Bairstow takes focus off Shahzad
An unbeaten 141 from Jonny Bairstow guided Yorkshire to 329 for five at the end of the 1st day of their Championship clash with Leicestershire.
Yorkshire confirmed on Tuesday night that England international Ajmal Shahzad would be made available to rival counties and while they have remained silent on the reasons for the breakdown in relations with Shahzad, further details may be released soon.
Today then looked like being another difficult day for the hosts at Scarborough when they were reduced to 33 for three before Bairstow's second century of the season saw Yorkshire finish the day in a far healthier position.
The North Marine Road ground had dried out well enough after the recent downpours for a prompt start on a soft pitch which made timing the ball difficult and Joe Root and Joe Sayers could only make slow progress.
Sayers never really settled, being dropped by Claude Henderson at mid-on in the second over when he mistimed a pull at Alex Wyatt and again by Ramnaresh Sarwan at first slip off Rob Joseph who had him lbw with his next delivery after making just eight.
Leicestershire were not long in turning to the left-arm spin of Henderson and he soon picked up the valuable wicket of Phil Jaques, also lbw as he attempted to sweep, and without addition to the score Wayne White came on and with his first ball had Root caught low down at point by Matt Boyce.
Bairstow joined Andrew Gale and the Yorkshire captain was by far the more fluent of the two early on, three times taking boundaries off Nadeem Malik with well-timed shots through extra cover. He had a life just before lunch, however, when Sarwan put down another one at slip, this time off Henderson.
The visitors were made to suffer for some poor work in the field and shortly after the interval Bairstow, on 19, edged Wyatt to second slip where the chance was put down by Jacques du Toit, the batsman responding with a couple off sixes at Henderson's expense.
The fourth-wicket pair gradually assumed command and Gale just pipped his partner to the half-century mark, his runs coming off 84 balls with six boundaries. In the same over from Malik, Bairstow's mid-wicket boundary took him to his 50 from 82 balls, his runs including four fours and two sixes.
Gale continued to play some splendid ground shots, particularly through the off-side, but having reached 80 he drove loosely at a wide ball from White and was caught behind by Ned Eckersley, his stand with Bairstow having produced 160 in 40 overs.
Bairstow was also on 80 at tea and soon after the interval he lost Gary Ballance who top-edged a pull at Malik and hit the ball straight in the air for Boyce to take the catch.
Yorkshire had slipped to 217 for five but they soon recovered through another productive stand between Bairstow and Anthony McGrath who had regained his place as a result of Shahzad's 'disappearance' from the side.
Shortly after completing his fourth century for Yorkshire off 172 deliveries with seven fours and three sixes, Bairstow blasted Henderson high over the rope at long off while McGrath rapidly warmed to his task with some vintage strokes.
It was McGrath who raised the century stand in 22 overs by striking Joseph firmly to the mid-wicket boundary and he was unbeaten on 49 at the close with Yorkshire in sight of maximum batting bonus points.
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