Adam Lyth and Harry Brook both hit scintillating centuries as Yorkshire aggressively and successfully pursued a batting bonus point on day four of their weather-affected Vitality County Championship draw against Leicestershire at Headingley.

It was another frustrating start to the day as overnight rain and a wet outfield delayed the start of play until 1.35pm, with 66 overs to be bowled.

Lyth started the day on 43 and Brook came in four balls into proceedings at 73 for three as the hosts replied to Leicestershire’s first-innings 354 all out.

Opener Lyth top-scored with 101 off 100 balls, but England star Brook’s 100 not out off 69 balls captured the attention as Yorkshire declared on 264-6 just before tea.

Yorkshire’s declaration came in order to improve a slow over-rate from the first innings. They bowled 7.2 overs in double-quick time through spinners Dan Moriarty and Lyth, Leicestershire reaching 26-0 in their second innings before more rain arrived at 4pm. 

Yorkshire take 12 points and Leicestershire 13 from this first Division Two fixture of 2024. 

Lyth and Brook

Picture by Dave Williams. Adam Lyth and Harry Brook during their century partnership.

This was Brook’s first competitive innings of any sort since December, owing to the recent passing of his grandmother Pauline. 

He pulled out of England’s New Year Test tour of India and the ongoing Indian Premier League to be at home with his family. But he is playing the opening five Championship matches of this summer.

Before this week, the 25-year-old had not played for Yorkshire in any format – aside from a friendly last weekend – since July 2022.

There were 178 spectators inside Headingley today waiting patiently for action, and they were treated to something quite memorable despite the game heading for an inevitable draw.

After George Hill had chipped Matt Salisbury to mid-off four balls into the day, Brook and Lyth shared 128 inside 16 overs for the fourth wicket.

Lyth was particularly strong on the drive and pulled England leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed for six when in the nineties. 

Adam Lyth

Picture by Dave Williams. Adam Lyth celebrates the 33rd century of his first-class career.

Brook hit with power down the ground, played well through the off-side off the front and back foot and pulled Scott Currie’s seam for back-to-back sixes over backward square-leg off the front foot.

Lyth reached his half-century, off 59 balls, and he was first to a century off 98 balls. Brook reached his milestones off 35 and 69 balls respectively. 

Lyth’s hundred was the 33rd of his first-class career and Brook’s the 12th.

Opener Lyth, aged 36, spoke a couple of weeks ago about wanting to extend his career into his forties. On this evidence, he could play into his seventies! 

It is certainly a case of new season, same old Adam Lyth.

If Brook plays into his forties, you suspect he will be ranked amongst the greatest batters the game has ever seen.

Harry Brook

Picture by Dave Williams. Harry Brook raises his bat after his stunning fourth day century.

Leicestershire’s second innings then started with the rare sight of two spinners running back to their marks in between each ball as Yorkshire ensured there were no last-minute points deductions.

Talking of the greatest batters the game has ever seen. Joe Root will join Brook in Yorkshire’s line-up for the trip to face Gloucestershire at Bristol, starting on Friday. 

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