Photos: John Heald Photography
Hundred hero Harry Brook believes Yorkshire are well placed to claim a stunning victory over Essex as they defend a 238 target at Chelmsford.
Brook, 19-years-old, posted his maiden first-class century during the second day of this clash before seeing Steve Patterson take four wickets to restrict the hosts to 97-4 at close.
The England under 19s captain started the day on 57 and shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 86 with Test captain Joe Root, who was with him when he got to his ton before lunch.
Unfortunately, he was one of seven afternoon wickets to fall for 53 runs as Yorkshire slipped from 276-3 to 329 all out in their second innings.
But he is still upbeat about the prospects of victory.
He said: “It would have been nice to get a few more runs on the board and have a bigger lead, but after getting bowled out for 50 we’re in a lot better position and looking strong.
“It’s the strangest game I’ve ever played in – 20 wickets in two sessions is ridiculous. It’s unheard of.
“It’s been a strange one so far, and I’m looking forward to the outcome.
“As many wickets as we could have got tonight would have been brilliant, but we’ll take four down. Hopefully we can go out tomorrow and get a quick bang, bang.”
Highlights from Day 2.
Reaction from Harry Brook.
harry_brook88</a> on his maiden First-Class hundred and the team’s chances of success in Chelmsford. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YourYorkshire?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#YourYorkshire</a> <a href="https://t.co/PSa2bra917">pic.twitter.com/PSa2bra917</a></p>— Yorkshire CCC (YorkshireCCC) May 6, 2018
In seven previous first-class appearances, Brook’s top score was 38.
Though, he had an impressive winter with the England under 19s and excelled on Yorkshire’s pre-season tour of Potchefstroom in March.
“I’ve trained really hard recently, and it’s really nice to get some runs in first-team cricket,” he continued.
“It’s my first score over 50, and I’m quite happy with it. I just wish I could have got a few more.”
Brook got out to former South Africa Test off-spinner Simon Harmer, miscuing him to long-on.
Beforehand, he had put Harmer under significant pressure: “I got out playing a shocking shot,” he reflected.
“But that happens in cricket, and hopefully I’ve helped our side into a position to win the game.
“I tend to go after spin quite a lot. I don’t know why, I just do. Over the last year or so, I’ve just gone after it. It seems to have paid off.
“Unfortunately I got out on 124 caught at long-on, which is stupid in four-day cricket. But, like I said, hopefully my runs have contributed to a win.
“It was good batting with Joe for a few hours, and I learnt a lot. We put on a few runs as well, which was nice.”
On Patterson’s milestone, he added: “That’s an outstanding effort. He bowled very well and was obviously the pick of the bowlers.”