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Surrey teenager Dominic Sibley puts Yorkshire's attack on the rack
Yorkshire’s bowlers were made to work hard for their few successes as Surrey dominated the third day of the LV= division one game at the Oval and 18-year-old Dominic Sibley became the youngest player to score a County Championship double hundred.
By the close Sibley was 220 not out and the home side had reached 572-4, which is already the county’s highest score against Yorkshire.
It also establishes a first-innings lead of 138 and Gareth Batty’s men may ask Yorkshire’s batsmen to survive a tricky session or two with the bat on the final day of the 2013 season.
The centrepiece of yesterday’s cricket was a magnificent 236-run stand for the third wicket between the rookie double-centurion Dominic Sibley and the South African Test maestro Hasim Amla.
Coming together when Adil Rashid trapped nightwatchman Tim Linley lbw for 12 in the tenth over of the day, the Surrey pair scored their runs in only 56 overs with Amla making a sublime 151 off 154 balls with 18 fours and two sixes.
Sibley’s progress to what was his maiden century was pardonably more patient. Unbeaten on 81 overnight, he took a further 98 deliveries to reach three figures and brought up his hundred with a sweep for four off Rashid.
Yorkshire’s bowlers kept a reasonably tight line throughout the day but found it tough going on a flat wicket. In the afternoon session, Sibley and Amla took their side to 419-2 – setting a new record for their county’s third wicket against Yorkshire.
Sibley and Amla added 163 runs in 33 overs in the middle session and the Yorkshire bowlers did not have even the sniff of a wicket as both batsmen cashed in on the benign surface.
Amla eventually departed when he edged Ryan Sidebottom to Jonny Bairstow but even that did not end Yorkshire’s torment. Vikram Solanki whacked a rapid 51 off 54 balls before he was caught by Gary Ballance at deep square leg off Rashid.
At stumps, Sibley had batted for nearly ten hours and advanced to a quite superb unbeaten 220. Steven Davies was undefeated on 25.
Rashid was the most successful Yorkshire bowler with 2-194 on a day few members of Andrew Gale’s attack will remember with particular pleasure.
“I thought we stuck at the task pretty well,” said Yorkshire skipper Gale.
“The young lad Dominic Sibley played exceptionally well but we’ve dropped him three times and you can’t afford to do that on these sorts of pitches.
“I think Surrey have played well but I don’t think we’ve bowled too badly. It’s a good pitch but I think the heavy roller has taken all the pace out if it even though there’s still a bit there for the spinners.
“On the whole, though, I can’t really knock the lads’ efforts. We’ve tried hard but it just hasn't happened for us.”
Gale also saluted the efforts of batsmen like Sibley and Alex Lees on the day when Graeme Hick had said that young Australian batsmen needed to bat long.
“I think it’s fantastic for English cricket,” he said. “The young lad has played out of his skin and that’s what you want to see from young English players coming through.”
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