• Specsavers County Championship 3m

    Yorkshire toil in the face of Berg heroics

    Gareth Berg hit an unbeaten 99 and then took four wickets, including that of England Test captain Joe Root, as Hampshire punished Yorkshire on Day Two

    Gareth Berg scored an unbeaten 99 before destroying the Yorkshire top order with a four-for as Hampshire lathered on the class on day two at the Ageas Bowl.


    All-rounder Berg equalled his best score for Hampshire as the tail ground down the visitors before eventually they were bowled out for 455. And the South African, who ended the day with figures of four for 32, produced an unbelievable spell with the ball which saw off England star Joe Root, among others.

    Highlights - Hampshire v Yorkshire Day 2

    Gareth Berg starred with bat and ball as Hampshire took command against Yorkshire.

    Berg said: “The last three partnerships amassing around 150 runs which is very very crucial in first division cricket. I’m not bothered about my runs personally but to get those lower order runs puts other teams under pressure.

    “I am still searching for that century but if it comes it comes. I’m just looking at putting runs on the board so we can bowl at something. I was saying to the boys there was enough in the pitch if we bowled well and straight.
    “The new ball was key, we needed wickets early because it is flat out there with the soft ball, but the boys stuck to the task. I had never bowled to Root before but it was nice to bowl at him.

    “He looked like he was scratching around and not sure what to do with me so I just stuck to my guns and put it on the same spot every ball and hoped one would find the edge. It was great to see him walk back to the pavilion.”

    The day had started with James Vince unbeaten on 143 overnight following his opening day brilliance with the bat to score his first ton in a year. He only managed four more runs before Ben Coad cleverly delivered from wide of the crease to find his inside edge. That sparked a mini-collapse as Hampshire lost three wickets for two runs.

    David Willey got in on the act in the next over to straggle Lewis McManus down the leg-side - another fine catch from the keeper. In his next over England one-day all-rounder Willey managed to jag one back to strike the dangerous Liam Dawson in front.

    Kyle Abbott and Berg counter attacked for Hampshire - putting on 44 - before the former was run out as they chased a bonus point. But that was the end of the home side’s woes with Berg grabbing the initiative.

    He had been dropped on 43 by Adam Lyth but continued to bat Yorkshire further out the game with an 89-ball half century. He was ably assisted firstly by Reece Topley who reached his highest first-class score for the second time in two innings for Hampshire.

    He scored 16 before Adil Rashid had him lbw following a 41-run stand with Berg. Berg continued, and smashed a huge six over long on, in a frustrating 68-run partnership with Wheal, but Wheal fell on 13 when he edged Joe Root to Lyth to bring tea and the end of the innings. Berg remained stranded one short of a ton.

    The pitch had seemed to flatten out throughout the Hampshire innings but the hosts disproved the theory with a stunning blitz. Kyle Abbott produced pressure at the Pavilion End while Berg knocked them over at the other.

    The former Italy international started by striking Alex Lees on the pads before forcing Lyth to chop onto his own stumps at the other end. England Test captain Root was given a tough going over with extreme seam movement before he edged Berg behind to Lewis McManus for just eight.

    Abbott got in on the act by having Australian overseas Peter Handscomb lbw to leave the visitors 19 for five. The pressure did not relent as Topley bowled for Hampshire for the first time but despite a number of close shouts it was Wheal who made the next key breakthrough, picking up the prized scalp of Jonny Bairstow leg before.

    Skipper Gary Ballance dug Yorkshire out their slump with Tim Bresnan but the latter became Berg’s fourth victim when he was caught behind. Ballance reached stumps on an unbeaten 63 with Yorkshire 327 runs behind.

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