TIM BRESNAN delivered a timely innings to help guide Yorkshire towards a competitive total against Warwickshire and remind England’s selectors of his all-round abilities.
The 29-year-old has been restricted in the number of games he has played for Yorkshire in recent years because of England commitments and played only 11 championship matches since last scoring a half-century, an 87 against Hampshire at Headingley three years ago.
But, watched by national selector James Whitaker, Bresnan responded to the challenge and hit a determined 61, sharing in a crucial 113-run seventh-wicket partnership with Kane Williamson, to help Yorkshire reach 310-8 at the close of the opening day against the championship leaders.
Knowing his international place may be under threat for this summer’s exchanges with Sri Lanka and India, Bresnan could not have chosen a better moment to deliver against a quality attack that included England seamer Chris Woakes, Keith Barker, Chris Wright and the off-spin of Jeetan Patel.
“It felt good to spend some time at the crease and I feel as though I’ve been in good nick in the nets so it was good to get out there and score a few runs,” said Bresnan.
“I don’t really listen to any England talk so I don’t really know what’s been said so all I can do is get a few runs and get a few wickets and throw my name in the hat and see what happens.”
Arriving at the crease with Yorkshire in some difficulty at 181-6, having lost 5-70 in the afternoon session, Bresnan drew on the calm composure of New Zealand Williamson to help mount a significant recovery.
Their stand was only broken after Warwickshire took the second new ball with Barker winning an lbw appeal against Williamson for 75 and seven balls later Bresnan was bowled attempting to drive Woakes.
The day had begun well for Yorkshire, who made a flying start despite losing the toss and being put into bat in cloudy conditions, but none of Warwickshire’s attack were able to bowl with any consistency, allowing Root and Adam Lyth to forge a 91-run stand in only 22 overs.
Their stand was broken when Lyth mis-timed an attempted pull and allowed Woakes to claim a return catch shortly before lunch, which gave Warwickshire the momentum to launch their own fightback after the interval.
Root fell five overs into the afternoon session when he played on to Barker for 69 attempting a late cut, which sparked a collapse that left Yorkshire fearing they miss out on batting bonus points altogether.
Captain Andrew Gale was bowled by Woakes with a full-length ball that kept low, the first evidence of the inconsistent bounce that was exploited from the Kirkstall Lane End, and may have contributed to Ballance being hit on the right elbow a few balls later, when he apparently played no shot.
Ballance was treated for several minutes by physio Kunwar Bansil but fell in the next over when he was given lbw to Barker. Wright claimed two further wickets with Jonny Bairstow bowled attempting to drive down the ground while Adil Rashid was caught by Will Porterfield at second slip.
But Williamson and Bresnan teamed up to guide Yorkshire towards their competitive target and frustrate Warwickshire’s hopes of taking control.
LV= County Championship
Yorkshire v Warwickshire
at Headingley Carnegie
(Warwickshire won toss)
Yorkshire First Innings
A Lyth c & b Woakes 32
J E Root b Barker 69
K S Williamson lbw b Barker 75
A W Gale b Woakes 5
G S Ballance lbw b Barker 4
J M Bairstow b Wright 15
A U Rashid c Porterfield b Wright 10
T T Bresnan b Woakes 61
L E Plunkett not out 4
S A Patterson not out 12
Extras (b8 lb11 nb4) 23
Total 8 wkts (96 overs) 310
Fall: 1-91 2-111 3-128 4-137 5-159 6-181 7-294 8-294.
Bowling: Barker 26-8-69-3, Wright 23-3-88-2, Jones 13-0-53-0, Woakes 19-5-43-3, Patel 13-3-35-0, Javid 2-0-3-0.