Yorkshire v Warwickshire: Yorkshire star Lyth is first to 1,000-run milestone

AT 11.45 on a cool and cloudy morning, Yorkshire's Adam Lyth stroked a ball from Warwickshire's Boyd Rankin for two runs through the covers.

The Headingley crowd broke out into spontaneous applause that reflected the significance of a special moment.

For Lyth, the 22-year-old Whitby-born left-hander, had become the first man to score 1,000 first-class runs in England this summer.

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It was a marvellous achievement by a player who last year was not even a first-team regular, and who has played a pivotal role in Yorkshire's climb to the top of the County Championship.

Lyth arrived at the magic milestone when he scored 18 but, in a summer of plenty, was hardly going to be satisfied with so paltry a figure.

So he proceeded to take 84 off the Warwickshire attack as Yorkshire totalled 325-4 after winning the toss, Gerard Brophy top-scoring with an unbeaten 92 as the wicketkeeper chases only his second century for the county.

Lyth, who has struck three hundreds this summer alone, did not produce his greatest performance of a golden campaign – he had one or two uncomfortable moments and was dropped towards the end of his innings by Darren Maddy at first slip off Rikki Clarke.

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But like a football team that grinds out a 1-0 win without finding its most fluent rhythm, Lyth displayed praiseworthy professionalism to give Warwickshire the run-around and his own side the perfect platform.

Afterwards, Lyth revealed his delight at breasting the four-figure tape ahead of Surrey's Mark Ramprakash (989), his closest challenger.

"I'm over the moon to be the first in the country to get 1,000 runs," he said. "To be honest, my aim was to get 1,000 before the end of the season, so to get there in July is just fantastic.

"Hopefully, there's a lot more to come from me and it would be nice to get up in the region of 1,600 runs this summer.

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"I want to kick on from here and start scoring big hundreds and double hundreds and become more ruthless."

Amid the avalanche of acclaim that has deservedly descended on Lyth, who must surely be knocking on the door of England A selection, it is easy to forget that another Yorkshireman is enjoying something of an annus mirabilis.

Anthony McGrath, who appeared bogged down by the burdens of captaincy last summer, has burst back into life in a fashion that merits the highest acclaim.

McGrath's 57 yesterday was his tenth half-century in his last 11 Championship innings – an extraordinary sequence by a man who failed to make fifty in his last 26 innings in all competitions last summer.

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Like Lyth, with whom he shared a second-wicket stand of 148 in 40 overs, McGrath was not at his peak but was still more than good enough to register a total that lifted him to 829 Championship runs at 51.81; McGrath made 825 Championship runs during the whole of last season at 33.00.

After Jacques Rudolph fell for a duck, caught by Clarke at slip off Carter in the day's third over, McGrath also had his moments of fortune.

He survived an extraordinary lbw shout from Carter, whose melodramatic appeal continued long after it was turned down by umpire Martin Bodenham, who looked suitably unimpressed.

Then, just before lunch, McGrath was dropped on 41 by Clarke at second slip off Steffan Piolet, who later grassed a tough return catch offered by Adil Rashid on two.

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After lunching on 119-1, Yorkshire – once again without Joe Sayers due to a chest infection – were pegged back as they lost McGrath to a slip catch by Maddy off Carter and Lyth lbw to the same bowler.

But Jonathan Bairstow and Gerard Brophy came together in a wicketkeeper's alliance that ensured the earlier work was not wasted, the pair adding exactly 100 in 35 overs.

Brophy played confidently and with apparent comfort all round the wicket, while Bairstow treated the crowd to a lovely leg-side pick-up for six off Maddy followed by successive off-driven fours off leg-spinner Imran Tahir.

Bairstow fell for 44 but Brophy forged on as Yorkshire ended firmly in control.

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Yorkshire's Azeem Rafiq and Joe Root have been named in the England U-19 squad for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka.

The squad meet up on July 16 and the games take place at Northampton (July 21-24) and Scarborough (July 27-30).

Rafiq will be unavailable for one Championship game, the last two T20 group matches and three CB 40 League games.


Gerard Brophy

The South African scored a fine 92 not out from 153 balls with 14 fours.

Lyth's run rate

How Adam Lyth reached 1,000 first class runs:

Warwickshire (A): 6, 67

Somerset (H): 0, 90

Kent (A): 8, 84

Durham (H): 85

Essex (H): 47

Somerset (A): 142, 93

Hampshire (A): 133, 98

Lancashire (H): 0

Lancashire (A): 100, 29

Warwickshire (H): 84

Total: 1,066 runs at 66.62