Yorkshire v Sussex - Dawid Malan and Gary Ballance lead White Rose response in style at Headingley


TOP MAN: Yorkshire's Dawid Malan hits out against Sussex on his way to an unbeaten 103. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
TOP MAN: Yorkshire's Dawid Malan hits out against Sussex on his way to an unbeaten 103. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Remember the name.

One could hardly forget it – after all, there cannot be too many Danials spelt with two ‘a’s.

But it is for his cricketing achievements as opposed to his appellation that the 16-year-old is set to be recalled, the Sussex teenager carving a little slice of cricket history on day two of the match at Headingley, where Yorkshire dismissed Sussex for 313 in their first innings before reaching 272-2, Dawid Malan top-scoring with 103 on his return from the Indian Premier League and Gary Ballance striking 74 on his comeback from a calf strain, the pair sharing an unbroken 177 to put the hosts in control.

IMPRESSIVE: Yorkshire's Gary Ballance made an unbveaten 74 on day two against Sussex at Headingley. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

When Ibrahim – short, composed and strong of shoulder -–turned the Yorkshire pace bowler Ben Coad into the leg-side some 25 minutes into the sunny morning, the ball travelling about 15 yards between mid-wicket and square-leg, he charged through to complete his 49th run having started the day on 37.

But with Jordan Thompson’s shy at the stumps at the non-striker’s end – in an effort to run-out Jack Carson – disappearing for an overthrow, the debutant was able to scamper back for a second run to reach his half-century and thereby become, at 16 years and 299 days, the youngest player in the 131-year history of the County Championship to score a half-century, beating the record of Bilal Shafayat, a comparatively gnarled veteran at 16 years and 360 days when he did so for Nottinghamshire against Middlesex at Trent Bridge 20 years ago.

Only six players – one cannot technically call them “men”, after all – younger than Ibrahim had scored a first-class fifty in England: among them, Peter Willey, whose son, David, is playing here for Yorkshire.

Willey senior scored 78 on debut for Northamptonshire against Cambridge University at Fenner’s in 1966, with the youthful list headed by Hasan Raza, who was just 15 years and 116 days when playing for Pakistan A against Derbyshire at Derby in 1997.

RECORD BREAKER: Sussex's Danial Ibrahim hits out on his way to a half century against Yorkshire. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

If Ibrahim had advanced to three figures, he would have been comfortably the youngest centurion in Championship history, almost a year older than record-holder Godfrey Bryan when playing for Kent against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1920.

As it was, Ibrahim flashed at a delivery from Coad and was smartly caught at third slip by Harry Brook, away to his right at around shoulder height, exiting to a warm ovation from the 1,897 crowd after making 55 from 134 balls with eight fours.

For Sussex, though, this was a day when hope and reality did not intertwine.

With Ben Brown, their captain, and Ibrahim’s partner at the start of the day, falling to only its seventh ball, Sussex were unable to cash in on a promising day one total of 267-5.

GOT HIM: Yorkshire's Adam Lyth is bowled by Sussex's Jamie Atkins. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Brown, 126 overnight, had faced only two balls and added one run when he was adjudged caught behind off an inside edge by wicketkeeper Harry Duke, low down off Coad.

Brown did not like the decision, standing his ground for several moments while a Yorkshire fielding contingent led by Adam Lyth animatedly advised him that the ball had indeed carried, and there seemed little suggestion from the replay that it had not.

From 296-6 when Ibrahim perished, Sussex fell in a heap at the end, Steve Patterson rewarded for a typically parsimonious performance with the wicket of Stuart Meaker, bowled through the gate, before Henry Crocombe was trapped lbw walking across his stumps by Willey, who then ran out last man Jamie Atkins from mid-off at the non-striker’s end.

It represented a good fightback by Yorkshire after a challenging first day, Lyth and Tom Kohler-Cadmore then lifting them into lunch at 26-0, Lyth pulling the second ball of the innings from Crocombe for six towards the East Stand.

Ibrahim, for his part, is not simply a batsman, and after his first two balls were no-balls from the Emerald Stand end, he got his seamers going to break the opening partnership at 83.

Kohler-Cadmore – still to register a significant score this season – was trapped lbw by one that might have been sneaking down leg, and it was difficult not to sympathise with a player who is palpably trying his utmost, as the Yorkshire crowd did as he sloped off the field.

Perhaps the T20 campaign, which comes to the fore next week, comes at a good time for Kohler-Cadmore; the 20-over format might just get him going again.

Lyth also had to drag himself off after a misjudgement that allowed Atkins to send his leg stump flying, the left-hander falling two shy of what would have been his fourth half-century of the season to go with two hundreds.

Malan looked in excellent touch despite his recent lack of cricket, driving with his customary grace through the covers and defending watchfully.

He was badly missed on 27 by Travis Head at first slip off Crocombe, the ball running away to the boundary to rub salt into Sussex wounds.

That would have left Yorkshire 124-3 and potentially sent the day down a different route.

Ballance, as usual, one barely notices in the best possible way, so simple and effective is his game, and there were plenty of trademark nudges and punches as he cashed in against a largely inexperienced attack.

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