Yorkshire enjoyed a profitable opening day of the season against Somerset at Taunton today thanks in the main to half centuries for Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance and unbeaten Adil Rashid.
The latter will go in search of his third successive LV= County Championship hundred against these opponents tomorrow after top-scoring in Yorkshire’s 342-5 from 96 overs with 84 not out off 140.
After opting to bowl first, Somerset will be disappointed at the visitors’ healthy position in the game.
Lyth hit 85 off 160 balls to continue an exceptional run of form at Taunton dating back to 2008. In eleven Championship innings here, he has scored 646 runs at an average of 64.6 with two hundreds and four fifties. Ballance also recorded 77 off 135.
Lyth shared in partnerships of 69 for the first wicket with Alex Lees, who made 34 during a racing start to proceedings, 62 for the third with captain Andrew Gale (24) and 46 for the fourth with Ballance.
The day’s standout partnership was 115 inside 32 overs for the fifth wicket between Ballance and Rashid.
Lyth will be mightily frustrated to have fallen short of three figures, especially given the fact that he was undone pulling against a rank long-hop from Craig Overton.
But take nothing away from a brilliant one-handed catch diving to his right at mid-wicket from new ball bowler Lewis Gregory. That left Yorkshire at 179-4 in the 51st over.
First change bowler Craig Meschede had taken the first three wickets to fall after Marcus Trescothick’s decision to insert this morning.
He uprooted Lees’s off stump and had Kane Williamson caught at mid-off at the start of the 15th and 17th overs before, early in the afternoon session, he trapped Gale lbw.
But Somerset did not make best use of the new ball. The fact that part-time off-spinner Johann Myburgh was employed to bowl the 30th over of the season’s first session says it all.
Lees hit three fours in an over twice before he played around one from Meschede. Williamson then punched the same bowler to mid-off without scoring, leaving the score at 71-2.
Lees had been dropped on one by Alviro Petersen off Alfonso Thomas in the day’s third over.
Somerset certainly improved during the afternoon after conceding 22 boundaries in the morning, although wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter handed Lyth a chance on 70 when he missed a tough chance running backwards towards fine-leg with the left-hander having top-edged a pull at Gregory.
Meschede trapped Gale lbw in the third over of the session before Lyth, who reached 50 off 71 balls before lunch, pulled Overton to Gregory’s right, leaving the score at 179-4 in the 51st.
At that stage, Trescothick and company had been given a lifeline. Thankfully, from Yorkshire’s point of view, Ballance and Rashid made sure it was one they could not take.
Either side of tea, they batted with assurity as conditions became easier for batting.
It took Ballance 25 balls to get off the mark, but he looked in excellent order having played himself in. He reached his half-century 97 balls with eight fours just after tea before falling lbw to Gregory with the second new ball. That left Yorkshire at 294-5 in the 83rd.
Like Lyth, Rashid has also got good memories of playing against Somerset having scored a century in each of last year’s Championship matches both here and at Headingley.
He brought up his fifty off 81 balls, and he was also the third player to be dropped when Peterson put him down at third slip off Gregory on 63.
Andrew Hodd will also resume tomorrow on 22 not out. The pair have shared 48 unbroken for the sixth wicket.
Adam Lyth missed out on his third Championship hundred at Taunton as he fell for 85 during the afternoon session of day one against Somerset today, where Yorkshire hold the advantage.
The former England Lions left-hander was the victim of a stunning one-handed catch from Lewis Gregory, diving to his right at mid-wicket, as the visitors advanced to 219-4 from 65 overs at tea.
Somerset’s bowlers improved markedly this afternoon after a shaky morning, although each session has yielded two wickets.
Craig Meschede trapped Andrew Gale lbw three overs into the afternoon for 24 before Lyth fell pulling at Craig Overton to leave the score at 179-4 in the 51st over.
Gary Ballance, who scored his first run 25 balls into his innings, has reached tea at 44 not out with Adil Rashid unbeaten on 22.
An unbeaten 66 for Adam Lyth has underpinned a commanding start for Yorkshire against Somerset at Taunton in their LV= County Championship opener.
The left-handed opener, on the back of a positive pre-season, reached a 71-ball fifty and went into lunch with the White Rose well placed at 127-2 after 33 overs after being invited to bat first.
He shared 69 inside 15 overs with Alex Lees (34) against a rusty home attack before adding an unbroken 56 with captain Andrew Gale, who is 20 not out.
Somerset have conceded 22 fours, with medium pacer Craig Meschede striking twice in successive overs to get Lees bowled and Kane Williamson caught at mid-off for a duck, leaving the score at 71-2 in the 17th.