George Hill admitted his delight and relief at posting his first first-team century against Northamptonshire today.
Hill’s day three 151 not out has helped Yorkshire into a dominant position in their second round LV= Insurance County Championship clash at Wantage Road.
They set Northants a victory target of 499 after tea. And although the hosts closed on 56-0, Yorkshire remain confident they can complete victory tomorrow.
Hill, 21, returned to the ground on which he scored his maiden first-class fifty last summer when opening the batting. This time, he has batted at three.
“It sounds quite good,” he smiled when asked what it’s like to have 150 against his name.
“Obviously I’m really pleased, but relieved more than anything. Last game and in the first innings here, I didn’t really do a huge amount. So it’s nice to contribute. And I seem to have done alright here in the past.”
Hill revealed that, after reaching his milestone, his first thought was for his parents, who weren’t present at the ground today, and his long-time mentor Martin Speight, the director of cricket at his former school, Sedbergh, where Harry Brook and Matthew Revis were also educated.
Speight was also one of the interim coaches Darren Gough appointed at Yorkshire this winter: “Speighty has been my coach for ages,” he said before talking about this innings giving him an increased belief.
“I think there’s still a lot more I need to prove, but this is definitely a stepping stone and has given me that confidence I can bat for a period of time and score a hundred at this level.”
Hill actually had to dive full length to make his ground and complete his century: “Brooky nearly ran me out, and I thought, ‘I’m not going to talk to him ever again’,” laughed the former England under 19s man before praising his former classmate amongst others.
“The way Mala, firstly, batted this morning helped a lot and then Brooky came in and did what wanted. That helped me with my business, just milking it around.
“Whenever the spinner’s on, I try to be positive with my feet and put them under pressure as much as I can. After tea, I tried to have a bit of fun with Brooky, which was nice.”
On conditions and prospects for tomorrow, Hill added: “It’s still a very good pitch. That’s why, after tea, we thought, we’d need an extra 50 runs as quickly as we could.
“There’s not a huge amount of seam movement or going up and doing, although a couple have gone under and a couple have popped. It’s not really spinning either.
“Tomorrow, we have to be really disciplined with our lines and lengths. If w