That’s not unusual – Ben Brown hits half-century against Yorkshire as Hampshire maintain LV= Championship advantage at Scarborough

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Half-centuries for Ben Brown and Keith Barker helped Hampshire maintain their advantage over Yorkshire as wickets fell again on day two of this intriguing LV= Insurance County Championship fixture at Scarborough.

Hampshire, replying to 159, recovered from 72-6 after lunch to 218 all out thanks to an 88-run seventh-wicket partnership between Brown and Barker, who made 53 and 52 respectively.

A day which started with Yorkshire on 158-8 first time around saw them end it on 23-1 from 13 overs of their second innings, trailing by 36.

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Kyle Abbott returned an excellent 6-36 from 12.1 for Hampshire before Jordan Thompson impressed with 5-60 from 15.2 for the hosts, including his 100th first-class wicket. Both were season’s best hauls.

Ben Brown hit a half-century on day two at Scarborough. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty ImagesBen Brown hit a half-century on day two at Scarborough. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Ben Brown hit a half-century on day two at Scarborough. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Five wickets fell in the day’s first seven overs, intertwined with two rain breaks through to 2.15pm.

Yorkshire lost their last two wickets inside 11 balls to the excellent Abbott, who had Steve Patterson caught behind and Thompson caught at second slip.

Yorkshire’s innings included nine single-figure scores, Patterson and Thompson making nought and six.

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Hampshire had reduced Yorkshire to 33-3 and encountered early issues themselves, slipping to 12-3 in five overs as swing, seam and bounce wreaked havoc.

The first two wickets immediately preceded morning rain breaks, with lunch taken at 5-2.

Ian Holland edged Ben Coad to fourth slip for a duck before opening partner Felix Organ was trapped lbw for five by Thompson.

When play resumed after lunch, Nick Gubbins was also adjudged lbw for four.

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Joe Weatherley and James Vince steadied with a fourth-wicket partnership of 37. But the innings was soon in choppy waters again at 72-6 in the 26th over.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore played his part with two first slip catches - he finished with four in all.

First, captain Patterson trapped Weatherley lbw for 23 before the same bowler had his opposite number Vince caught at slip for 15.

And when Kohler-Cadmore went to his right to hold on again off a Liam Dawson edge, it handed Thompson a second wicket and left the title-chasers still 87 behind with only four wickets left.

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This was a big day in Scarborough, with Sir Tom Jones playing an evening concert at the town’s Open Air Theatre.

Of course, he sings ‘It’s Not Unusual’. But this season, watching wickets fall was unusual for Yorkshire supporters, their county having been involved in a plethora of high-scoring draws on featherbed pitches.

It is certainly not unusual, however, for wicketkeeper-batter Brown to score runs against Yorkshire. This was the seventh time he had reached 50 against them in 17 first-class innings for Sussex and Hampshire.

Both he and Barker played significant roles in last month’s win against Yorkshire at The Ageas Bowl, and they were at it again in entertaining fashion.

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After settling, they counter-attacked in a near 16-over alliance either side of tea.

Barker reached his fifty off 49 balls with a sumptuous six over long-on against Coad before getting a leading edge to cover as Thompson secured his 100th wicket.

Brown flashed Thompson over the slips shortly afterwards in reaching his half-century off 75, only to fall caught behind to the same bowler next ball, leaving the score at 175-8.

Abbott continued his memorable match with an important 22, but he edged Patterson (3-49) to Kohler-Cadmore, who clung on again as James Fuller (22) top-edged a pull at Thompson.

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That ended Hampshire’s innings inside 52 overs and left Yorkshire 59 behind.

They lost George Hill lbw to Muhammad Abbas before close.

Sixty four overs have been lost to rain across two days and not one over of spin has been bowled.