Yorkshire held up by James

Hampshire 266 Yorkshire 76-0
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The Independent Online
Yorkshire are all too aware that if they are to sustain their Championship challenge they need not only pitches that produce results but also that little bit of luck that wins matches.

By leaving more grass than usual on a fast bowler's length at St George's Road yesterday they went some way to achieving the first objective but the rub of the green completely eluded them in the first part of the day.

While the ball was new, batting was a grittier pastime than is often the case here and no one knew that more than Kevan James. His 71 from 135 balls was one of those innings that is perhaps better viewed in the score book than in the flesh, but it kept Hampshire afloat when the going was at its toughest.

Yorkshire bowled with great heart, not least Chris Silverwood, who underlined a growing reputation, but James somehow held on as partners came and went in varying fashion.

He had made only five when a top-edged hook fell to safety. At 25 he was comfortably dropped at slip off Darren Gough. Between times he played and missed with great frequency and when he reached 50 it was with a mis- timed stroke off a no ball.

Of those who departed the scene, the most unusual dismissal was that of Paul Terry, caught on the third man boundary. The most disappointing was the needless run-out on the stroke of tea of Matthew Keech.

James went on nicking it here, squirting it there until Silverwood found an inside edge from which he was splendidly caught one-handed by Richard Blakey.

The sun had eased much of the juice from the pitch when Yorkshire batted and Hampshire could not afford the rich mixture of half-volleys and long hops they produced.

Martyn Moxon began with three successive fours off Cardigan Connor, Michael Vaughan also picked off variations in length and line and Hampshire ended as they began, very much up against it.

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