‘Pain-free’ Tim Bresnan makes England pitch

Yorkshire 426 Durham 50-1


Rain thwarted Yorkshire’s efforts to put pressure on Durham, as bowlers Ryan Sidebottom and Jack Brooks combined to ensure they took maximum batting points but were frustrated in their ambitions with the ball as the last two sessions were virtually washed out here.

Yorkshire want to take advantage of Nottinghamshire’s defeat against Warwickshire last week by regaining the lead in the First Division, while Durham know that a defeat would probably end their hopes of retaining the Championship title.

There was enough play for Tim Bresnan to demonstrate his well-being, taking the only Durham wicket to fall when he had Mark Stoneman caught behind with a lovely delivery that found some extra bounce and late movement.

Bresnan has been struggling for the best part of three years with an elbow injury that has required two operations but, after a cortisone injection last month, he says he is bowling pain-free and is confident he can force his way back into the England Test team, having not played since the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

“I haven’t bowled pain-free since before the first operation, but after this latest injection I’m not getting any pain,” Bresnan said.

“I don’t feel like I’m a forgotten man in terms of the Test side. It is normal for there to be ebbs and flows in form and I’m the one missing out at the moment. But a few more runs and wickets under my belt and, depending on injuries and form, I expect to be having another crack before the end of the summer.”

England face five Tests in six weeks against India, and national selector James Whitaker has hinted that the fast bowlers will be rotated. “Five Tests in six weeks is not the schedule that a fast bowler needs, to be honest,” Bresnan said. “It’s going to be a squad effort.”

Yorkshire were in danger of somewhat wasting Sunday’s 270-run first-wicket stand between Adam Lyth and Alex Lees when they slipped to 380 for 9 from 367 for 7 overnight, Mark Wood completing a five-wicket haul. But Sidebottom and Brooks carefully worked the ball around to add 46 for the last wicket, with Brooks sweeping Scott Borthwick for four to claim the fifth bowling point.

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