Two Yorkies. Two tons. Three titles? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves shall we, it’s only Day One.
England selector James Whitaker could be spotted at Headingley today as Adam Lyth and Jonny Bairstow displayed some truly First Class batting.
As the scoreboard flickered into life just after the tea break, unsure whether it can confidently display the hosts’ team name or not, the two Yorkshire centurions brought up a 200-run partnership.
The morning had been tricky for the hosts, a delayed start due to ice on the pitch and then an uncontested toss left them heading out to bat at 11:30.
The experienced opening partnership of Lyth and Alex Lees filled Headingley with comfort as the sun beamed down and Lyth struck the first delivery for four over midwicket but when just 16 runs came from the first seven overs, things started to look a little darker.
Two balls into the eighth over and James Tomlinson and namesake Vince collaborated in a bowler/catcher partnership to remove Lees for just 7.
Initially, swinging ball in the hands of Fidel Edwards was causing a run-scoring problem, Tomlinson had his wicket and Ryan McLaren and Chris Wood would help their visiting side get reigning champions Yorkshire to 41-3 after 20.4 overs.
Gary Ballance looked in good touch before he failed to completely leave a Wood delivery and feathered it behind to Adam Wheater.
The dismissal of Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale to McLaren for a duck saw Bairstow come to the crease to join opener Lyth and the wickets ceased falling for a time with some aggressive strokes from the two Yorkshiremen progressing the scoreboard steadily.
It was at this point that Edwards really started to regret letting the simple caught and bowled chance he had to dismiss Lyth on 14 slip through his fingers. The Whitby born and bred opener steadied the ship with his fire-haired partner who had no qualms coming to the crease and showing Hampshire just how Yorkshire play – belting his 16th delivery for six over square leg.
The pair then added a total of 205 runs before Lyth fell just after tea for 111. This particular ton should be recognised not only for the fact that it’s the first innings of the first game of the season but because it was so hard fought.
After 90 minutes of batting Lyth had scored just 18 runs but his pace quickened as he and Bairstow remained together at the crease, slicing 17 fours in his innings.
Whilst Yorkshire dominated in the afternoon session, the evening session brought two wickets for Hampshire with Lyth falling shortly after the tea interval and his replacement, Jack Leaning, for 1 almost immediately. This brought ‘the most chilled bloke in cricket’ Adil Rashid to the crease with Bairstow.
The pair batted through the remainder of the day with Bairstow bringing his first hundred of the season up from 167 balls with 13 fours and one six. They lead the home team to a premature close of play due to bad light with the scoreboard reading 270-5, Bairstow unbeaten on 107.
Hampshire’s bowlers shared the honours with no individual dominating in the wickets column but a special mention needs to be made for their fielding in general. There were a number of instances where one fielder or other snatched a stop out of a pummelled ball to prevent a boundary and build pressure on their northern rivals.