Things didn't Ballance in Hampshire's favour

GILES WHITE praised Yorkshire hero Gary Ballance after a frustrating day for Hampshire saw them have to settle for a draw at the Ageas Bowl.

Monday, 24th April 2017, 6:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:07 pm
Reece Topley celebrates the wicket of Tim Bresnan for Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl. Picture: Neil Marshall

The Hampshire director of cricket felt it was a shame to see their hard work not rewarded with a win.

‘It was a frustrating day. You turn up and hope things go your way and you get a win but it didn’t go our way,’ he said.

‘We knew it would be hard work, it was a good wicket and remained a good wicket all the way through.

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‘Gary Ballance played outstandingly well and was really resilient.

‘He was strong mentally and saw his side to a draw.

‘When you lose a strike bowler, like we have in the last two games, it makes it very difficult.

‘I felt Berg and Abbott in particular were outstanding.’

Ballance recorded his highest County Championship total with a stunning double century to salvage a draw for Yorkshire.

The skipper was at his careful glorious best as he totted up an unbeaten 203 – beating his previous best of 174.

Unbeaten Hampshire came out of the clash with 11 points to Yorkshire’s eight – to keep their title bid on track.

The hosts had been kept in the field for over two days – having ended their first innings at tea on day two and forced their visitors to follow-on.

They were also hindered as for the second game in succession they were forced to bowled with a bowler light – with Brad Wheal nursing a side strain.

Still Hampshire managed to strike to end an 88-run stand between Ballance and Australian star Peter Handscomb.

Handscomb went too early with a flick to the leg side to chip a leading edge back to bowler Liam Dawson.

The new cherry arrived and worked immediately as Kyle Abbott forced Jonny Bairstow into a thick edge with the first delivery after changing balls – James Vince completing the wicket with the catch.

Yet Ballance seemed untroubled with the shiny and harder ball and continued to drag the game towards a draw.

With Tim Bresnan, the pair added slow runs to make any potential chase disappear while holding strongly onto their wicket.

Bresnan rode his luck twice when he was dropped by James Vince at third slip on 10, and again on 14 – this time by Jimmy Adams at second slip with a tough low chance.

The duo put on 94 runs for the sixth wicket in 42 overs before Bresnan fell shortly after tea when Reece Topley found his outside edge to feather behind.

Ballance cut away to the boundary to bring up a double century from 384 balls.

And with that, at 4.50pm, James Vince and Ballance shook hands to finalise the result which was more disappointing for Hampshire.