three at the interval.

After the restart Kent looked to build on a decent first session and, soon enough, the South African born Nel took the prized wicket of his fellow countryman Rudolph. The opener had made a patient 25 from 69 balls before Nel nipped one back through his defences to leave Gale“s men on 92 for four. Scotland seamer Nel had figures of two for five off five overs, and five balls later the visitors were celebrating again. Wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy, on one, was cleaned up by Coles as the youngster claimed his second wicket of the day. At 93 for five, Yorkshire were in trouble as a brave, makeshift Kent attack had them on the rack.

The rebuilding job was now left in the hands of the youthful but talented duo of Jonathan Bairstow and Adil Rashid, as the pair negated probing spells from Nel and Coles. Both looked to play their shots; Bairstow in particular as he took Nel“s eighth over for 14, as they dragged their side back into some shape of stability. Before long their partnership had raced to 39 off 47 balls with the home side recovering to 132 for five as some kind of parity was restored. A 25 minute rain delay halted proceedings just after 2pm but once that cleared Bairstow, unbeaten on 33, and Rashid, still there on 11, returned to the crease and they continued to bat Yorkshire back into contention. Their fifty stand came up in the 42nd over off just sixty balls, as the pair, despite riding their luck at times, batted with great maturity to frustrate the visitors.

With batting unlikely to get easier on the Headingley surface, especially taking into consideration Kent“s season-long woes with the bat, they needed to find a breakthrough but 20 year-old Bairstow and 22 year-old Rashid stood firm. Another rain delay at 2.45pm caused further frustrations for both sides. By this time Yorkshire had moved on to 153 for five as tea was taken.

Play resumed again before 4pm and Yorkshire continued to push on until Nel returned for a second spell and, soon enough, he accounted for Rashid. The England hopeful, on 29, attempted an attacking drive but only succeeded in nicking off to Geraint Jones behind the stumps. A vital stand of 65 was broken. Bairstow remained though and he went to his fifty off 81 balls whilst finding a capable ally in Ajmal Shahzad. Another crucial stand of 42 ensued as Yorkshire reached the 200 mark, something which looked unlikely earlier in the day, especially on a tricky wicket.

Shahzad (21) became Nel’s fourth victim late-on as he had an LBW appeal upheld. An over later the clouds moved in and bad light forced the players off for, ultimately, the final time as the home side closed on 205 for seven with Bairstow impressing on an unbeaten 62. Nel’s hauled was well complimented by Coles who bowled spiritedly to take two for 52. On a tough wicket Yorkshire would have been happy with the resilience shown by their lower-middle order whilst Kent battled hard to keep their survival hopes alive, however the game will hinge on how the visitors bat in their first innings.

Kent : Northeast, Denly, van Jaarsveld, Key (C), Jones (W), Stevens, Blake, Tredwell, Coles, Nel, Cook

Yorkshire: Lyth, Rudolph, McGrath, Gale (C), Bairstow, Brophy (W), Rashid, Shahzad, Patterson, Hannon-Dalby, Ashraf

Picture:Getty Images