Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire (day two) – Promising start for Adam Lyth in bid to fulfil England ambitions
THERE is an old saying that selectors don’t notice eighties and nineties. It’s hundreds that count.
For that reason, Adam Lyth would have been as delighted on the one hand to score 81 in his first County Championship innings of the season as he would have been disappointed to have fallen 19 runs short of an eye-catching century.
If the Yorkshire opener is to fulfill his ambition of returning to the England Test team, having made each of his seven appearances in 2015, he will know better than anyone that he needs the sort of three-figure scores that jump out from newspapers as surely as misspelled headlines. But having come within sight of his 24th first-class hundred at the ground where he made his first in 2008, Lyth pushed through a delivery from Nottinghamshire pace bowler Jake Ball and sent it looping into the hands of Luke Fletcher at mid-off in the fifth over after tea on day two.
The 31-year-old left-hander, who has made a single Championship century in each of the last two seasons, walked off slowly and with obvious disappointment, occasionally swishing his bat as he went.
He faced 129 balls and hit 13 of them to the boundary.
It at least represented an encouraging start.
It was also – Joe Root excepted – a useful contribution in comparison with some of his team-mates.
One or two got going, but there were no other significant performances.
Even Root should have fallen in single figures, the England Test captain dropped on eight by Chris Nash at third slip off Paul Coughlin.
Root might also have been caught on 44 when he pulled Stuart Broad to deep square-leg where Coughlin was unable to make the catch.
But, otherwise, Root’s game looked in pretty good order.
When bad light closed in at 6.10pm, he had scored 56 out of 206-5 – his highest Championship score for almost three years.
After Notts resumed on 324-5, Joe Clarke added three to his overnight 109 before losing his middle stump to a ball from Duanne Olivier that nipped back and kept low.
Olivier was more accurate and aggressive than on the first day, and his fourth and fifth victims of the innings followed when Tom Moores drove to cover and Broad was pinned lbw by a yorker for a second-ball duck (Olivier’s first ball had set him up beautifully, the sort of short and hostile one that Broad does not like).
Olivier finished with 5-96 on his Yorkshire Championship debut, and Steve Patterson with 4-78, the Yorkshire captain ending the innings for 408 by having Fletcher caught at second slip and bowling a swinging Coughlin, who played nicely for 46 from 73 balls.
Harry Brook hit six boundaries in an attractive 30 when Yorkshire responded before Broad trapped him plumb on the crease.
Gary Ballance was then bowled through the gate by Fletcher, but Lyth and Root stylishly added 83.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore pulled Broad to deep square-leg from outside the off stump, and Jack Leaning shouldered arms to Fletcher and was bowled for a third-ball duck, but Root and Jonny Tattersall stayed intact until stumps.