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Gary Ballance signs off on high note for Yorkshire
At the end of surely the most memorable week of his cricket career, Gary Ballance became the first Yorkshire batsman for six years to score a century in each innings of a County Championship match as he helped Andrew Gale’s side conclude their season with a hard-fought draw against Surrey at The Oval.
Ballance, who on Monday was selected for England’s Ashes party to tour Australia, followed his first-innings 148 with an unbeaten 108 as Yorkshire made 265-6 in their second innings, wiping out a deficit of 200 and prompting Surrey skipper Gareth Batty to accept the draw early in the last hour.
The 23-year-old left-hander shared stands of 65 with skipper Gale and an unbroken 67 with Adil Rashid to steer his team to safety and become the 13th Yorkshire batsman to register a hundred in both innings of a first-class match.
Ballance said: “It’s a great feeling to score a hundred in each innings and to finish the season well. I haven’t considered batting for England, I’ve just thought about building an innings and luckily it came off both times.”
However, the safety Ballance and Rashid achieved was in sharp contrast to the trouble Yorkshire found themselves in at the midpoint of the morning session when their second innings had begun poorly and got worse.
Adam Lyth, Phil Jaques and Alex Lees were all dismissed cheaply to leave the white rose county on 21-3.
The departures of both Jonny Bairstow for 35 and Kane Williamson for a well-made 60 meant that Yorkshire were 133-5, still 67 short of making Surrey bat again, before Ballance’s crucial stands with Gale and Rashid.
In the first hour of the day, Surrey had declared on 634-6, with Adil Rashid’s 55 overs costing 227 runs – the most ever conceded by a Yorkshire bowler in a single innings.