Yorkshire let Glamorgan off the hook after being in control

ROOT was in the runs at Headingley yesterday.

Good stop: Yorkshire's Joe Root fields the ball in a match which featers his brother Billy playing for Glamorgan. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Nothing unusual in that, you might say, except that it was Billy, not Joe, who was doing the scoring.

Root’s younger brother at a little over 19 months is a talented batsman in his own right.

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Although things did not quite work out for him at Yorkshire with his career path taking him on to Nottinghamshire and now Glamorgan, he has definite traits of the brotherly manner and the facility for scoring stylish runs.

Season's first: Yorkshire's Ben Coad takes the wicket of Nick Selman, the first of the campaign for the White Rose. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Root made 43 of them yesterday, the 28-year-old left-hander contributing strongly to Glamorgan’s 310-8 after they were sent into bat on the opening day of the Championship season.

It is only the second time that the brothers have played against each other in professional cricket after Yorkshire’s one-day cup game at Notts in 2017.

On that occasion, Joe hit Billy for six to win the match – a case of “take that, our kid” and “sorry, our kid.”

Yesterday, Joe almost ran Billy out, swooping from close in to shy at the stumps, but Billy had already departed the scene when Joe bowled his first over just before tea, preventing any thoughts of six-hitting revenge.

Bad mistake: Glamorgan's David Lloyd leaves one from Matt Fisher and is bowled for four. Picture Bruce Rollinson

As all parties had stressed prior to the game, this is, of course, Yorkshire versus Glamorgan as opposed to Root versus Root.

In the first Championship meeting between the teams since 2012, when Root opened the batting for Yorkshire three months prior to his international debut, it was a curious sort of day, with Yorkshire gaining the advantage early on, relinquishing it, gaining it once more and then relinquishing it again, with Glamorgan improbably intact when stumps were pulled.

It was a day when wickets fell in clumps, a bitterly cold day blown along by a gale-force wind and in which the visitors constructed two notable partnerships.

First, Root and Kiran Carlson shared 82 for the fourth wicket after Glamorgan fell to 29-3, and then Dan Douthwaite and Timm van der Gugten added 122 for the eight wicket to lift the score from 132-7 when Root was out, the victim of a quite brilliant one-handed catch by wicketkeeper Jonny Tattersall, diving to his left and low to the ground, when Ben Coad found the outside edge.

The wickets were shared between the four pace bowlers, Coad the most successful with 3-79, after Yorkshire omitted David Willey from their 12-man squad.

There were a couple of half-chances and missed opportunities – most unusually when Tom Kohler-Cadmore spilled Carlson on 15 at first slip off Olivier at 58-3, the batsman going on to 55 from 79 balls with 10 fours. But it could not have been easy for the fielders in such challenging conditions, with the players wearing several layers and clutching hand warmers at every opportunity.

Initially, it had all started so well for the hosts. Nick Selman and David Lloyd, the latter the only Glamorgan survivor from that 2012 game at Headingley, were both dismissed in the first six overs, Selman bowled through the gate driving at Coad and Lloyd leaving a ball from Fisher that hit the off stump.

When Patterson struck with his sixth delivery after replacing Fisher at the Emerald Stand end, trapping Andy Balbirnie lbw as he played around a full-length ball, it threatened to be a stroll for Yorkshire.

But Root and Carlson, a wristy 22-year-old right-hander, turned the tide, Root off-driving and pulling Olivier to the boundary although somewhat fortunate to survive, perhaps, when Patterson had a strong lbw appeal against him just after lunch.

Root and Carlson had lifted their team to 111-3 when Yorkshire, in need of a wicket, found one when Carlson attempted to drive Olivier off the back foot and was magnificently caught high at second slip by Adam Lyth.

It was the catalyst for Yorkshire to re-exert themselves, Glamorgan sliding to 112-5 in the next over when Patterson produced a fine ball that took Chris Cooke’s outside edge on its way to Kohler-Cadmore, who this time made no mistake low down at first slip with a fine grab.

When Callum Taylor inexplicably allowed a ball from Fisher to hit his stumps, closely followed by Root’s dismissal, Glamorgan were still 68 runs shy of a first batting point with three wickets left.

Not many this side of the Brecon Beacons would have predicted that Douthwaite and van der Gugten would have rallied so strongly from that position, but rally they did, the pair scoring at just under four an over as they attacked with power and defended with panache.

Coad finally broke the stand when Douthwaite also allowed one to his stumps, having scored 57 from 90 balls with 10 boundaries. Van der Gugten, a Dutch international born in Sydney, finished on a career-best 80 not out from 134 balls with 13 boundaries, adding another 56 with No 10 Michael Hogan (40 from 41 balls).

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