Root has to wait to meet challenge of green-top pitch

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Opener Joe Root was left frustrated as the opening day of Yorkshire’s LV= County Championship match against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl was washed out without a ball being bowled.

Root and Adam Lyth were within 15 minutes of starting Yorkshire’s first innings when the third thunderstorm of the day ended any prospect of play.

Root was unperturbed at the prospect of batting on a green-top surface after Phil Jacques had called wrongly at the toss.

“I was looking forward to it, to be honest,” he said. “It would have been a good challenge – there’s quite a lot of grass on the pitch.

“Sometimes on days like this you can get off to a good start, get some runs on the board and put the pressure back on the opposition.

“Having won the toss, Hampshire would have expected to take some wickets, but now we’ll have to wait and see what happens in the morning if the weather improves.”

Yorkshire had spent a frustrating day cooped up in the dressing room. Play had been scheduled to begin at 11am, but just before Hampshire were due to take the field, the Ageas Bowl was hit by a storm.

The entire morning and afternoon sessions were lost to the elements as head groundsman Nigel Gray and his staff worked tirelessly to get play under way.

The Ageas Bowl had been waterlogged since the weekend, torrential rain having flooded the outfield, resulting in the cancellation of Hampshire’s final Friends Life t20 group match against Essex.

Shortly after umpires Nigel Cowley and George Sharp gave the thumbs-up for play to begin, the elements struck again.

“It was slightly disappointing. We’d been waiting for hours to start and when the sun began to shine we got ourselves in the right frame of mind to go out there,” Root added.

“We’re playing some good cricket at the moment and we want to continue in the four-day cricket where we left off in the Twenty20s.

“We are desperate to win promotion this season and it is our No 1 priority.”

The south coast rain – and the outcome of the toss – delayed the Yorkshire debut of former England fast bowler Steve Harmison.

Yorkshire have recruited the 33-year old on a one-month loan to cover for injuries and international commitments.

Yorkshire are deprived of Ryan Sidebottom with a calf injury for up to four Championship games, and Mitchell Starc through Australia A duties for the next two.

Ed Cowan celebrated the award of his Gloucestershire county cap with an unbeaten half-century as the home side made 147-2 on a rain-affected opening day of their match with Essex at Cheltenham.

Cowan hit 51 not out, sharing a second-wicket stand of 109 with Dan Housego, who made 60. Reece Topley took 2-37 for Essex.