Yorkshire capped off a superb team performance by taking six wickets in a session and a half to wrap up victory over Hampshire at Headingley. An unbeaten half-century from Will Smith was the highlight of the Hampshire innings, but Adil Rashid snapped up three wickets to send Yorkshire to third in the LV County Championship table.
There was a moment of concern for Yorkshire before play began on the final day, when Tim Bresnan took a boot to the face from Jonny Moxon during a warm-up game of football. He was helped from the field bleeding from the left side of his face, but was alright to continue after being patched up.
Jack Brooks induced a thick edge from Will Smith on 20 that flew wide of the slips early on, but Yorkshire did not have to wait long before their first breakthrough. James Tomlinson, who was sent in as nightwatchman late on Tuesday, played inside the line of a ball from Adil Rashid that clipped his off bail.
Hampshire’s slim hopes of salvaging some points from the game were dented once more when Sean Ervine fell to a full outswinger from Tim Bresnan. Bresnan has worked extensively on his bowling action over the winter with head coach Jason Gillespie, who explained the adjustments at the start of the season:
“Very simply, it’s about him feeling that he can be closer to the umpire. He’s straighter, he’s closer to the umpire. If you look at footage of him last year, he was a lot wider at the crease. He started wider because he was always worried about hitting the umpire. So we just practised over the winter, we always had an umpire there, he was off his short run, just getting closer.
“Now he’s coming straight, his wrist is behind the ball a lot more. He’s very comfortable with his bowling right now. It’s still a work in progress, it’s still not the very best that it could be, but it’s a marked improvement.”
Adil Rashid bowled unchanged through the morning session as Yorkshire rotated their seamers at the other end. After the break, Smith and McManus dead-batted and left everything in the first 20 minutes, until Tim Bresnan had Lewis McManus caught behind. Jonny Bairstow took an excellent flying catch to his right.
The scorecard will show that Lewis McManus’ first-class debut was inauspicious, and on paper, perhaps it is. 38 runs and three catches is not going to turn many heads. But his glovework looked tidy and he was agile and energetic behind the stumps. His game in front of the stumps will improve, but he showed great resolve in difficult situations for his team.
It was Adil Rashid, with the assistance of Jack Brooks and Andre Adams, who put the final nails in the Hampshire coffin. First, Gareth Berg swept cleanly at a fullish delivery that flew low to Jack Brooks’ left. There aren’t many fast bowlers who are as much of an asset in the field as Brooks, and he showed it again by holding on with both hands.
Andre Adams is not a batsman familiar with the concept of “the match situation”. His first ball could have been left, but he couldn’t help himself and poked an easy catch for Tim Bresnan at second slip. He has three first-class centuries to his name, but his ultra-aggressive batting style did his team no favours in this game. Steven Patterson performed the last rites on Hampshire’s innings, Fidel Edwards swinging wildly to give Alex Lees a simple catch.