County Championship: Lancashire dominate Yorkshire on first day of Roses match

Steven Croft
Steven Croft shared a third-wicket stand of 237 with Keaton Jennings
LV= County Championship Division One, Clean Slate Headingley (day one)
Lancashire 288-3: Jennings 150*, Croft 104; Thompson 2-52
Yorkshire: Yet to ask
Yorkshire 1pts, Lancashire 2pts
match scorecard

Keaton Jennings became only the second Lancashire player to post three Roses hundreds in as many County Championship innings as he underpinned a dominant opening day against Yorkshire at Headingley.

Jennings followed former England left-hander Geoff Pullar, who achieved the feat in 1959 and 1960.

The current Red Rose opener added this 280-ball 150 not out to last season’s scores of 114 at Old Trafford and 132 here and was superbly supported by third-wicket partner and fellow centurion Steven Croft (104).

The pair, dropped three times between them, shared 237 to recover Lancashire from 12-2 to a close-of-play 288-3 from 96 overs.

Following two Jordan Thompson wickets, Croft’s eighth run took him to 9,000 at first-class level.

Yorkshire captain Steve Patterson won his fifth successive toss and opted to bowl under an overcast sky to begin a Division One clash involving James Anderson and Joe Root.

This was a day of Roses cricket filled with endeavor on a good batting pitch which looks like it will hold firm for four days.

Some of that went unrewarded, as Yorkshire gave Jennings two clear chances on two and 70 and one to Croft on five.

This was also former Durham man Jennings’ second hundred in as many games after last week’s 110 in the home draw against Warwickshire, his first appearance since the start of last August due to calf issues.

These are two counties producing a number of high quality young players. Batters Josh Bohannon and Harry Brook, for example, are both chasing England Test call-ups under newly appointed coach Brendon McCullum.

However, the two most experienced cricketers on show were at the heart of their respective fights.

Yorkshire’s Patterson and Lancashire’s Croft, aged 38 and 37 respectively, went at it hammer and tongs.

After Thompson’s early wickets, Croft was thrust into a recovery mission alongside Jennings, which Patterson attempted to halt with his miserly seamers.

Thompson struck first in the ninth over when Luke Wells feathered behind Harry Duke before he trapped Bohannon lbw for two with a yorker, leaving Lancashire in early peril inside 11 overs.

Jennings’ first reprieve came in between the two wickets, with Duke dropping him in Patterson’s first over.

His second came on 70 during the second half of the afternoon when he flashed at a cut at Dom Bess and offered a tough chance to Adam Lyth at slip.

Croft’s came when Brook failed to hold a low effort at third slip off Tom Loten’s seam.

Catching has certainly been an area which has blighted Yorkshire in 2022, though they remain unbeaten alongside their rivals.

Lancashire reached lunch at 53-2 from 30 overs, but more than doubled that in the opening 15 after lunch, advancing to 127-2 after 45.

By that time Jennings and Croft had reached their half-centuries, a century partnership had been recorded and Yorkshire’s bowlers had released the pressure valve as boundaries came with frequency.

Jennings was particularly strong square of the wicket on the offside as he cut and guided with confidence. Croft was also strong square of the wicket, though he often pulled the pace of Haris Rauf away to the boundary.

Lancashire reached tea at 187-2 from 64 overs, with Jennings 87 and Croft 81.

Twenty-nine-year-old Jennings was stuck on 99 for 13 balls before tucking a leg-side single away to reach three figures off 207 with 16 fours.

Croft later reached his hundred second of the season, also with 16 fours, off 212 balls with a six over wide long-on off Root.

But he was trapped lbw by Rauf as Lancashire fell to 249-3 in the 86th over.

Jennings then reached 150 with his last ball of the day.

Report supplied by the ECB Reporters’ Network.

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