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Record knock for unbeaten Yorkshire ace Adam Lyth at Leicestershire
Adam Lyth entered the record books with a stunning 248 not out to post the highest score by any Yorkshire batsman who has carried his bat through an innings, keeping his side on course for an LV= County Championship division two victory against Leicestershire at Grace Road.
The left-handed opener batted for just short of eight-and-a-half hours, hitting 28 boundaries and three sixes as the White Rose replied to 320 with 486 all out in their first innings.
Lyth’s effort was Yorkshire’s highest individual score since Darren Lehmann’s 339 against Durham in 2006, and he is the 14th player in the county’s history to carry his bat in a first-class innings.
But his batting was not the only reason why he left the Yorkshire dressing room speechless, as captain Andrew Gale explained: “He came off the field and we told him all of that (his statistics and records), but he didn’t actually know what carrying his bat meant.
“He said ‘I know I’ve carried my bat, I’ve done it for about a day and a half’. But as long as he keeps hitting the ball like that, who cares?”
Lyth and fellow centurion Jonny Bairstow, who put his recent difficulties behind him for both country and county with an excellent 118, shared 197 for the fourth wicket during Saturday’s second day to recover from 112-3 and put their side in the ascendancy.
Yorkshire, thanks to Lyth’s mature innings, tightened their grip on the contest yesterday, although four separate stoppages for rain has left them with plenty of work to do today. In all 26 overs were lost from the day’s allocation.
Leicester will begin day four on 57-2 after 24 overs of their second innings, trailing by 109 runs.
After his partnership with Bairstow on Saturday, Lyth shared stands of 45 for the seventh wicket with Azeem Rafiq and 73 for the eighth with Steve Patterson, who added an important 28 down the order as Yorkshire secured the maximum of five batting bonus points.
“Fair play to Lythy, he’s had a tough time over the last year and a half,” said Gale. “He’s been in and out of the side, which is never easy. We’ve stuck with him, and we know what he can deliver.
“When he plays like that, he’s one of the best batters in the country.”
Yorkshire were boosted by late strikes from Anthony McGrath and Steve Harmison, who trapped Greg Smith lbw and bowled Michael Thornely with a superb yorker respectively.
After his usual mixed bag of deliveries, Harmison was bang on the money with the last ball of his first over. West Indian Ramnaresh Sarwan and Ned Eckersley are the not out batsmen overnight.
Meanwhile, York ace Bairstow was overlooked for an England Test recall as the selectors picked Nottinghamshire’s James Taylor.
Taylor is set for his Test debut after replacing Ravi Bopara in the only change to England’s squad for the second Investec Test against South Africa at Headingley on Thursday.
National selector Geoff Miller said: “James now has an opportunity to step up and experience the Test environment.”