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Pace trio give Yorkshire the edge

Northants Cricket

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Steven Patterson, Ryan Sidebottom and Mitchell Starc ensured Yorkshire enjoyed a fine opening day in their LV= County Championship Division Two clash with Northamptonshire at Headingley Carnegie.

Patterson responded to receiving his first-team cap by firing out openers Stephen Peters and James Middlebrook, while Starc - on championship debut - also picked up two early wickets as Northants slumped to 45 for five after winning the toss.

Andrew Hall led a spirited rearguard action with a rugged 79, but the White Rose’s pacemen continued to chip away, with Sidebottom returning the best figures of 3-37.

Off-spinner Azeem Rafiq replaced the out-of-form Adil Rashid for his first championship outing since last May and wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy made way for Jonny Bairstow, who had been given permission to play by England.

Ryan Sidebottom & Andrew Hall

Ryan Sidebottom, left, helps Yorkshire dismiss Northamptonshire for just 253 despite a battling 79 from Andrew Hall, right, at Headingley today

Patterson shared the new ball with Sidebottom and - in his third over - dismissed Peters, who edged low to Phil Jaques at third slip.

Two overs later, he struck again by trapping former Yorkshire all-rounder James Middlebrook lbw.

Starc got his chance when Sidebottom was rested and his fifth delivery comprehensively bowled Alex Wakely.

The Australian was then struck for three leg-side boundaries in one over by Rob White, but quickly gained revenge by trapping the right-hander in front.

The slide continued as Sidebottom, returning to the attack, had Kyle Coetzer caught behind with a ball that held its line, after which Hall and David Murphy took Northants into lunch on 62 for five.

Following the interval, Hall - having started uncharacteristically slowly - hit Starc through midwicket for four and, in the same over, slashed a boundary to third man.

Murphy, meanwhile, had an escape on 35 when the Australian had him put down by Adam Lyth low at second slip. Yet after greeting Rafiq by driving his fifth ball for six, he then edged Sidebottom to Bairstow for 40.

Northants continued their fightback through Hall and Con de Lange although the former, on 25, survived a chance when he slapped Patterson to midwicket, where Anthony McGrath could not hold on to the catch.

Hall's fighting half-century came off 138 balls with seven boundaries, but he soon watched on as de Lange was lbw on the back foot to McGrath.

The scoring accelerated with the arrival of David Willey until both departed quickly when the new ball was taken; Hall was bowled attempting an expansive drive at Patterson and Willey fell to Sidebottom.

Patterson pulled up with cramp in his 19th over and left the field for treatment, with the innings being wrapped up by Rafiq, who bowled Oli Stone to claim his only victim.

Yorkshire began well with Lyth taking two boundaries from Willey's opening over; the left-hander stood on 14 at the close with Joe Root unbeaten on seven.

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