Yorkshire 328-7 Northamptonshire: Ballance hits ton to lift England prospects

 

Headingley

Peter Moores may not remember, and Gary Ballance will possibly hope that he doesn’t, but it was against Lancashire at Headingley in 2011, when England’s new head coach was guiding the Red Rose county towards a first outright County Championship for 77 years, that the Yorkshire left-hander bagged what so far is his only pair.

Ballance’s career, it is fair to say, has kicked on a bit from there, particularly last season, when his 1,363 first-class runs for Yorkshire included six centuries, five of them in the Championship. They earned him a place on the England tour to Australia, where he made his debut in the final Ashes Test in Sydney in circumstances that were difficult, to say the least.

As such, he is the man in possession of the England No 5 slot. The competition to impress Moores and the national selector James Whitaker over the next few weeks will be fierce, with Eoin Morgan and James Taylor, among others, also eyeing up the gaps in the middle order.  Ballance, though, is giving them something to measure up to.

Yesterday, back at Headingley, he made his second century of the season and the 20th of his career, in only 71 first-class matches, as Yorkshire recovered from a tricky start after deciding to bat first in gloomy, damp conditions.

He looked in exceptionally good touch, not obviously troubled at any stage either against the seamers or against James Middlebrook, the off-spinner, who was given an extended opportunity to test Ballance during the afternoon but made little impression.

Ballance added 156 for the fourth wicket with Alex Lees, the 21-year-old opener who made an impressive breakthrough last season.

Lees fell for 90, leg before to Andrew Hall’s medium pace, but was not nearly as fluent as his partner and should have been out on 50, when he was missed at first slip, and on 51, when he should have been stumped off Middlebrook.

Joe Root is pencilled in for a return to action with Yorkshire Seconds this week.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas