Yorkshire batsman Alex Lees has given himself every chance of making his LV= County Championship debut next week with an assured innings against Leeds/Bradford MCCU on day two of the three-day match at Headingley.
The Halifax-born opener is 89 not out alongside Adam Lyth (93*) in Yorkshire’s second innings. The opening pair for the White Rose have accumulated 192 at the end of day two and will no doubt look to push on past 200 during the first hour, when play resumes at 11.00am on Sunday.
“It was nice to play a substantial innings after getting a golden yesterday and nice to get some time at the crease,” said Lees, who is 11 runs shy of a maiden First-Class hundred,
“I’d like to think that I’m pretty well levelled no matter what score I get, whether it’s a duck or a decent one. I try and maintain the same sort of temperament throughout. The more level you are, the better you play generally. Even though I was a touch more nervous second innings, I was still backing myself. There’s still a lot of hard work to go.”
The morning session saw Yorkshire clean up Leeds MCCU’s batting with some disciplined bowling from a formidable pace attack, led by Ryan Sidebottom with outstanding figures of 11-5-9-3 and both Steve Patterson (16-7-39-2) and Jack Brooks (13.2-5-26-3) taking three wickets a piece to dismiss the students for 118. Lees, who is hoping to impress selectors ahead next week’s Championship opener against Sussex, believes the bowlers gave him and partner Lyth the perfect platform to score some valuable runs throughout the remainder of the day.
“Our lads bowled really well this morning, added Lees.
“They all did their bit and were brilliant. Early on in our innings, it nipped about a bit and there was a bit of swing. There wasn’t quite as much as there was on the first day and this morning, though.
“There’s still enough movement there, and it’s just a case of getting over the first 15 or 20 overs of the new ball.
“Every innings you’ve got to have a little bit of luck go your way. They were trying to draw us into playing a rash shot after tea with the lines they were bowling, so we just stuck to our guns and said ‘let them bowl to us, wait for the bad ball’. We did that successfully.
“We’re in a decent position to go on and win the game. It’s going to be an important hour in the morning, which is when there seems to be a little bit more movement around. Hopefully we can set a good platform for the team regardless of who’s batting. I will sleep well tonight!”