Bairstow and Bresnan rally Yorkshire
Jonny Bairstow and Tim Bresnan helped Yorkshire claw their way out of deep trouble on the first day of the LV= County Championship match against Hampshire at Headingley Carnegie.
Bairstow held things together earlier in the day with a fluent 83 and then Bresnan, on his first championship appearance of the season, weighed in with a defiant unbeaten 82 as Yorkshire reached a respectable 304 for seven.
It was a far better effort than appeared likely after Yorkshire lost both their openers inside the first three overs despite winning the toss.
Joe Sayers fell leg before to David Griffiths and Adam Lyth was comprehensively bowled by Hampshire captain Dominic Cork, who ended the day with three wickets.
Joe Root and skipper Andrew Gale worked hard to stage a recovery on a pitch with some assistance in it for the seamers, but Yorkshire slipped to 48 for three after Sean Ervine had Gale caught down the leg side.
Watchful batting, allied to a sound technique, enabled Root to move efficiently to 35 before he was unluckily run out the non-striker’s end when Ervine touched Bairstow’s return drive on to the stumps.
Yorkshire were a shaky 96 for four at lunch and three runs into the afternoon session they lost Gerard Brophy, lbw playing across the line to Cork to continue his run of low scores.
There was brief support from Adil Rashid for Bairstow, who pulled Cork for his ninth four to complete a half-century, but soon afterwards Rashid was held at second slip by James Vince off Kabir Ali.
Bairstow survived on 60 when he was caught by Vince at backward point off a Kabir no-ball, and, although left-arm spinner Danny Briggs bowled a tidy 15-over spell from the football end, Bresnan settled in well with Bairstow.
They added a valuable 62 together in 17 overs and Bairstow looked set for his first century in a home match until he played on to Cork attempting an inelegant stroke through the off side. He had faced 130 balls and struck 13 fours.
Bresnan continued Yorkshire’s recovery in an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 99 with Ajmal Shahzad, who also blossomed after a careful start.
Bresnan swept Briggs handsomely for six to go to a 96-ball fifty - in reaching 72, he recorded his highest championship score since 2009 - while Shahzad hooked Griffiths into the crowd at long-leg on his way to 42 not out.