He may be an old 'un, but John Crawley is still a good 'un. Yesterday he reached an important half-century in his first-class career, when he passed 100 for the 50th time.
It should prove to be a match-winner as well, because it certainly helped put Hampshire in a commanding position at the halfway mark in this contest. Yorkshire's quest to wipe out the 298-run deficit was struck a serious blow before they had knocked even a single off it when Craig White fell to the first ball of their second innings.
Crawley, 34, whose career average tops 47, was a model of circumspection and patience. In the six and a half hours he sweated away at the crease, he gave nothing.
He was remorseless, a study in concentration. His end was something of a shock, playing around a good delivery from Jason Gillespie to be bowled after facing 261 balls, 19 of which had been despatched past the boundary rope. The innings, his 17th of 150 or more and his fourth Championship hundred of the summer, contained another landmark. On 81 he reached 1,000 runs in a season for the 10th time in his career.
Crawley's most productive partnership was with the relative rookie Chris Benham. While this is Crawley's 313th first-class match, it is Benham's 13th. This marriage of ancient and modern proved productive, realising 123 for the third wicket, the 23-year-old Benham contributing a useful half-century, only the second of his career.
The capture of Michael Carberry's wicket early in the day when he had made 99, the second time the former Surrey and Kent batsman has been out in the 90s, was the first of the day for another youngster. Last week, Yorkshire unveiled an apprentice leg spinner, the 18-year-old Adil Rashid, who marked his debut with six wickets in an innings. His England Under-19 call-up meant he was unable to build on his start, but Mark Lawson grabbed his chance.
After inducing a bat-pad catch to account for Carberry 35 minutes into the first session, he plugged away for the rest of the day finishing with a career best 6-150. The one blemish was his missing a return catch, hard and low, when Benham was on eight, but what mattered was his overall contribution which helped rein in Hampshire's imposing lead.Reuse content