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Jennings century caps fine opening day for Lancashire in the Roses Match

Jennings century caps fine opening day for Lancashire in the Roses Match

Keaton Jennings struck the 20th century of his first-class career to put Lancashire firmly in the driving seat in the meeting of the top two teams in Group 3 after the opening day of this LV= County Championship match against Yorkshire at Emerald Headingley.

Jennings and Alex Davies combined in a superb 163-run opening partnership to get the Red Rose off to the best possible start and that was built upon by 93 for the second wicket by Jennings and Luke Wells.

A sunny morning in Leeds gave way to humid and overcast conditions and the timing of that change in the weather around the toss at 10.30am prompted Yorkshire to change their mind and opt to bowl when skipper Steve Patterson won the toss.

But any hopes the White Rose side harboured of taking early wickets were dashed by Jennings and Davies who successfully countered some early movement from the new ball before the pair pushed on remorselessly into the afternoon with an excellent partnership that set up the rest of the day.

After a cagey first hour the Lancashire opening pair played with increasing confidence to reach lunch on 96-0.

The century partnership duly arrived straight after the break, repeating the feat this pair achieved at Headingley in the Bob Willis Trophy last season and following the 71 they achieved in the first meeting at Emirates Old Trafford earlier this season.

Davies increased the tempo during the afternoon hitting boundaries-14 in total-all around the wicket to reach his highest score of the season before falling lbw to Jordan Thompson after making a well-judged and chanceless 84.

Jennings also played with increasing fluency, driving nicely and twice lofting spinner Dom Bess for fours to long-off before going the distance with the first six of the match launched into new rugby stand.

The left-hand opening batsman became the 13th Lancashire batsman to score two hundreds against Yorkshire in the same season moments later from 213 balls and he also went past two landmarks in the process; 2,000 first-class runs for Lancashire and 8,000 first-class career runs.

Wells lent great support to Jennings in a 93-run partnership across 29 overs for the second wicket to help steer Lancashire to their first two batting points.

Jennings took four boundaries off seven balls from young seamer Dom Leech-making his Championship debut-when the 20 year-old was given the second new ball prompting White Rose skipper Patterson to change the bowling.

It paid an immediate dividend when Jennings chipped a catch back to bowler Thompson to end an excellent innings of 132 that contained 15 fours and one six, with Lancashire 252-2 in the 86th over.

Wells (35 not out) and Josh Bohannon (7 not out) had moved the score on to 273-2 by the close to end an excellent day for the Red Rose.

Ken Grime

Photos - SW Pix

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