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Yorkshire batsmen well on top on first day of season
Yorkshire seized the early initiative in their opening LV= County Championship match against Somerset after a commanding batting display at Taunton underpinned by Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance and Adil Rashid.
After being invited to bat first, Yorkshire were indebted to scores of 85 from Lyth, 77 by Ballance and 84 not out for Rashid as they reached 342-5 from 96 overs at close on day one.
Of course there were a few alarms – but not as many as there should have been.
Somerset dropped three obvious catches, two of them by South African Test batsman Alviro Petersen at third slip. Alex Lees was put down on one, Lyth on 70 and Rashid on 63.
A largely blunt Somerset attack let the visitors get off to a flier at 69-0 after 14 overs and rarely looked like getting on top aside from stages during the afternoon where the flow of the game could have changed.
At 179-4 when Lyth fell, for example, the hosts could have taken control with another couple of quick wickets.
But that was when Ballance and Rashid shared the highest partnership of the day, with their 115 inside 32 overs for the fifth wicket taking Yorkshire to the cusp of 300.
Lyth and Ballance will be naturally disappointed not to have made centuries.
Opener Lyth fell to a stunning one-handed catch by Lewis Gregory at mid-wicket as he fiercely pulled a Craig Overton long-hop during the afternoon.
Ballance was then trapped lbw by Gregory with the second new ball after tea, leaving the score at 294-5.
Lyth has now scored 646 runs in 11 Championship innings at Taunton.
Somerset, for whom Craig Meschede took three wickets, looked like a side who were at the end of their season rather than the start.
Rashid could now record his third hundred in three Championship matches against Somerset, having struck two in last year’s fixtures.