For former cricket umpire, Dickie Bird, today was one full of mixed emotions.
The Yorkshire County Cricket Club President had the pleasure of opening Headingley's new player pavilion, paid for by and named after himself, but also had to contend with the escalating cost:
Yorkshire cricketing hero Dickie Bird will open a new player's balcony at Headingley today.
The new £125,000 balcony means the players will now be able to watch outside, instead of from behind glass.
Jonny Bairstow celebrated his Ashes call-up with a quick-fire innings which helped propel Yorkshire to a seven-wicket victory over Worcestershire on the final day of the LV= County Championship match at Scarborough.
It was the first time since 1998 that Yorkshire had won five consecutive matches in a season in the competition and it further strengthened the title-holders' position at the top of the table.
But Worcestershire made them fight every inch of the way for their success and for a while they were even able to contemplate victory themselves as the home side slumped to 44 for three in their chase towards a 157 target.
But then Bairstow, in the best form of his career and brimming with confidence, strode to the crease and impressed with top quality shots to all parts of the North Marine Road ground.
Bairstow battered an unbeaten 74 off 51 balls with nine fours and three sixes during an unbroken fourth wicket stand of 113 in 17 overs with opener Alex Lees, who finished on 58no from 87 deliveries with seven fours and two sixes. Bairstow has now thrashed 908 runs at an average of 108.88 in his 12 Championship knocks with one double-century, four centuries and four half-centuries.
After Worcestershire had been bowled out for 306, the second highest second innings score against Yorkshire this season, they soon claimed a wicket as Will Rhodes skied Saeed Ajmal's second ball to deep mid-on where Jack Shantry held on to a well-judged catch.
Yorkshire were 34 for one at lunch, Lees having driven Joe Leach for an early six, but soon after the interval they suffered a double setback, Jack Leaning being trapped lbw by Charlie Morris and captain Andrew Gale run out when sent back by Lees.
With light rain falling for a short while, Bairstow went on the charge, driving Ajmal over long-on for six and being so eager to advance that he chased a delivery which slipped out of Morris's hand and bounced several times wide on the off-side before belting it through the covers for four.
Bairstow hit three fours off consecutive balls from Ajmal and successive boundaries against Shantry, bringing up his half-century from 79 balls with five fours and two sixes.
Both Bairstow and Lees cleared the rope again as Lees completed his first 50 in 14 Championship innings off 79 deliveries it was all over by mid afternoon with 47 overs to spare.
Resuming on 221 for six in the morning with a lead of 71, Worcestershire continued to take the fight to their opponents.
Ross Whiteley moved his overnight 65 on to 101 before falling lbw to Ryan Sidebottom soon after the new ball had been taken. He had faced 139 balls and struck 14 fours and a six on his way to his best score for Worcestershire and his highest since his career best 130 not out for Derbyshire against Kent at Derby in September 2011.
Even with his departure to make it 280 for nine, Worcestershire were not entirely finished as Ajmal and Morris put on 26 together for the last wicket.
It meant that Yorkshire still had some work to do and there were anxious moments ahead until Bairstow and Lees settled in.
After the match, Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie, said: "Obviously I am very pleased to come away with full points but this was still not our best performance, I have to acknowledge that.
"We had one big partnership in the first innings and a century stand in the second but we have still not nailed our partnerships.
"I thought we were poor with the ball on the third day before just making our opponents follow-on and we have to focus on the process of how to get it right. We seem to drift sometimes when we take our foot off the gas.
"It is a nice position to be in at the top of the table but there is still a lot of cricket to be played and we have six games remaining. We need to make sure we maintain our standards and respect the form we are in even though we are not at our best.
"The race for the Championship is not over yet and we can only control what we do and not what other teams do.
"It was another great knock today from Jonny Bairstow and we all wish him well and hope he scores lots of runs for England. He is playing good cricket, the ball is in his court and I am delighted he has got his opportunity."
Ballance has struggled at number three this year, having made a fine start to his Test career in his first summer in that position 12 months ago.
England also announced, in a press release on Tuesday afternoon, that they will move four-time Ashes-winner Ian Bell back up to the pivotal number three position on his home ground at Edgbaston next week.
National selector James Whitaker said: "For the third Test, Ian Bell will move up the order to bat at three - followed by Joe Root, with Jonny Bairstow coming in at five.
"Jonny has worked extremely hard at his game, and his record for Yorkshire speaks for itself. He fully deserves this opportunity."
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Australian international Aaron Finch will miss the rest of Yorkshire’s season after scans confirmed that the batsman has fractured a bone in his right foot. He'll return home later today to see a specialist in Melbourne.
The Australia Twenty20 captain picked up the metatarsal injury during the NatWest T20 Blast victory over Durham Jets on Friday at Headingley.
The Club is now looking to extend fellow Aussie Glenn Maxwell’s stay as cover for Finch. Maxwell plays his last match for the Club this evening before joining Australia A for a two week tour of India, but it's hoped that he'll return at the end of the month to figure in the County Championship and the Royal London One-Day Cup.
New Zealand's Kane Williamson will join the Club for the final four games of the Championship campaign at the end of August.
“That’s the end of the season for Aaron, as far as Yorkshire is concerned. It is a great disappointment for Aaron and the Club and we wish him a speedy recovery.”
Former Yorkshire and England pace bowler Darren Gough is taking part in a 300 mile bike ride to raise more than £200,000 for charity.
Gough and his fellow cyclists are pedalling between all five 2005 Ashes venues to mark the 10th anniversary of England's famous 2-1 series win against Australia. The ride started yesterday at Old Trafford, and is taking in Trent Bridge, Edgbaston and Lord's, before finishing at the Oval on Wednesday.
The target is to raise £200,000 for charity. 50% of the money will go to the Lord's Taverners, the official charity for recreational cricket and the UK's leading youth cricket and disability sports charity. The rest of the money will go to local charities nominated by the individual cyclists.
When the team arrived at Edgbaston, Gough spoke to ITV about the cycle ride, and England's victory in the first Test of the current Ashes series at Cardiff.
Uncapped leg-spinner Adil Rashid is the surprise inclusion in England's 13-man squad for the first Investec Ashes Test in Cardiff next week.
The Yorkshireman was not a part of the 14-man training squad that travelled to Spain for four days as part of a bonding trip with new head coach Trevor Bayliss, which was widely viewed as an indicator of the squad the hosts would choose to take on Australia at SSE Swalec.
Seamers Mark Footitt and Liam Plunkett, who did travel to Almeria, miss out, with England including the full XI that played in both Tests against New Zealand earlier in the summer, plus Rashid and paceman Steven Finn.
Yorkshire have been re-writing the record books in their top of the table County Championship match against Durham at Chester-le-Street. An unbeaten 7th wicket partnership of 366 between Jonny Bairstow and Tim Bresnan has put second placed Yorkshire in complete command. Both hit career bests - Bairstow 219 not out and Bresnan 169 not out - and their partnership was:
- The highest 7th wicket stand in county cricket history
- The third highest ever 7th wicket stand in first class cricket worldwide
- Yorkshire's 5th highest ever stand for any wicket
The pair came together with Yorkshire struggling on 191 for 6, after being put into bat by the Division One leaders. When skipper Andrew Gale finally declared, they'd taken the score on to 567.
Sheffield batsman Joe Root was the star of the show as England beat New Zealand by 56 runs in their T20 international with New Zealand at Old Trafford.
The test-vice captain fired off 68 runs off just 46 balls.
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