Yorkshire dominated the second day of the LV= County Championship match against Middlesex at Lord’s. In the morning, the visitors took the last seven Middlesex wickets for the addition of just 59 runs to gain a first innings lead of fifty-five runs. They were helped by the wicket which was quicker than on the opening day and still offered the bowlers’ movement off the pitch. Not surprisingly, Yorkshire opted to use the heavy roller before they commenced their second innings after lunch and the pitch flattened out considerably with Yorkshire making 214-4 by the close of the second day to put them in a commanding position.
Middlesex resumed their first innings on 64-3 and were faced by Jack Brooks and Ryan Sidebottom who continued his spell of bowling from the Pavilion End. It was Sidebottom who struck in the fourth over of the day when he had Neil Dexter caught at the wicket by Hodd for a duck. Joe Denly joined Eoin Morgan at the wicket but after Denly played a fine off-drive through the covers for four off Sidebottom, the bowler nipped one in next ball to trap Denly LBW for seven to leave Middlesex on 80-5.
John Simpson joined Eoin Morgan who had battled through for fifty-five minutes in the morning before Sidebottom took his third wicket of the morning when Morgan flashed outside his off-stump and Adam Lyth leapt high at second slip to take a stunning catch to dismiss Morgan for 33. Ollie Rayner joined Simpson with the total on 83-6 and the pair saw off the threat of Sidebottom who had figures of 3-11 from a nine over spell on the day. Liam Plunkett, who had replaced Brooks at the Nursery End, then yorked Simpson for six to reduce Middlesex to 95-7.
James Harris joined Ollie Rayner and the pair took Middlesex to 107-7 before Jack Brooks beat Rayner’s defensive shot and bowled him for fifteen. Tim Murtagh got off the mark with a three off Brooks but he was bowled by Plunkett to bring Steve Finn to the wicket with the total on 110-9. Finn scored one fine off-drive to the cover boundary for four but when Steve Patterson came on to bowl the final over before lunch, Finn drove his fifth ball straight into the hands of Liam Plunkett at short extra-cover. Finn was out for seven to leave James Harris 7 not out in Middlesex total of 123 all-out. Ryan Sidebottom had figures of 4-34 in 16 overs with Jack Brooks taking 3-47 also in 16 overs, Liam Plunkett 2-16 in 9 overs and Steve Patterson 1-21 in 4.5 overs.
The left-handed Yorkshire openers, Adam Lyth and Alex Lees got the visitors off to a good start as the wicket had eased after the use of the heavy roller and in the now sunny weather. The pair had fifty on the board in only the13th over as they took advantage of the attacking field which resulted in a number of boundaries. Ollie Rayner came on to bowl his off-spin after just seventeen overs and James Harris slowed the scoring-rate, conceding just twelve runs from nine overs before Steve Finn replaced him with the total on 78-0 after 26 overs.
The total reached 82-0 before Ollie Rayner deceived Alex Lees who played no shot and was bowled by Rayner for 33. Kane Williamson joined Adam Lyth who reached a 96 ball fifty with a sixth four before Steve Finn had him caught by at second slip by a leaping Ollie Rayner, Lyth having made 54 in a Yorkshire total of 96-2. Joe Root came in and after scoring a couple of singles, he pulled a Steve Finn delivery for a six over backward square-leg. Root and Williamson took Yorkshire into tea on 119-2 after 36 overs.
After tea, Tim Murtagh tied down the Yorkshire batsmen, conceding just two runs in a spell of six overs but Root began to blossom and he reached 36 not out from a total of 156-2. Steve Finn bowled the next over and Root took fourteen runs off the first four balls of his over to reach a 70 ball fifty which contained 1 six and 5 fours. With Kane Williamson also playing soundly, the pair took their third wicket partnership to 98 before Williamson cut a Steve Finn delivery uppishly and Sam Robson took a good catch in the gully to dismiss Williamson for 37.
Gary Ballance got off the mark first ball with a leg-glance for four off Finn but in his following over, Steve Finn got his revenge on Root when he trapped him LBW for a fine 63 out of a total of 199-4. Steve Patterson came in as a night-watchman and he survived a confident LBW shout by Finn and with Balance took Yorkshire to 213-4 by the close of play. Ballance is 10 not out with Patterson 4 not out: Steve Finn has figures of 3-59 from 17 overs.
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