Yorkshire see off Warwickshire then bemoan Bairstow’s enforced absence
It took Yorkshire eight overs to claim the one Warwickshire wicket – Oliver Hannon-Dalby, bowled by an Adil Rashid googly – they required for their first win of the season but their new coach, Andrew Gale, then railed against England’s decision to deny them the services of .
Bairstow was cleared by England to play in the Indian Premier League, only to be overlooked by the franchises during the auction in February, but has since missed Yorkshire’s defeat at home against Hampshire and the 23-point victory they sealed at Edgbaston. Joe Root also missed those fixtures, although Gale had no problem with his absence given his status as a three-format international but said Bairstow should have been available.
“For me, [Bairstow] should have been available right from the first game of the season,” Gale said. “I was disappointed. I can see why someone like Rooty [Joe Root] would want a rest given the amount of cricket he’s played but Jonny has played one one‑day international since Christmas and three days of cricket. It does disappoint me, but that’s just the way things are.
“This is part and parcel of being at . We always want to bring our homegrown players through, but if we do that they are going to get picked for England. And we want our players to play for England, but when they’re available we want them to play for us as well.”
Both players will return on Friday at the Ageas Bowl, where Yorkshire face Hampshire, who had to settle for a draw against Middlesex (10 points apiece). Following a superb new-ball burst after lunch from Kyle Abbott and Gareth Berg during which the visitors lost three for three, Hampshire were frustrated by the tail (to the point where Michael Carberry was bowling impressions of Carl Hooper shortly before hands were shaken), but they have shown plenty to suggest that they will be a force in a very competitive Division One.
For Hampshire, a bowler down – a hamstrung Fidel Edwards faces weeks out of action – on a dead pitch, to dictate terms against the champions was extremely impressive. They have options, too: Tom Alsop and Mason Crane are waiting (with varying degrees of patience) and Reece Topley is also now fit.
It represented a fine escape for Middlesex. Adam Voges and the nightwatchman Steve Finn did the early grind before the latter was caught pulling. Abbott and the new ball did for Voges, cutting on 92, as well as James Franklin, while a Berg snorter accounted for John Simpson. The lead was just 133, with almost 60 overs remaining in the match. But Middlesex’s title win was built on batting deep, and a combination of Toby Roland-Jones, Ollie Rayner, Tim Murtagh and some curious fields saw their unbeaten run – which stretches back to 2015 – live on.
There was also a draw at The Oval. Having been denied by the 19‑year‑old Dan Lawrence last week, Surrey’s 39-year-old Kumar Sangakkara stood in Lancashire’s way this time. After Mark Stoneman was stumped off Stephen Parry, Sangakkara notched his 57th first‑class century in a stand of 256 with Scott Borthwick, who made an undefeated 108, his first ton for Surrey. Eventually Simon Kerrigan bowled Sangakkara in the penultimate over of the match, with Surrey taking nine points to Lancashire’s 11.
Despite Keaton Jennings carrying his bat for 102, Durham began life in Division Two with a nine-wicket defeat against Nottinghamshire. He shared 45 with Mark Wood before Durham lost their last three wickets in a rush, and Notts knocked off the 110 required without fuss. Jake Libby was the only wicket to fall, but for the second consecutive week Greg Smith hit the winning runs, ending undefeated on 60 as Durham moved up to minus 45 points.
At Hove, Kent bowled Sussex out for 200 to dish out their second thrashing of the season. The evergreen Darren Stevens, a day shy of his first-class career’s 20th birthday, took five for 51 to leave Kent on the heels of the leaders. At Derby, all parties were determined to force a result and Northamptonshire’s chase of 326 in 65 overs to beat Derbyshire, with Rob Newton making 99 and Richard Levi 98, ensured it came to pass with a ball to spare. The road to that target was a circuitous one, with Levi the only man not to bowl for Northants and Luis Reece (168) and Billy Godleman (156 not out) adding 208 in the morning, feasting on the declaration bowling. Northants joined Notts on 44 points at the top.