Adam Lyth continued his superb start to the new summer with 97 and was backed up by significant contributions from Joe Root and Harry Brook as Yorkshire’s stop order put Derbyshire under pressure during a shortened first day at Headingley.

Yet again, Lyth impressed. Yet again, the weather intervened. There was no play possible beyond 4pm due to bad light and mainly rain – by which time Yorkshire had reached 276-3 from 59 overs.

Opener Lyth, 15 fours in 157 balls, narrowly missed out on what would have been a third century in four Vitality County Championship matches this summer.

He shared 113 for the third wicket with Root, advancing the score from 92-2 during the morning. 

Root and Brook later shared an unbroken 71 for the fourth through the second half of the afternoon, the weather cutting them off in their prime.

When the players walked off for bad light, just before 4pm, Root was 65 not out and Brook 44. Rain followed almost immediately, ending any prospect of a resumption.

Adam Lyth

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Adam Lyth evades a morning bouncer.

Root was accumulative, hitting six fours in 99 balls. Brook was dismissive, hitting seven fours and a straight six in 37 balls, the pair uniting for a little more than 11 overs. 

Derbyshire’s bowlers will not have the easiest night’s sleep knowing those two batting giants will return to the crease tomorrow. 

The visiting bowlers, given first use this morning after their captain David Lloyd won the toss and elected to bowl, will in truth be having nightmares after four catches were dropped either in the slips or behind the wicket. Two were tricky and the other two straightforwards.

Yorkshire captain Shan Masood also contributed 40 off 25 balls with 10 fours. 

The morning session was full of action, be it dropped catches, lovely strokeplay or controversy.

Let’s start with the latter. 

Joe Root

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Joe Root pulls during his unbeaten 65.

Fin Bean was trapped lbw by the medium pace of Anuj Dal for 18, leaving Yorkshire at 46-1 in the 15th over. 

There was nothing untoward about the dismissal in isolation. 

However, the previous ball, the last of the 14th over, saw Bean push a ball from Blair Tickner to long-on, where Pat Brown went to field the ball and slipped. His foot touched the rope, and he stopped immediately as if to say, ‘I’ve stepped on the rope there’. But then he signalled that he wasn’t sure to the umpire and a three stood. 

Unfortunately, that meant that Bean was on strike for the start of the following over – the ball he got out to.

Bean had been dropped twice in the slips before that, with Derbyshire dropping three slip catches in the morning in all.

En-route to his 40, Masood hit four fours off Dal in the 19th over and three more off Zak Chappell in the next over – seven in 10 balls faced – as Yorkshire moved to 89-1 after 20.

Shan Masood

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Captains Shan Masood and David Lloyd at the toss.

Three of his 10 boundaries in all were pushed down the ground, others driven through the covers and also worked off his legs before he edged Luis Reece’s second ball to second slip – 92-2 in the 22nd over.

Lyth drove and pulled three fours in succession off Reece later in the session, reaching his fifty off 81 balls shortly before lunch, where Yorkshire reached at 128-2 after 28 overs.

The afternoon was a more sedate affair – until Brook came in – but it was a session which saw Yorkshire increase their stranglehold in batting conditions which weren’t straightforwards. 

There was obvious assistance for a visiting attack who failed to offer enough consistency despite creating chances. 

Root accumulated without fuss. Upon reaching 40, he had only scored two boundaries – a contrast to how his captain Masood had earlier reached the same total.

Lyth moved towards a third century of the season, dropped on 80 by wicketkeeper Brooke Guest along the way.

Brook and Root

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Harry Brook and Joe Root during today’s partnership.

Unfortunately, though, he was unable to reach three figures, with Guest taking a more regulation catch as Lyth drove at Chappell – 205-3 in the 48th over.

Brook then really ramped up the pressure on Derbyshire. He was strong on the drive, either through or over cover and down the ground. He lofted left-arm seamer Reece for a straight six.

Root reached his fifty off 86 balls shortly before the weather intervened. But there was enough time for him to reverse sweep Alex Thomson’s off-spin for four.

Yorkshire’s batting performance was a far cry from their struggles in losing to Middlesex at Lord’s last week, and it could be one heck of a start to day two if Root and Brook settle themselves in once again. 

Captain Masood and coach Ottis Gibson started the day by making two changes from their 11 at Lord’s.

Out went Mickey Edwards and Dan Moriarty. In have come Matthews Revis and Fisher. 

Harry Brook

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Harry Brook looked in ominous touch.

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