Openers put down vital foundations

Jason Gillespie
Jason Gillespie
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JASON GILLESPIE believes opening batsmen Adam Lyth and Alex Lees have been the cornerstone of Yorkshire’s success this season.

The county’s first-team coach said they had provided the foundation for the team’s pursuit of the County Championship title.

Lyth and Lees shared a partnership of 176 yesterday as Yorkshire took charge of their game against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. It was their fourth century stand in this year’s competition and their 10th of 50-plus in 20 innings in Championship cricket.

“They’ve been fantastic for us this year,” said Gillespie.

“Their average stand is 70-plus, which allows our middle-order to push on from that.

“They’ve played a huge part in what we’ve done so far and been very prolific.

“This was another great stand first up and has given us another really good platform.”

Lyth hit 122 and Lees 86 as they shared their third-highest stand in the tournament this summer.

The pair added 375 against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road – the fourth-highest partnership in Yorkshire’s history – and 270 against Durham at Headingley.

“They complement each other so well,” added Gillespie. “They get on well and are really good mates, and they go out there with a pretty simple game plan.

“Once again, they absorbed pressure and took bowlers on when the opportunity arose. They’ve built up an increasingly good understanding.”

Gillespie said Yorkshire are delighted with their start as they seek the result that would give them the title.

“We’re really pleased with the day’s work,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do yet – it’s only the first day, but we’re very happy.

“The intent throughout the day was very good. Now we need to build on our efforts and push on in the morning.”