County Championship: Adam Lyth repays Andrew Gale’s faith with a gritty century

Close, day one: Yorkshire 299-3 v Durham


Durham’s victory over Yorkshire at Scarborough last August effectively decided the 2013 Championship, so there was an element of putting the record straight in Yorkshire’s ambitions. Reasonably enough, they might say “so far, so good”.

In conditions that looked enormously in favour of the seamers, Adam Lyth completed a 171-ball hundred that must be among the best of his career. Kane Williamson, the New Zealand batsman, came close to emulating him.

Lyth’s innings was impressive for its patience. The left-hander’s natural game is to be aggressive from the outset.

In his first 69 balls he faced, there was only one boundary. Rarely can he have restrained himself so successfully. But then Andrew Gale’s bold decision to bat first on winning the toss demanded that he did. Lyth wanted to repay Gale’s faith in him. Last week, when Joe Root came back into the Yorkshire side against Middlesex at Lord’s, Lyth half-expected he would step aside. Instead, Gale left himself out.

Durham did not bowl at all well by their standards. Graham Onions, still with England ambitions, had no kind of rhythm but he was not alone in finding consistency eluding him. As a collective, the Durham attack often bowled too short or too full and could not control their lines.

But with swing and seam movement to exploit, when they got it right they asked questions, Chris Rushworth and Jamie Harrison, the left-armer, in particular. Lyth rode his luck, having a let-off on 88, when he drove at Mark Wood. Scott Borthwick, at second slip, parried the ball, giving Paul Collingwood a chance to grab it as he ran around from first, but it went to ground.

Lyth’s innings ended tamely, caught at second slip to the first ball he faced after tea, playing needlessly at a harmless wide ball from Harrison. Nonetheless, he had served his captain well.

By then, too, Yorkshire had a batting point, which takes some winning here. By the close they almost had three. Apart from Warwickshire, none of last season’s visitors made 200 in the first innings. Building on the 179-run partnership Lyth shared with Williamson, who made 97 before falling to the second new ball, Yorkshire need one more to be the first to 300 here since Lancashire in May 2011.

Root made a second-innings 182 here last season. He is missing this time, away with England along with Gary Ballance. Gale reinstated himself in Root’s place, with Jonny Bairstow returning from his broken finger for Ballance, and Tim Bresnan making his first appearance of the season in place of Steven Patterson.

County round-up

Bowler of the Day

Sussex’s Chris Jordan may be the man in pole position but he is not without competition if there is a third seamer’s slot up for grabs when England’s new regime turn their attention to Test cricket. Chris Wright, who might have been higher in the pecking order already but for the stress fracture that curtailed his 2013 season,  appears to be close to his 2012 form again, as was evidenced in his new ball spell against Middlesex at Edgbaston yesterday, when he accounted Sam Robson, Neil Dexter and Chris Rogers in the space of 18 deliveries.

Robson, England’s opener-in-waiting as some would have it, edged him to third slip for seven, Dexter was yorked middle stump for six and Australia’s Rogers, a double centurion last week, pushed hard at a ball outside off stump and nicked it to first slip. Wright finished with four for 56 as Middlesex were brought heavily back to earth after scoring 472 to beat Yorkshire at Lord’s, reduced to 66 for 8 before a late rally swelled the total to 167 all out, Steven Finn – another bowler in eye-catching  early-season form – finishing 37 not out, his second highest first-class score.

Batsman of the Day

Sussex, their fine start to the season abruptly halted by an innings defeat against  Somerset last week, would have been in a sorry mess against Lancashire at Old Trafford had it not been for Michael Yardy, the former England one-day all-rounder, who followed a modest run of 75 runs from five innings before yesterday with an unbeaten 132 out of 276 for 8.


Suggestions that Andrew Flintoff might make a  playing comeback in the  NatWest T20 Blast competition have been played down but not ruled out by  Lancashire, where the  36-year-old former England all-rounder has been batting and bowling in the Old  Trafford nets while also working with some academy players. Speaking while on commentary duty for Sky at Chester-le-Street, Lancashire committee member  Paul Allott said that there was “an awfully long way to go” before any such comeback might be possible but did not say it could not happen.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
i100(More than you think)
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit