Robson, Lyth notch tons in strong display
England Lions 361 for 4 (Robson 109, Lyth 106, Lees 82*) v Gauteng Invitational XI
Sam Robson and Adam Lyth traded tons in the unofficial contest to be England's Test opener before Alex Lees, the third contender, struck an unbeaten 82 as the Lions enjoyed a productive first day of their South Africa tour.
Robson was the more fluent to begin with, perhaps looking to emphasis his status as the man in possession as Alastair Cook's partner. He did not cement his status over seven Tests last summer in which he managed one century but was the first to three figures in Soweto, striking 12 fours and a six before retiring out after an opening stand worth 176.
Yorkshire's Lyth, the leading run-scorer in Division One of the Championship in 2014, added a century of his own, moving up through the gears to score his second 50 off 39 balls. He hit 16 fours and a six and then also retired to the changing rooms.
It was a less successful day for the Lions captain, Jonathan Trott, who became the first wicket to fall to a Gauteng XI bowler when caught behind for 7 off Keith Dudgeon. James Vince was then caught in the covers off Nono Pongolo, as three wickets fell for 30 runs, but Jonny Bairstow joined Lees in an unbroken 86-run stand to further underline the promise of the Lions' Yorkshire contingent.
Although opposition was not the strongest in this three-day warm-up match, the Lions cracked along merrily in the sunshine. They will face a stiffer test against South Africa A in two unofficial Tests, the first of which begins on Sunday.