Adam Lyth posted a superb no frills unbeaten century and Harry Brook was at it again with 82 to underpin a dominant day two batting performance for victory chasing Yorkshire against Warwickshire at Headingley.
Yorkshire have reached the halfway stage of this LV= Insurance County Championship clash with the champions in command; 269-4 from 91 overs in reply to a first-innings 244.
Both Lyth, 118 not out, and Brook initially had to battle hard under an overcast sky with the floodlights in operation for a large period as they shared 157 for the fourth wicket either side of tea.
Batting has looked oh so simple for players up and down the country this summer. And it only did so after tea against a Bears attack which plugged away and tested the hosts with a ball from the new batch of more helpful Dukes.
Brook was earlier this week called into England’s squad for the start of the forthcoming Test series against New Zealand.
The suggestion is that he has been included as a spare batter, though it is difficult to see how he cannot play at Lord’s on June 2 given the weight of runs he has scored.
This was his eighth score of 50 or more in nine innings in 2022, and he is now the Division One leading run-scorer with 840 at an average of 140.
Brook was more fluent than opener Lyth, though that should not take away from what was a hugely important innings from the experienced left-handed opener.
Determination was key. His third half-century of the campaign was brought up off 161 balls during the afternoon and his first century of 2022 off 267 after tea.
When he and Brook came together, following the departure of Joe Root for eight – caught behind driving at Henry Brookes, Yorkshire were 109-3 in the 47th over of the innings. The game was in the balance.
But that became 167-3 after 68 at tea, and afterwards was when the fluency that these two are known for came to the fore.
Brook pulled the first ball of the evening, from Will Rhodes, for four over square-leg and later reached his half-century – off 77 balls – by guiding the left-arm spin of Danny Briggs to the fence at third-man.
Lyth was strong on the drive and aimed a couple of vicious pulls through mid-wicket.
Day two was affected by rain twice and ultimately shortened by 17 overs.
Only 18.5 overs were possible before lunch, taken at 12.25pm, and the delay lasted 55 minutes.
The morning included only the wicket of opener George Hill for an easy on the eye 25. His innings ended when he edged Brookes behind cutting in the fifth over of day as Yorkshire fell to 33-1 in the 17th.
Will Fraine also played pleasantly on the way to 31 at the start of the afternoon.
However, he fell caught behind down leg off the seam of visiting captain Will Rhodes as the score fell to 82-2 in the 40th over – the ninth of the afternoon.
More Bears success was to follow not too long afterwards as Root departed (109-3 in the 47th).
Then came the dominance from Lyth and Brook.
By the time Lyth reached three figures, Yorkshire were 234-3 in the 85th over and trailing by only 10.
They quickly gained a lead, only to lose Brook eight balls before rain returned to end the day early at 5.30pm.
He was superbly caught at first slip by Rob Yates off Oliver Hannon-Dalby, leaving the score at 266-4 in the 90th.
?Harry Duke will begin day three alongside Lyth on one.