Adam Lyth’s stunning 174 lit up an entertaining and topsy-turvy final day against Glamorgan at Headingley as Yorkshire briefly went after a 492 target but later had to hold on for an LV= Insurance County Championship draw nine wickets down.
Set nigh on 500 to win at tea on day three – the hosts’ second innings was delayed until this morning by rain – Yorkshire laid a platform and then put their foot down before tea through Lyth and third-wicket partner George Hill, who shared 138 in 28 overs to reach the break at 240-2 with 38 overs remaining.
But Lyth (220 balls, 24 fours and three sixes) later fell as the first of two wickets in two balls for left-arm seamer Jamie McIlroy, who trapped both him and Dom Bess lbw to leave the score at 325-6 with 17.3 overs remaining. Yorkshire later fell to 377-8 inside the final 10 overs – James Harris striking twice in an over.
Thankfully, Yorkshire closed on 412-9 from 96 overs, with Jordan Thompson seeing out the final over of the day from Michael Neser.
Batting conditions were the best they had been throughout this Division Two contest, and today’s second-innings display was a big improvement from the carnage that had ensued in the first innings on days one and two when Australian seamer Neser claimed 7-33 to bowl Yorkshire out for 106 in reply to 245.
Glamorgan have had much the better of this fourth round Division Two fixture, though they were unable to create sustained pressure until after tea. Neser surprisingly didn’t take the new ball at the start of play.
Unfortunately, Hill fell for 60 almost immediately after tea to becalm the chase before a late crisis was averted by Jordan Thompson’s unbeaten 55 off 59 balls with late help from Saud Shakeel (35) and Mickey Edwards (13).
Both sides claimed eight points, with Yorkshire now having drawn two and lost one added to a No Result. Glamorgan have drawn all four of their games.
Jonny Bairstow was elevated from five to bat at three immediately after lunch, but he made a nine-ball nought having come to the crease at 99-1.
Lyth had shared a settling opening partnership with Fin Bean, who made 21 before being trapped lbw by the up and at you Dutch seamer Timm van der Gugten (4-72) with the last ball of the morning.
The same bowler then had Bairstow caught at second slip by Marnus Labuschagne early in the afternoon when the England man edged an attempted drive, leaving Yorkshire at 105-2.
A key moment in the day came almost immediately when Labuschagne dropped Lyth off van der Gugten at second slip on 69. It would have been 110-3.
That clearly paved the way for an increase in tempo from the hosts.
Lyth reached his 30th first-class century off 135 balls with 17 fours and a hooked morning six off Neser.
Lyth raced through the nineties to 99 with three fours off David Lloyd’s seam in the 45th over as his side moved to 169-2. His century came up in the next over.
A second and third six followed quickly when he lofted and pulled Andrew Salter’s off-spin over the ropes, and the Headingley faithful were becoming increasingly hopeful.
Hill then hit four fours off Labuschagne’s part-time off-spin in the final over of the session to move to his fifty off 84 balls and leave Yorkshire needing 252 more in the evening.
Lyth, of course, also scored a final day 115 here against Glamorgan in early 2021 to ensure a draw, and ultimately this one contributed to the same result.
Hill’s early evening departure stymied momentum, caught behind off van der Gugten as the score became 243-3 in the 61st over. Dawid Malan was trapped lbw by Harris not long afterwards.
Sandwiched in between, Lyth reached his 150 off 192 balls.
Lyth is likely to hand over captaincy duties to Shan Masood this week, the Pakistani club captain who is due to fly in on Wednesday to debut up at Durham 24 hour later.
This was some way to sign off – his eighth score above 150 in first-class cricket for the county.
However, he was crestfallen when given out lbw to McIlroy in the 79th over, just before the new ball was taken. Bess followed the same way to fall first ball for the second time in the match.
Harris also got Shakeel caught at second slip for 35 and Matthew Fisher lbw in the 88th over, leaving Yorkshire 377-8.
Thompson scored his runs quicker than you’d expect in a rearguard action given there were men around the bat. He reached 50 off 50 balls and went on to post his fifth first-class fifty.