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Bairstow, Bresnan blaze record stand

Yorkshire pair combine for incredible seventh-wicket partnership in County Championship

Yorkshire pair Jonny Bairstow and Tim Bresnan have rewritten the record books in their top-of-the-table clash with Durham, combining for the highest seventh-wicket stand ever seen in England’s County Championship.

On day one, the pair had rescued their side from a precarious 6-191 to be 6-329 at stumps, with the in-form Bairstow speeding to a third first-class hundred of the season and bowling allrounder Bresnan offering strong support with an unbeaten 66.

However that was only the beginning of their record-breaking union.

Upon Yorkshire’s declaration at 6-557 midway through day two, both batsmen had posted career-best knocks as they piled on a mammoth unbroken stand of 366.

Bairstow surpassed his previous best of 206 with a superb 219no from just 268 balls, while Bresnan smashed 27 fours in his unbeaten 169.

The partnership is the highest-ever in England county cricket, breaking a record that had stood for 102 years.

It is also the third-highest by any seventh-wicket pair in first-class cricket history, bettered only by Bupinder Singh Jr and P Dharmani (460, Delhi v Punjab, 1994-95) and more recently, young Western Australia stars Mitch Marsh and Sam Whiteman, who teamed up for a stunning 371-run stand while playing for Australia A against India A last year.

Australian John Hastings went in for some treatment despite picking up two wickets, going for 122 from his 31 overs, though one of those wickets was compatriot Aaron Finch who, having returned to the first-class side after receiving a nasty blow to the ribs last week, managed only 10.

Yorkshire’s effort – on the back of the Bairstow-Bresnan stand – was the first score to pass 500 this County Championship Division One season.

Bairstow, 25, is a wicketkeeper-batsman who has played 14 Tests without ever showing his true capabilities with the bat, though his fill-in effort in the national ODI side last week came in the form of a match-winning 84no that saw England claim a thrilling series against the Black Caps 3-2.

His current form already has pundits suggesting room could again be made for him in England’s Test XI, with current keeper Jos Buttler potentially playing as a batsman in place of one of the incumbent top six.

England’s next Test is the Ashes opener at Cardiff on July 8.

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