Joe Root century frustrates Lancs victory push
Joe Root’s maiden Roses century - secured with England colleague Jimmy Anderson in opposition - has given Yorkshire a very realistic chance of an LV= Insurance County Championship draw against Lancashire at Headingley.
The 31-year-old has slotted seamlessly back into county cricket having resigned as England’s Test captain last month, posting 75 in a draw at Essex last week added to this serene 147 off 218 balls.
Yorkshire, replying to a first-innings 566 for nine declared, are aiming to extend their unbeaten start to 2022 to a fifth game and started the day on 53 for two from 22 overs.
At close, they had reached 356 for eight from 118 overs, 210 behind and 61 short of the follow-on target
Root, whose previous Roses best was 22 in six innings, shared 154 for the sixth wicket from late morning to midway through the evening with Harry Duke, the young wicketkeeper who made a dogged 40.
He also shared 66 for the fifth wicket in as many balls with Harry Brook, who continued his red hot form with 41.
Tom Bailey and Matt Parkinson stood out with three wickets apiece for Lancashire, the latter getting Root caught at slip late in the day to open up the prospect of a third Red Rose win.
Brook played superbly during his 33-ball innings.
While it was the only period in the day when Lancashire’s bowlers erred, Brook drove with supreme confidence in an innings more eye-catching than Root’s.
It may have only been a morning cameo, though it screamed, ‘I’m the best county batter in the country at present’.
The 23-year-old, however, missed out on joining Geoffrey Boycott, Darren Lehmann and Anthony McGrath in posting seven successive fifties for Yorkshire. But he took his tally of Division One runs to 676 and averages a smidgeon over 135.
It would be a major surprise if he does not make his England Test debut during the next couple of months.
If he does, he will line up alongside former national captain Root.
He was far more understated but no less confident in the Leeds sunshine and faced Anderson (one for 83 from 24 overs) on a pitch still good for batting though showing signs of some uneven bounce.
Root clipped his England colleague to fine leg for his first boundary and edged him wide of the slips for another on the way to a pre-lunch fifty off 73 balls.
Shortly after the break, he caressed a drive against him through the covers for another boundary as Yorkshire moved to 182 for five.
The morning yielded three wickets for the Red Rose, claimed by Bailey, Anderson and Parkinson.
Excellent Bailey had nightwatchman Tom Loten lbw with a looping slower ball, Anderson gave opener Hill (25) a working over with the short ball and had him caught at midwicket off a miscued pull and Parkinson bowled an advancing Brook as the score fell to 134 for five after 41 overs of the innings.
Root, in the seventies, edged Luke Wood between keeper and slip before pushing onto three figures, achieved off 150 balls in the dying embers of the afternoon with a worked single to leg off Parkinson (three for 79 from 34 overs).
Yorkshire batted through the afternoon unbeaten, reaching tea at 251 for five.
Root also swept and reverse swept with authority against the leg-spin of Parkinson.
His sixth-wicket partner, Duke, dropped anchor at the other end before being bowled trying to scoop Parkinson as the score fell to 288 for six in the 101st over.
Parkinson later had Root caught at slip - trying to work to leg - as the score fell to 331 for eight in the 113th to lift significantly lift determined Lancashire.
(Photos by Luke Adams)
Bailey, their best bowler on show with three for 56 from 25 overs, also trapped Dom Bess lbw sandwiched in between.