Roses washout but Lyth starts to blossom

As rain washed out the opening day of the 250th Roses match at Headingley yesterday, no player felt the frustration more keenly than the Yorkshire batsman Adam Lyth, whose prolific form has been a major factor in his county's position at the top of the Division One table in the County Championship.

The 22-year-old left-hander began the contest against Lancashire needing only 147 to join the likes of W G Grace, Wally Hammond and Don Bradman in completing 1,000 first-class runs by the end of May.

There have been numerous contenders to reach this milestone but only eight succeeded, Bradman doing it twice for the touring Australians. The last to do so was Graeme Hick in 1988 and no English-born player has been added to the list since Bill Edrich in 1938. Lyth, from Whitby, who has benefited from the earliest start to an English season on record, would be the first Yorkshireman.

"A few people have told me that Graeme Hick was the last to do it," Lyth said. "Hopefully I can get over the line but if I don't in this game it won't be the end of the world. I'd like to get to 1,000, which is something every batsman wants to do, but there are eight more games after this one."

Yorkshire have been expecting Lyth's strokeplaying talents to flourish since he made his debut in 2006, but his career has been a slow burner. His acceleration this season follows a 2009 campaign in which he lost his place. He stepped aside when Michael Vaughan returned to county duty, and even after the former England captain retired, Lyth found the wicketkeeper-batsman Jonathan Bairstow barring his way.

This year's run of scores, including 142 and 93 against Somerset, followed by 133 and 98 against Hampshire, comes after Yorkshire decided to team him with Joe Sayers at the top of the order under the new captain, Andrew Gale. "Andrew told me on pre-season in Barbados that he wanted to open with me," Lyth said, "and that Jacques [Rudolph] would bat at No 4, Mags [Anthony McGrath] would bat No 3 and Andrew himself would bat No 5.

"It was tough last season to be out of the side but this has given me a massive confidence boost and that's shown in the first seven Championship games. I can't put my form down to doing anything very different. I have just been leaving the ball well and trusting my natural instinct.

"I have got all the shots. It is just that a couple of years ago I might have gone at a few early doors and got a nick. I now know how to leave the ball and cash in on width or flick off the legs when the ball is straight. Talking to experienced players like Rudolph and McGrath, they said leaving well was the key. Let the bowlers come to you rather than go at the ball.

"Hopefully I have got a bit of luck with me. When I have nicked one it has gone over the fielder's head or dropped short."

Lyth's form has attracted the attention of the England selectors, although he does not expect to add full honours to his age-group appearances just yet. "I'm not getting too carried away," he said. "I just want to keep scoring runs for Yorkshire. Then, you just never know."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk