Yorkshire CCC v Glamorgan – Foolish to try and predict outcome of fluctuating Headingley opener

A MORNING of unbroken sunshine at Headingley ended at the exact moment that the sad news came through concerning the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

UP AND OUT: Yorkshire's Joe Root hits out against Glamorgan and is caught for 16. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
UP AND OUT: Yorkshire's Joe Root hits out against Glamorgan and is caught for 16. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

The skies above the ground suddenly clouded over, as if out of respect for the 99-year-old prince, before the rays returned a few minutes later.

During the lunch break, the players, coaches and officials observed two minutes’ silence in front of the pavilion, mirroring the scenes at grounds around the country.

Yorkshire tweeted their condolences accompanied by a photograph of when the Duke presented Andrew Gale and his men with the 2014 County Championship trophy at Buckingham Palace, the happiest of memories.

Opening knock: Yorkshire's Adam Lyth in action against Glamorgan. Picture: SWPix

On a day when the players also wore black armbands from the second session onwards, and when the Yorkshire flag in the North East Stand was lowered to half-mast, the hosts’ attempt to win the Championship for the first time since that golden spell in the mid-2010s continued along intriguing lines here.

After Glamorgan scored 330 in their first innings, recovering well from 132-7, the visitors dismissed Yorkshire for a below-par 193 before ending day two on 68-4 in their second innings, a lead of 205, as the hosts recovered well in turn.

By then, the sun of the morning had been long replaced by the leaden skies of a decidedly cold evening; although it is great to have county cricket back in April, it is not so great in terms of the temperature.

For Yorkshire, the day’s first task was to end the Glamorgan first innings as swiftly as possible.

RESPECTS: Players from Yorkshire & Glamorgan stand for a two-minute silence in memory of His Royal Highness Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh who has died at the age of 99. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

The score stood at 310-8 when Timm van der Gugten and Michael Hogan walked out to resume a nuisance stand of 56, which had climbed to an even more bothersome 72 when Hogan skied Ben Coad to mid-off where Steve Patterson did the rest.

Hogan’s 54 from 53 balls with eight fours and a six was a fine hand, as was that played by van der Gugten.

The Sydney-born Dutch international was left stranded on a career-best 85 from 145 balls with 12 fours and a six when Jamie McIlroy was last out after 25 minutes’ play, lbw to Patterson for a duck as the captain finished with 3-51 and Coad 4-94.

Yorkshire’s reply was soon in distress, Tom Kohler-Cadmore edging a drive off Hogan to wicketkeeper Chris Cooke.

LEADING MAN: Yorkshire's Adam Lyth turns one through square leg on day two, top-scoring in the hosts' first innings' reply. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Tom Loten – handed his opportunity by Gary Ballance’s unavailability through injury – fell for a fifth-ball duck, bowled when pushing forward to Hogan as Yorkshire slipped to 31-2 in the seventh over.

Enter Joe Root, one minute after midday, for his first Championship innings since April 2019.

The England Test captain off-drove Hogan to the cover boundary to get off the mark from his sixth-ball faced, the Australian-born pace bowler giving him a stiff working over from the Emerald Stand end.

It is a sign of Root’s greatness that you practically expect him to score runs every time he bats - and stylish runs too.

SHORT STAY: Yorkshire's Tom Kohler-Cadmore takes a run against Glamorgan. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

This was not his day, however, with the rhythm hard to come by and fluency elusive, but at least he avoided the fate of being lbw to his brother, Billy, who roared an appeal that might have been heard back home in Sheffield when Root senior missed an attempted sweep that hit him just outside the line of off stump.

Adam Lyth played some handsome shots – when doesn’t he? – as he and Root lifted Yorkshire into lunch on 65-2, but both fell in the space of 11 balls with the total on 79: Lyth lbw to Dan Douthwaite moments after reaching his half-century, trying to drive a full-length ball that tailed back in, and Root caught at mid-off by Douthwaite off the off-spinner Taylor when he danced down the track and sliced a full toss.

Harry Brook and Jonny Tattersall did their best to repair the damage, sharing 50 in good fashion, before Tattersall was leg-before to a full and straight one from van der Gugten, and Brook lbw to David Lloyd for a well-made 40.

Matthew Fisher was caught behind off McIlroy; Patterson edged Lloyd to second slip, and when Coad swatted Douthwaite to third man, where Taylor judged a splendid catch, Yorkshire were 175-9 and still six runs shy of avoiding the follow-on.

They did so thanks to Dom Bess when he hooked Douthwaite to the West Stand boundary, having kept the strike away from No 11 Duanne Olivier, who was last man out when edging Taylor behind.

Then it was over to the classy Coad.

VITAL SPELL: Yorkshire's Ben Coad, seen celebrating the wicket of Glamorgan's Kiran Carlson, took three visitors' wickets before the close of play. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Bowling from the Kirkstall Lane end, the habitually impressive pace man had Nick Selman caught behind with the fifth ball of the innings and then struck twice more in a quality opening spell in which Lloyd was taken at third slip and Kiran Carlson caught behind.

That left Glamorgan 29-4 – Olivier claimed the other wicket when Andy Balbirnie was sharply caught by a diving Brook at third slip – and ensured Yorkshire still have a chance of winning this game.

Billy Root (25) and Cooke (17) then battled through until stumps.

But, as the late, great Fred Trueman used to caution, anyone foolish enough to predict the outcome of this match is a fool.

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