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Les Smith at Headingley
September 5, 2012
Glamorgan 272 and 29 for 2 trail Yorkshire 344 (Lyth 95, Allenby 4-61) by 45 runs
Steven Patterson struck with both bat and ball to leave Yorkshire apparently in control halfway through a match in which victory would make them favourites for promotion to Division One of the County Championship. First he contributed 22 to a barnstorming ninth wicket partnership of 54, then he took two wickets in as many balls to leave Glamorgan trailing by 45 runs with eight wickets in hand.
Patterson came into this match with 34 championship wickets for the season, and added four to that tally in Glamorgan's innings on the first day.
When he began his opening spell of six overs in the evening Yorkshire were looking to capitalise on an advantage that he and Ryan Sidebottom had given them with the bat. He struck in his fifth over when Nick James fenced at a ball outside off stump and was taken by wicketkeeper Andy Hodd. Glamorgan sought to protect Stewart Walters by sending in a nightwatchman, but it used up one ball which John Glover edged to second slip where Adam Lyth held a sharp chance.
All eyes this morning were on Joe Root, one of several bright young things of Yorkshire cricket. The elevation of Jonny Bairstow to the England ranks is widely perceived to be the first of a few over the next five years, and Root appears to be next in line.
Last Tuesday at Scarborough he and Gary Ballance were awarded their county caps, and this morning Mike Gatting, the ECB's managing director of cricket partnerships, turned up at Headingley to present him with the LV=County Championship Breakthrough Award, which according to the sponsors "celebrates the most promising young player in the county game this season". Given that at the end of last season he already had over 1,000 first-class runs, this award might be deemed belated, but last year it did not exist.
When Root and Adam Lyth resumed Yorkshire's first innings on 20-0 this morning, under a clear blue sky, they were set fair to build a big stand provided they could see out the early overs on a pitch that was still tinged green. England selector James Whitaker turned up to see them do it, but a couple of minutes too late to see Root dismissed by Graham Wagg, lbw as he played back to a delivery which skidded through.
Lyth pressed on, however, and was particularly severe through the off side off both front and back feet. He had batted for slightly more than three hours, and was five runs short of his hundred, when umpire Neil Bainton gave him out lbw to John Glover.
Lyth thought he had hit it, and his annoyance was clear for all to see. This was the second time in successive Headingley fixtures that he had failed to convert a score in the nineties into a century, but once his frustration had subsided he could reflect on an effort that was the foundation for Yorkshire's healthy first innings lead.
Andrew Gale followed soon afterwards, his off stump flattened by a delivery from Graham Wagg that kept low, but then Gary Ballance and Anthony McGrath put on 61 valuable runs for the fifth wicket. Glamorgan's most effective bowler, Joe Allenby, took his second wicket when Ballance, on 26, missed a full-length ball, and soon afterwards had Andy Hodd caught at second slip for two.
Next it was the turn of Glover to chip away at Yorkshire's middle order, as he first drew Azeem Rafiq into a poor shot and an outside edge to wicketkeeper Mark Wallace, and then trapped McGrath lbw for 39 attempting an on drive.
When McGrath went Yorkshire's lead was a slender 14, but then Ryan Sidebottom and Patterson put bat to ball. In the space of 14 overs they put on 54 runs, Sidebottom in particular playing some fine drives on both sides of the wicket and scoring six boundaries in his 35. Allenby finally broke the stand, knocking back Patterson's stumps to finish with 4-61, and when Graham Wagg had Sidebottom caught behind Yorkshire had the lead of 72 that Patterson began to exploit with the ball.
Promotion hopes or not, it would be an unusual end to a Yorkshire season that did not see a dispute or two. This year's surrounds the long-serving public address announcer Tony Loffill, who was informed at Scarborough on Friday that he would be making way for somebody with a more upbeat style of delivery.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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