Saturday, 17 March 2012
BARBADOS 2012: The Jonny & Joe show takes opener
A typically crunching 162 from Jonny Bairstow and a characteristic 125 from Joe Sayers took the game away from the Andrew Gale XI at the Foursquare Oval today and ensured the Joe Sayers XI won by 175 runs.
The Joe Sayers XI started their chase to 94 to win in 96 overs and the task sounded easy, but with 20 runs lost for each wicket in reply to Andrew Gale XI’s 233-7 (net total 93) it was never going to be straightforward for the batsmen on a pitch which offered a bit of early assistance to the bowlers after a morning shower.
Ajmal Shahzad was at his fiercest first up. He dismissed Joe Root with the sixth ball of the innings when Root attempted to hook a short one that got big on him and gloved it through to Gerard Brophy without scoring.
Gary Ballance was bowled for 2 by Shahzad to the 17th delivery he faced and the Sayers XI were teetering at 9-2. Shahzad had figures of 2-9 from his 5 overs and looked to be in good rhythm and mean spirits.
Sayers was joined by Jonny Bairstow and the pair had repaired some of the damage by lunch at 67-2, but it had taken the net total to only 27 and a tough afternoon seemed to stretch before them.
Bairstow has never been one to shy away from a challenge and today was no different. He passed his fifty and accelerated as Shahzad became a little wayward and there is no margin for error against the flame haired 22-year-old who strikes the ball as cleanly as anyway in the English game. Bairstow’s bat bludgeoned balls away, earning boundaries for strokes other players were falling short of the fence with.
Sayers too was not frightened to blast anything wayward as the competition for April’s top order places hotted up. So far in this game (and I concede it’s early days) Lyth, Brophy, Bairstow, Sayers and Rashid have made at least fifty. Who would want to be picking that 1st XI for April 5th?
Bairstow and Sayers found freedom and both reached contrasting centuries. Bairstow fell for 162 from only 147 balls and stroked 20 fours and 7 sixes in a display of batting Sachin Tendulkar, the fomer Yorkshire player who today scored his 100th international ton, would have been proud of. He final fell victim to Gurman Randhawa, caught by yesterday's hero Adam Lyth, but the damage was done.
The stand had been worth 242 for the 3rd wicket and had won the game. Sayers added 106 for the 4th wicket with Adil Rashid before his 258 ball stay, which included 11 boundaries, came to an end when he was caught by Gale off the bowling of Moin Ashraf.
Rashid made 58 in 95 balls before being bowled by Shahzad who ended with 3-58 from 15 overs and was the pick of the attack today.
Local player was Oliver Hannon-Dalby's only scalp for 17 when trapped leg before and the game came to a close.
A thoroughly good two days work for the Tykes, but the day belonged to Bairstow and Sayers and the few travelling supporters had been well rewarded for their air miles.
The Yorkshire side enjoy a well earned Saturday off after four solid days practice and play. They then return to Foursquare for a practice session of Sunday ahead of a 40-over clash against Nottinghamshire at the same venue.
LYTH SHINES UNDER BAJAN SUN - DAY ONE
Adam Lyth with a composed 96 took first blood in the race to secure one of the hotly contested 1st XI batting slots. The left-hander who struggled for the big scores last season after a phenomenal 2010, knows he has to impress in pre-season to start the summer at the top of Yorkshire’s order.
On Day One of the Andrew Gale XI v Joe Sayers XI two-day contest, Lyth showed immense restraint early on as the Gale XI sought to counter tight opening spells from Ryan Sidebottom, Iain Wardlaw and Steve Patterson.
His determination to notch a big score early on the tour was palpable and he didn’t disappoint.
The game is played over a minimum of 96 overs each day, 20 runs are lost with each wicket and the seamers faced a tough workout with both captains instructed that each paceman should bowl at least 12 overs.
Lyth and Alex Lees opened the innings and found scoring shots hard to find on a slow track, painfully slow outfield and against controlled lines from Joe Sayers’s pace attack. It wasn’t until the 12th over when Lyth pulled local player Jade Padmoor to the fence that the first boundary was notched to take the score to 21-0.
Alex Lees jarred a ball from Raschelle Gittens to Gary Ballance at second slip and was gone for 19 after a promising start and on the stroke of lunch Adil Rashid, who bowled 7 overs before the break, got one to turn and bounce and Jonny Bairstow whipped off the bails to send Anthony McGrath back for 10. The hard work that Rashid and the other Yorkshire spinners have put in over the winter with Jack Birkenshaw is bearing dividends and the return of flight, rip and guile is great to see.
Lyth (31*) was joined by Andrew Gale after the interval and the pair punched and drove either side of the wicket before the skipper drove Joe Root to Patterson at mid-off and was out for 12. Lyth went past fifty at an uncharacteristically slow pace, but successive boundaries off Root took him closer to what would have been a well deserved hundred.
Gerard Bropy, also well aware that pre-season runs are the only way to force his claim for a top order place in April deflected well and punished anything loose, on a field where only the most pure strokes earned four, and took Gale’s men to 169-4 in the 70th over when Lyth tried to reach his century with a boundary and was bowled by Root.
Lyth was obviously disappointed, but would have bitten hands off for 96 over breakfast this morning. He faced 218 balls and struck 6 fours and a six as he started to regain some of that 2010 magic.
Ajmal Shazhad was caught by Sayers off Rashid for 8, Azeem Rafiq was trapped lbw to Gittens and local boy, Jason Greene, became Wardlaw’s first victim when he was bowled for 5.
Gurman Randhawa (5 not out) joined Brophy (65 not out from 140 balls with 4 fours) to take the Gale XI to 233-7 after 97 overs at the close.
Adil Rashid claimed figures of 2-58 from 20 overs, Joe Root 2-44 from 15 overs and Gittens 2-23 from 8 overs. My pick today was however Ryan Sidebottom who has the ball on a string, provides complete control and his analysis of 12-3-21-0 didn’t do him justice.
So, 233-7 gives the Gale XI a net total of 93 which the Sayers XI will attempt to chase down tomorrow.
JAMES BUTTLER at Foursquare Oval, Barbados
150th Year Celebration
2 Sep 2013
Abbeydale Sports Club, Sheffield