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Pyrah encouraged by new-ball burst from Leech

— 11 July 2021

Rich Pyrah was encouraged by the new ball burst from young seamer Dom Leech after revealing Yorkshire made a late decision to bowl first upon winning the toss on day one of the Roses clash at Emerald Headingley.

The White Rose endured a frustrating day as Lancashire amassed 273-2 from 96 overs thanks to opener Keaton Jennings’ excellent 132.

Jennings shared 163 for the first wicket with Alex Davies (84) either side of lunch.

Swing was evident early on, and Leech and Ben Coad were threatening before the visitors settled against a softer ball in otherwise excellent batting conditions.

Leech, 20, is making his Championship debut after appearing in last season’s Bob Willis Trophy.

He has come into the side in place of Duanne Olivier, who is managing a back complaint, and bowled an early five-over spell for 10 runs on the way to 0-56 from 13.

He had a huge shout for caught behind against Davies on nought turned down, and there were a number of other plays and misses.

Bowling coach Pyrah said: “I think Patto (Steve Patterson) was set on batting, and then the clouds came in this morning just before the toss.

“Along with chatting to a few senior lads, he changed his mind with five minutes to go.

“He thought we had a chance to bowl them out.

“There was enough in the pitch, and that first hour of play I thought we bowled really well. We just didn’t get the nicks we deserved.

“I thought they played it really well.

“As you know, at Headingley, once you get beyond the new ball it gets a bit slower and the ball gets softer and it’s a good time to bat.

“We didn’t capitalise on that first hour, and it’s cost us today.”

On Leech, Pyrah said: “Dom has been bowling beautifully in the nets. He’s coming on leaps and bounds, and has been bowling quick.

“We thought it was the right time to rest Duanne with his back and give Leechy an opportunity he’s deserved.

“I thought he bowled beautifully this morning.

“The lengths he bowled, he was a bit unlucky not to grab a couple of wickets. He’s shown what he’s got – an extra yard of pace and he swings it.”

And on finding a way back into this game over the next three days, Pyrah added: “We’re going to have to bat well.

“Once you get over that new ball, there are runs to be had. It’s a quick scoring ground Headingley now.

“We’ve got to get a decent first-innings score on the board and go from there.”

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