Day 2 Report - Yorkshire v Northamptonshire
by John Ward

Ground:Headingley, Leeds
Scorecard:Yorkshire v Northamptonshire
Event:LV County Championship 2012

DateLine: 31st May 2012


Yorkshire v Northamptonshire
Day 2, from Headingley
Close of play: Northamptonshire 253; Yorkshire 190/3.


In a curtailed second day’s play, Yorkshire made as good progress as could reasonably be possible towards winning this crucial match, as the weakened Northamptonshire team were unable to restrain the home batsmen, in particular Joe Root, who finished the day unbeaten on 98. If the weather stays fine, Yorkshire will hope the delays will not handicap their chances of victory, if they are able to drive home their advantage thoroughly.


The rain forecast for the second day duly arrived, in the form of an annoying light drizzle that kept up until after lunch. It was not possible to start play until four o’clock, the decision being that a minimum of 40 overs’ cricket would be played, weather permitting. Yorkshire, 27 without loss overnight, were looking to score quickly to make up for lost time, and had some unintentional help from Andrew Hall, who bowled a loose first over to give away ten runs, mostly to Adam Lyth.


Lyth, however, seemed to be overcome by his own precocity and, facing Lee Daggett, he slashed recklessly at a ball outside the off stump and was caught at the wicket, having made 25 off 22 balls. The opening partnership had put on 42 runs. Phil Jacques did not last long, scoring 3 before he played across a full-length straight ball from Daggett and departing lbw.


Joe Root at the other end was more sedate, although he did survive a difficult chance in the slips to Andrew Hall when on 25. Andrew Gale kept him company for a while to make 17 before being trapped lbw by the debutant Oli Stone, his first wicket in first-class cricket. Root reached his fifty off 89 balls and then stepped up a gear or two, playing some good attacking strokes and sweeping James Middlebrook mercilessly as he approached his century. He nearly paid the penalty for exceeding himself, though, as on 83 he was badly missed off a leg-side stumping chance, off Middlebrook.


Root was clearly aiming for a century before close of play, but was frustrated when, on 95 in the final over, he decided to take a third run for a cut to third man that was stopped just short of the boundary. Jonny Bairstow, who had partnered him in a stand worth 94 thus far, was unable to give him the strike again and he finished with 98 overnight, Bairstow being on 36. With seven wickets still in hand, Yorkshire need another 64 runs to lead on first innings. Had they held their catches on the first day, they would have already been ahead.


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