By Gary Watton
April 9 2017
Depressingly, the Andrew Gale coaching era has got off to the worst possible start, as his makeshift team shot themselves in the foot and contrived to lose their first County Championship outing of 2017, losing in their own backyard. It was a terrible blow, after enjoying a considerable lead at the halfway stage. Regrettably a complacent home team failed to drive home their advantage, but instead collapsed badly on Saturday afternoon, when they really should have been posting a target in excess of four hundred runs. Instead, Hampshire got themselves out of jail, and buoyed by their bowling efforts in the second innings, they then proceeded to successfully chase down a demanding 320, ably assisted by butter fingers from Yorkshire close fielders.
Handicapped perpetually by international absentees, and possessing a flakey batting line up, the Tykes have the look of relegation fodder this term, unless Lees and Lyth pile on lots of runs at the top of the order. Ominously, brief cameos from the opening pair are not going to lay foundations for substantial scores. We cannot rely upon our bowlers to hit the runs as well as taking the wickets. If Leaning doesn't improve rapidly, the batting order is going to look desperately threadbare and in dire need of reinforcements.
YORKSHIRE versus Hampshire; in Leeds; Friday the seventh to Sunday the ninth of April. Hampshire chose to bowl first.
YORKSHIRE first innings: 273 (Ballance 120; Edwards 3-58)
Hampshire first innings: 141 (Coad 6-37, Bresnan 4-53)
YORKSHIRE second innings: 187 (Ballance 55, Hodd 54*; Abbott 7-41)
Hampshire second innings: 321 for six (Adams 72; Bresnan 3-73)
Hampshire win by four wickets. YORKSHIRE five points, Hampshire nineteen points.
Lyth - Caught behind twice for scores of thirty and 29 isn't good enough. His batting might be eye-catching, but his overall scores are not.
Lees - Just like his opening partner, his mediocre totals of twenty and 21 are not going to win too many first-class fixtures. He also took one catch.
Handscomb - His first two efforts amounted to 25 and a paltry four. Hopefully this is just a false start, and that bigger innings are just around the corner.
Ballance - The new captain didn't deserve to be on the losing side. His 175 runs in the match suggest that he won't be weighed down by his new responsibility.
Leaning - Jack was trapped leg before wicket twice, for seven and fifteen. He needs to contribute fairly soon, as his team cannot afford to carrya passenger.
Bresnan - Our batting hero from last year was dismissed for a pair this time. He did at least redeem himself with seven wickets, costing 126 runs.
Hodd - Hoddy was unlucky to run out of partners in the second innings. If he could have batted for another half an hour, he could have wreaked more havoc.
Rafiq - Scores of six and two were woeful for this all rounder. He did little with the ball either, taking a solitary wicket from twelve overs, costing 35 runs.
Patterson - SP had a frustrating outing, failing to take a wicket from 39 overs, even though he was very economical. He batted well first time around.
Shaw - The young guy had a match to forget, bowling sixteen overs, without a wicket, for a cost of fifty-nine runs. His batting produced scores of 3 and 0.
Coad - Ben took the first six Hampshire wickets, but thereafter it was an anti climax, as his twenty-five overs in the second innings cost ninety-six runs.