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Jonny Bairstow arrival a bonus for Yorkshire
Yorkshire battled hard to gain the upper hand during the opening day of their LV= County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.
The Division One leaders showed their mettle after losing the toss and recovering from the odd sticky situation, most notably at 137-4 in the early stages of the afternoon, to close on 327-8 from 96 overs.
Their total was built upon scores of 95 off 168 balls by opener Adam Lyth and 78 off 157 from Adil Rashid, while Liam Plunkett chipped in with 41 and captain Andrew Gale 33.
By no means Yorkshire’s most fluent batting performance, it has still left them in a strong position, given that Jonny Bairstow – having been released by England – is still at the crease and you would expect the visiting attack to bowl better than the home one did.
Notts’ best bowler was seamer Luke Fletcher with career-best figures of 5-66 from 24.4 overs, although he had to leave the field with cramp inside the last ten overs of the day. Harry Gurney also added 3-60 from 15.
The hosts have struggled with the ball all year and today was no different. They leaked 124 runs in the morning session, including 19 boundaries, but tightened up after lunch.
On another day, they could have had Yorkshire in plenty of strife had they taken advantage of obvious movement on offer. Lyth was dropped in the slips on 33 during the morning, while the likes of Ajmal Shahzad and Andre Adams beat the bat.
But Yorkshire rode their luck and prospered – and they could end up looking back on this day as an imperative one come late September if they are celebrating their first Championship title since 2001.
There were three half-century stands between Lyth and Gale, Lyth and Rashid and Rashid and Plunkett, who shared the highest of 79 in 26 overs for the sixth wicket. Kane Williamson, however, posted a golden duck on his debut.
Bairstow, who arrived at Trent Bridge in the afternoon before starting his innings after tea, played aggressively on the way to 24 not out. He has Steve Patterson for company.