Katich determined to make hay while sun shines

Simon Katich hit a superb ton at Headingley. Picture: Neil Marshall
Simon Katich hit a superb ton at Headingley. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Simon Katich insists he had no sympathy after blasting the Yorkshire bowlers to all corners of Headingley as he told them: It’s payback time.

The former Australian Test batsman cracked a superb unbeaten 180 on day one of the Championship clash in Leeds.

He made the most of a good batting pitch and the sunny conditions with his career-best score for Hampshire in county cricket.

And while he now has a double ton within his grasp, after struggling in the opening part of the campaign with the ball zipping around on bowler-friendly pitches, Katich is glad to see some balance restored.

He smiled: ‘That’s the key with batting over here.

‘When you do get in, you have to make the most of it.

‘We have experienced a couple of tough tracks at times and that can happen over here in early season conditions.

‘That’s the nature of the game – you can’t have it your own way all of the time.

‘We as batsmen had it tough for the first month and now with a bit of sun, it might get a little bit tougher for the bowlers.

‘That’s what four-day cricket is all about – you don’t always get the conditions you want so you have to do the best you can.

‘It was nice to get a hundred but it’s nice to get us into a position where we can get a big total.

‘Yes it would be nice to get to 200 but as long as we are building partnerships, that’s what I’m keen on.’

Hampshire, on 352 for five overnight, look well set to go way beyond 400 if they can continue their efforts from day one.

And Michael Bates (88 not out) will be determined to notch the first century of his career when play resumes today.

Katich said: ‘Young Batesy batted beautifully and hopefully he can go on and get a big one.

‘After being 80 for four at lunch, we fought back pretty well and put some good partnerships together.

‘It seemed like we were in a bit of trouble but we just tried to build and get 10-run blocks to get little partnerships and take it from there.

‘At 207 for five, the game was wide open again.

‘Had we been bowled out for under 300, Yorkshire would have been well on top.

‘But we’re in a good position to get a big total now.’

While Katich was the subject of a big lbw appeal on his first ball, he was confident he would escape.

He said: ‘When it hit me, I felt it was high but you just never know.

‘I certainly never take it for granted.

‘I know because I’m always in line with the stumps that if I miss the ball, it’s dangerous.

‘But the length didn’t make me think “I’m gone here”.

‘When I get hit on the knee roll or below, I almost walk off but given that it hit me on the thigh pad, I felt I should be okay.

‘Thankfully it was because it was a good toss to win and probably the best wicket we have played on all summer.’