Katich leads Hampshire fightback
Simon Katich and Michael Bates made their best LV= County Championship scores for Hampshire as the visitors fought back strongly to reach 352 for five on day one of their match against Yorkshire at Headingley Carnegie.
Katich was magnificent in compiling an unbeaten 180, after Hampshire had been in trouble at six for two and 83 for four.
Bates finished the day 88 not out, as the pair put on an unbroken 145 for the sixth wicket.
New-ball pair Ryan Sidebottom and Steven Patterson caused the visitors' top order all sorts of problems in the morning session, but in ideal batting conditions Yorkshire were made to toil as the day wore on.
Last season’s two relegated sides have enjoyed contrasting fortunes in the second tier, Yorkshire going through their first five games unbeaten to share top spot while Hampshire have lost twice and won just once in slipping to sixth.
But with Tim Bresnan away on international duty, Mitchell Starc absent due to visa problems and Richard Pyrah injured, the hosts’ bowling attack lacked depth - with Anthony McGrath, Iain Wardlaw and Adil Rashid all going for more than four runs an over.
Sidebottom made the breakthrough in the third over and claimed his 550th first-class wicket when Liam Dawson prodded outside off stump and edged behind to Gerard Brophy for a 12-ball duck.
Patterson then trapped Hampshire captain Jimmy Adams leg before wicket in the sixth over for five, before Katich launched his counter-attack.
The Australian escaped a huge lbw appeal first ball, but hit the first boundary of the game from his second delivery with a flick off his pads.
He then laced a series of glorious drives through the covers off McGrath, and he and Michael Carberry were just one short of a 50 partnership when the latter, who made 72 not out in England Lions’ successful run chase last week, flashed at a wide Wardlaw delivery and edged to Gary Ballance at first slip for 15.
Katich had a lucky escape when he looped a leading edge just over Patterson at mid-off, but in the next over James Vince nicked a full Patterson delivery, departing for 11.
The 36-year-old Katich continued to be aggressive following lunch, dispatching Patterson for four over cover-point in the third over after the interval.
Three overs later Katich carved a short Sidebottom delivery to the boundary, and when Patterson fired one in back-of-a-length in the next over Sean Ervine carted him for six.
Katich brought up his century by whipping Rashid through midwicket for four, his hundred coming from just 99 balls with 15 fours.
On 22 Ervine smashed a Wardlaw full-toss straight at Phil Jacques but the Australian failed to grasp the chance, the ball going through his hands and rolling to the boundary.
The 100 partnership came up from 125 deliveries, and moments later Katich had his third piece of good fortune on 114 when he flicked Rashid to mid-on and Sidebottom failed to hold a diving catch.
Ervine finally fell to the part-time spin of Joe Root for 44, skying a catch to Patterson at mid-on after a partnership of 124.
Katich and Bates - who looks well placed for a maiden ton tomorrow morning - took the score to 231 for five at tea, then batted throughout the final session with few problems.
Katich hammered Root down the ground for four, then smashed a return catch at Rashid on 144, although the leg-spinner had little chance of clinging on.
Later in the same over Bates escaped a big appeal for leg before, but the 21-year-old wicketkeeper grew in confidence after reaching his fourth first-class half-century.
Katich brought up his 150 off 188 balls with 19 fours, pushing a Root full-toss through mid-on for another boundary.
Bates pulled a Rashid long-hop through midwicket for four and powerfully drove Sidebottom’s first ball of a new spell through cover-point to the boundary when the former England left-armer over-pitched.
Sidebottom thought he had Bates lbw with the second new ball, but his appeal was turned down, and Bates responded with a leg glance for four.
Bates moved in on a maiden ton, hitting a beautiful on-drive down the ground off Patterson, and will require only 12 runs to reach the milestone in the morning.