Cork & Co surrender early advantage

David Griffiths appeals for the wicket of Joe Sayers
David Griffiths appeals for the wicket of Joe Sayers
New Hampshire signing Sam Northeast  Picture: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Hampshire head to Northeast for success

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We’ve certainly been here before.

Hampshire got themselves into an excellent position but just couldn’t hammer home their advantage and set up a first victory of the County Championship campaign.

In fact, Dominic Cork’s men will be quietly kicking themselves after Yorkshire’s tail wagged on day one of the clash at Headingley.

The skipper lost the toss but led the way as Hampshire made excellent use of helpful bowling conditions to reduce the hosts to 99 for five early in the afternoon session.

Cork (three for 60) was the stand-out performer with the ball but just when it looked as if the visitors might be on to a winner, Yorkshire fought back.

What threatened to be 150 all out was quickly shrugged off as up stepped Jonny Bairstow (83), Tim Bresnan (82 not out) and Ajmal Shahzad (42 not out) to see the home side through to 304 for seven at stumps.

Earlier, the clash had started at a blistering pace for Hampshire as they ripped the Yorkshire openers out inside the first three overs.

David Griffiths struck the first blow, trapping Joe Sayers leg before wicket, and Adam Lyth followed soon afterwards – clean bowled by Cork – to leave the hosts six for two.

Andrew Gale (15) edged Sean Ervine to Nic Pothas and Ervine enjoyed a great slice of fortune to run out Joe Root (35) as he diverted Bairstow’s drive on to the stumps at the non-striker’s end.

Surely, this was proof Hampshire’s luck had finally turned?

No chance. Bairstow was subsequently caught off a Kabir Ali no-ball on 60 and went on to stick around until he played on to a Cork inswinger.

But it was Bresnan and Shahzad who were the real flies in the ointment, with the former returning to county action following his extended England duty over the winter.

Most who have seen Bresnan play will know he can bat and is developing into a genuine Test match all-rounder.

But even so, a stand of 62 for the seventh wicket and an unbroken partnership worth 99 for the eighth will still be hard to swallow for Cork & Co.