Adam Lyth and Alex Lees scored centuries as Yorkshire made an encouraging start to their LV= County Championship match against Durham at Headingley today despite the loss of seven wickets after tea.
The left-handed duo took advantage of Paul Collingwood’s decision to bowl first upon winning the toss, sharing 270 inside 72 overs for the first wicket through the morning, afternoon and into the evening session.
It was looking like a perfect day for Yorkshire until England Lions seamer Mark Wood tore in and took 4-4 in eleven balls from the 77th over to the 81st as the hosts slipped from 282-1 to 291-5 and later to 344-7.
Still, they will be chuffed with their position of 367-7 from 96 overs heading into day two. Steve Patterson and Tim Bresnan will resume in the morning.
In their 14 Championship innings together this season, Lyth and Lees have put together one triple century stand, one double, one hundred partnership and three more above 50.
Lees made 108 off 200 balls with 13 fours and a six, while Lyth continued on and made 143 off 250 with 26 boundaries.
Lees gave wicketkeeper Phil Mustard a straightforward chance on 91 off the bowling of Paul Coughlin in the 59th over, shortly before tea. It was the same over in which Lyth brought up his ton off 183 balls.
Their alliance was an exhibition in cover driving, whether it be through the covers or straight down the ground, on a pitch which showed hints of uneven bounce. That was best demonstrated during the first over after tea when Lyth hit three cover driven boundaries off Wood.
It was an improved bowling performance during the afternoon and evening after an expensive morning, which cost Durham 145 runs in 32 overs. They were rewarded late in the day with a run of seven wickets for 74.
Lyth, who passed 850 runs during his innings, notched his third Championship hundred of the season and his fourth in all first-class cricket, including an early season ton against the students of Leeds/Bradford.
Lees brought up his second four-day ton of the season off 189 balls in the 68th over, the fourth of the evening session. Shortly afterwards, he topped 600 runs for the season.
During the morning, the 21-year-old had hit the only six of the day when he lofted a juicy full toss from Scott Borthwick’s leg-spin over long-on.
Borthwick had to wait a while, but he did manage to get revenge when he trapped Lees lbw as he played to leg in the 72nd – 270-1 the score. Then it was over to Wood.
With the second new ball less than four overs away, Lyth was trapped lbw by Wood as he played back to one which kept low, leaving the score at 282-2.
It was the first of those four quick wickets as Andrew Gale fell the same way for five as Yorkshire slipped to 288-3 one ball into the 79th. Jonny Bairstow then fell two balls later for a duck as he was bowled offering no shot.
And when Jack Leaning was squared up and bowled by Wood in the 81st – still with the old ball – Yorkshire were 291-5.
Durham took the new ball in the 84th over, and they had to wait until the 89th for further success when Chris Rushworth had Adil Rashid caught at second slip for 15 with the score on 337.
Rashid had played his part in an entertaining 46-run stand inside nine overs for the sixth wicket with Aaron Finch, who made 36 before falling the same way as Yorkshire fell to 344-7 in the 91st.