sport

Lyth hits milestone for Yorks

Yorkshire opener Adam Lyth continued to challenge for an England place by becoming the first batsman in LV=County Championship Division One to complete 1,000 Championship runs this season during his innings of 117 against Middlesex at Scarborough

It was the Whitby-born left-hander's maiden Championship century on his home ground and his fourth ton in the competition this summer.

Lyth fell shortly before the close when bad light stopped play at 19.28 with seven overs still remaining, Yorkshire having slipped to 211 for six after being in control for much of the first day.

With Scarborough missing most of the overnight rain which affected many parts of the country, the game was able to start promptly at noon and - taking into account the green pitch and humid atmosphere - it was not surprising that Middlesex asked Yorkshire to bat first.

But the four-man pace-attack could not make the most of the helpful conditions and the anticipated clatter of early wickets did not materialise.

Lyth and Alex Lees took their time to settle in and it was the first ball of the fourth over before Lees opened the scoring by playing Steven Finn backward of square leg for two and he then ran four off an edge to third man.

Lees got four from an inside edge off Finn but it was not until a single from the third ball of the 10th over the batsmen changed ends for the first time.

The new-ball pairing of Finn and Tim Murtagh was seen off without too much trouble and the game was only 75 minutes old when Middlesex turned to four overs of off-spin from Ollie Rayner in an attempt to make a breakthrough - an indication that the pacemen had not been at their best in the opening exchanges.

It was, however, pace that brought the visitors their first wicket at 49, Lees tickling a ball from Toby Roland-Jones into wicket-keeper John Simpson's gloves for 28 from 59 deliveries with four fours.

Although Lyth had begun cautiously, he looked secure and he pulled Roland-Jones to the rope to move into the 20s but at 66 for one during the 28th over, a brief burst of rain brought forward the lunch interval.

On the resumption, Lyth looked even more at ease, playing Finn twice in one over for beautifully timed boundaries through the offside but the Test bowler was generally finding a much better length and line than earlier on and he produced a gem to Kane Williamson which breached the Kiwi's defences and knocked his stumps back.

Yorkshire were 92 for two and Lyth was joined by skipper Andrew Gale, who has a liking for North Marine Road where he notched his maiden century on the ground in 2006 and last season helped himself to 272 off Nottinghamshire's attack.

Yet it was Lyth who continued to catch the eye with the quality of his stroke-play and twice in three balls he blazed Murtagh through the covers to go to his half-century from 106 deliveries with nine boundaries.

Yorkshire's progress was halted by a mid-afternoon storm at 114 for two and when play was able to resume just after 17.00, 13 overs had been lost and 45 still remained to be bowled.

Middlesex missed a chance to get rid of Lyth on 74 when he was dropped by Eoin Morgan at gully and in the same Finn over Gale pulled the bowler for six.

The third wicket pair had added 85 in 23 overs at which stage Gale departed for 30, cutting Finn to Chris Rogers at backward point but there was no stopping Lyth, who completed his fourth Championship century of the season when his edged drive at Finn flew to the third man boundary. He had received 182 balls and struck 14 fours.

Lyth's next milestone was to reach 113 and become the first batsman in Division One to complete 1,000 Championship run s this season - a feat he also achieved in 2010.

While Lyth continued to make progress, Jonny Bairstow spent 35 balls getting off the mark and he had made just five runs in 45 minutes when he was bowled by Tom Helm to leave Yorkshire 204 for four.

Three runs later Jack Leaning was bowled by Roland-Jones who then saw Adil Rashid put down by Simpson off his second ball.

And Lyth's innings came to a close when he edged Helm to Dawid Malan at second slip, his 117 coming from 231 balls with 14 boundaries. Three overs later bad light ended play for the day.