Depleted Hampshire earn impressive Yorkshire draw

James Tomlinson, left    Picture: Neil Marshall
James Tomlinson, left Picture: Neil Marshall

Services out to break new ground in survival bid

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Depleted Hampshire battled to an impressive County Championship draw at Headingley today to frustrate reigning champions Yorkshire.

Before play began, the visitors’ opening bowler Fidel Edwards suffered a serious ankle injury in the warm-up, while Sean Ervine was already sidelined with a blow received on his left index finger while compiling his century yesterday.

Liam Dawson’s stomach strain meant Hampshire at times had to call upon coach, Dale Benkenstein, analyst Joe Maiden and 12th man Mason Crane to do fielding duties.

But a weakened attack still posed severe problems when Yorkshire began their second innings half-an-hour into the final morning and at one stage they were tottering on 43 for four.

At tea they were 149 for seven and with a lead of 289 the match had draw written over it.

Yorkshire squeezed 12 points out of the game and Hampshire 10, a result that seemed unimaginable at the start of the third day when Hampshire resumed their first innings on 141 for five and still trailing by 452.

Then James Vince and Ervine led the batting revival with Hampshire’s bowlers continuing the rally today, James Tomlinson being particularly outstanding but Ryan McLaren and Chris Wood also playing a full part.

Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale said: ‘A lot of credit to Hampshire who didn’t lay down and die.

‘I felt it was a good decision of theirs to bowl first on a pitch which flattened out a bit.’