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Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow savours his century at Scarborough
Jonny Bairstow continued his love affair with Scarborough’s North Marine Road ground yesterday as his fifth career century in first-class cricket dug Yorkshire out of an opening-day hole against Leicestershire.
The 22-year-old York-based wicketkeeper shared an entertaining fourth-wicket stand of 160 with captain Andrew Gale and an unbroken 112 for the sixth wicket with Anthony McGrath after the hosts were reduced to 33-3 early on in this LV= County Championship division two clash.
Gale posted a fluent 80, looking particularly strong through the off-side, before Bairstow got into his stride after lunch to help the White Rose close on 329-5 from 96 overs.
Bairstow will resume this morning on 141 not out and McGrath on 49 as Yorkshire search for the maximum five batting bonus points.
“I was pleased with the way that went,” said the powerful right-hander, who hit 11 fours and four sixes in 213 balls on a slow pitch.
“It wasn’t necessarily easy, and there were periods when I found it quite tough. But massive credit should go to the way Galey played and Mags at the end.
“Galey played out of his skin, especially through the middle of his innings.”
This was Bairstow’s second ton of the season after the one against Kent at Headingley during the opening week, and his fourth in the Championship for Yorkshire.
It was also his second in three matches at Scarborough after his unbeaten 109 for the England Lions against Sri Lanka ‘A’ last August.
His late father David scored two tons for Yorkshire here, and his son continued: “I enjoy Scarborough. It’s a very special place for us, and we definitely enjoy coming here.
“Mind you, anywhere you score runs you’ve got to enjoy.”
Leicestershire, whose attack is toothless without injured duo Matthew Hoggard, the former Yorkshire pace ace, and Nathan Buck, paid for dropping four catches, including Bairstow on 19 when Jacques Du Toit failed to grasp a one-handed effort high to his right at second slip.
That was the toughest of the chances, with visiting skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan guilty of two easy chances in the slips to let off Joe Sayers and Gale.
After an inconsistent start to the campaign for Yorkshire, this was exactly the kind of day they were after.
It was also a welcome performance coming so quickly after the news of Ajmal Shahzad’s shock departure from the county on Wednesday night.
Director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon and club chairman Colin Graves are due to speak to the media at Scarborough today to give more of an insight into the fast bowler’s situation.
But, thankfully, that was put on the back-burner yesterday due to an impressive afternoon and evening session following the early departures of Sayers, Phil Jaques and Joe Root.
Meanwhile, seam bowling all-rounder Luis Reece, 21, took an incredible 7-21 for Leeds/Bradford University in the midst of a three-day friendly against Sussex yesterday.
Sussex were bowled out for 58 in their first innings as Reece took his first five wickets without conceding a run. Unfortunately for Yorkshire fans, he is on Lancashire’s scholarship programme.