Warwickshire v Yorkshire (Day Two): CLOSE— 23 June 2014
Aaron Finch scored a magnificent LV= County Championship century, his first in a Yorkshire shirt, as the White Rose increased their dominance over Warwickshire on day two at Edgbaston.
The Australian, a world superstar in white ball cricket, showed that he could one day be that against the red ball as well as only his third first-class century helped Yorkshire reply to 228 with 422 all out, a lead of 194.
He finished with 110 off 146 balls with nine fours and three sixes.
Finch, batting at number six, posted three figures in four-day cricket for the first time since July 2011 when he hit 122 for Australia A against Zimbabwe. With that in mind, this was his first four-day ton in domestic cricket since March 2010.
The 27-year-old right-hander celebrated with a kiss of the White Rose after bringing up three figures off 128 balls shortly before tea.
He shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 92 in 22 overs with Jonny Bairstow, who made 68, and 123 in 30 overs for the sixth wicket with Rich Pyrah, who added 62.
This was an excellent day for Yorkshire, who are bidding for their fourth Championship win of the season and their second against Warwickshire, who were beaten by an innings and 155 at Headingley earlier in the season.
Finch, Bairstow and Pyrah ensured the county did not slip into difficulty from 150-4 after the departures of Andrew Gale for 49 and Alex Lees for 64 before lunch.
Those two had taken 30 runs off the first 19 balls of the day, including seven boundaries, after Yorkshire started on 82-2.
Gale fell when a skied top-edge off a pull at Chris Wright was caught behind by Tim Ambrose, leaving the score at 112-3 in the 29th. Lees later fell to a more regulation catch behind off Chris Woakes.
Bairstow was then the only wicket to fall during the afternoon when he chopped Boyd Rankin onto his stumps following an attempted pull shot, leaving Yorkshire at 242-5 in the 63rd over.
Finch and Pyrah have seemingly taken the game away from Warwickshire with a partnership nudging four runs per over, although they took very few risks and gave very few chances.
Finch was controlled, knocking the ones and twos as well as showing the power we have become accustomed to in limited overs cricket.
He moved from 86 to 100 within four balls in the 85th over, by which time the second new ball had been taken. He smeared Keith Barker 17 rows back over cover for six and hit him through the same area for four next ball.
A couple of balls later, he pulled to mid-wicket for four to reach three figures.
Pyrah reached a 94-ball fifty shortly after tea as Yorkshire moved beyond 350, but Finch fell to Rankin, caught behind one-handed by Tim Ambrose, after he aimed a pull, leaving the score at 365-6.
Twenty two more had been added to the total by the time Pyrah was trapped lbw by Rikki Clarke.
Yorkshire reached 402-7 in the 104th over to signal their fifth batting point, by which time Steve Patterson had reached 20. Patterson was 32 when he was caught at short mid-wicket off the underused off-spin of Jeetan Patel – 417-8.
Ryan Sidebottom fell in the next over, the 112th, when he was caught behind off Wright with two more added to the total. Barker wrapped up the innings when he had Jack Brooks caught at first slip in the 118th.