Bairstow boosts Yorkshire hopes

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Yorkshire closed the gap on the LV= County Championship’s top two, albeit by a single bonus point, as inclement weather hit the three games involving the Division One title challengers.

Bad light and drizzle restricted the opening day’s play at Headingley Carnegie to 58 overs, but Yorkshire managed to reach 205 for seven against relegation-threatened Kent and pick up a batting point after they had been 93 for five.

The White Rose had Jonathan Bairstow to thank, his unbeaten 62 helping to reduce the gap on leaders Nottinghamshire to six points.

Notts, who are just two clear of Somerset, were frustrated by the weather as the opening day of their match against Lancashire at Old Trafford was all but washed out.

Only one over of play was possible as the visitors, who won the toss and elected to bat, reached eight for none.

Somerset’s title quest was also delayed by rain until 3.25pm at the Emirates Durham ICG - and they suffered further frustration after quickly removing both Durham openers.

Dale Benkenstein adopted a positive attitude in an attempt to shake off his lean run and made an unbeaten 71 as Durham recovered from 33 for two to reach 132 for two from 40 overs at the close.

Alfonso Thomas was particularly unlucky as he regularly beat the bat but remained wicketless as Gordon Muchall survived to reach 23.

Dale Benkenstein

Dale Benkenstein frustrates Somerset with an unbeaten 71 that repaired earlier damage at the Emirates Durham ICG

At the Rose Bowl, Dominic Cork struck an unbeaten 41 and Liam Dawson 40 not out to help Hampshire recover from 85 for six to reach 147 for six at stumps against Warwickshire, who are in danger of going down..

Darren Maddy took 3-25 from 13 overs before Cork and Dawson steadied the innings with an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 62.

In Division Two, Jim Allenby and James Harris helped promotion hopefuls Glamorgan recover from a shaky start against bottom-placed Derbyshire before rain brought at early end to the first day at the SWALEC Stadium.

The seventh-wicket pair shared an unbroken 54-run stand as the hosts progressed from 66 for six before lunch to finish on 120 from 39.2 overs when play was abandoned for the day.

Worcestershire nibbled into Glamorgan’s nine-point advantage by restricting Sussex to 191 for seven at New Road.

While their Welsh rivals struggled, Worcestershire reduced the gap with two bowling bonus points after being held up by a Sussex teenager following his father into the county team.

Luke Wells, son of former captain Alan, made a capable 62 in a little more than three hours on his first-class debut before Sussex, already promoted as champions, lurched into trouble on a murky afternoon.

Young Northamptonshire batsman Rob Newton struck his maiden first-class century on a weather-affected first day against Leicestershire at Wantage Road.

The 20-year-old smashed 102 off just 116 balls as Northants recovered from an awful start to post 186 for six at the close of play, with stand-in captain Stephen Peters contributing 55.

Leicestershire skipper Matthew Hoggard took 3-39 for the visitors, who realistically need a freak set of results to get promoted.

Kevin Pietersen had to battle against showers, bad light and the Gloucestershire attack in the bid to rediscover some batting form on day one at Bristol.

Only 27 overs were possible in four sessions, but Pietersen managed to end unbeaten on 40 in a Surrey total of 112 for three. Rory Hamilton-Brown was 28 not out and the pair had added 67 for the fourth wicket.