Marnus Labuschagne scored a pre-Ashes 170 not out for Glamorgan as they piled the pressure on Yorkshire during the third day of the ongoing LV= Insurance County Championship clash at Headingley.
Australia’s key batter for this summer’s battle with England batted unbroken through the first two sessions of the day, advancing from seven overnight to remain unbeaten when a victory target of 492 was set for the hosts at tea.
Almost immediately, the rain descended on Headingley and prevented Yorkshire from starting their chase.
Play was abandoned for the day at 5.45pm, and it leaves Adam Lyth’s side with a day to bat out tomorrow, a draw almost certainly being the limit of their expectations despite having international trio Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan and Saud Shakeel in the middle order.
This was Labuschagne’s seventh Championship century for the county he first joined in 2019. This is his fourth season as overseas player in Wales.
He shared century partnerships for the third and fifth wickets with Sam Northeast and Billy Root, who supported him with 66 and 51 not out in 352-4 declared.
What would have been a wondrous catch from Fin Bean at backward point off Jordan Thompson’s bowling could have dismissed Labuschagne on 11 this morning as the fielder dived to his left and parried what was a half chance at best.
Yorkshire only claimed two wickets today, those going to Thompson and Matthew Fisher during the afternoon session.
Labuschagne and Northeast returned to the crease this morning on 57-2, a lead of 196, and they completed a third-wicket stand of 148 during the afternoon.
Northeast initially led the way in the partnership but had been overtaken shortly before his departure.
He flashed a sharp catch to Shakeel at backward point off Thompson, leaving the score at 205-3.
Labuschagne, fresh from a doughty 65 in the first innings, was more expansive in this knock.
He reverse swept and swept three boundaries in one over against Dom Bess, reaching his fifty off 88 balls with the first of them. He later lofted the off-spinner for a lovely straight six, with him the main reason why the ex-Somerset man finished with 0-76 from 10 overs.
Having scooped Thompson for four, he drove and flat batted Mickey Edwards down the ground early in the afternoon.
By the time Labuschagne lofted that aforementioned six into the seats below the Clean Slate Pavilion, he had reached his century off 142 balls and went on to reach 150 off 186.
Matthew Fisher had Kiran Carlson caught behind by Bairstow for a duck – 222-4.
Yorkshire badly missed the services of injured new ball seamer Ben Coad, whose groin injury suffered on day one limited him to just walking around the boundary edge during play to take drinks to some of his team-mates.
The tea-time rain was a blessing for Yorkshire, whose task to avoid defeat is now simpler but not yet straightforwards by any means.
They will have to bat out the final day tomorrow to secure a second draw to add to a defeat and a rainy No Result.