LYTH LIGHTS UP LEEDS WITH MAIDEN TEST CENTURY
Adam Lyth hit a patient first Test ton as England reached 253-5 at the end of day two at Headingley.
The century came in 294 minutes as the Yorkshire batsman impressed on home turf, in just his second match.
Captain Alastair Cook also became the highest Test run scorer for the Three Lions, overtaking Graham Gooch’s record of 8,900 which has stood since 1995.
New Zealand took some late wickets to peg England back, as the hosts led by 97 runs at the close of play.
The tourists began the day on 297-8 and swiftly added 53 runs thanks to some powerful striking from the lower order batsmen.
Stuart Broad finished with five for 109 after dismissing Matt Henry and Trent Boult, with Jos Buttler and Lyth taking the catches respectively.
With England trailing by 350 runs at the start of their innings, Cook and Lyth got to work on reducing the deficit.
They got off to a solid start adding a quick 54 runs to the scoreboard prior to lunch, as the two batsmen shared the strike equally contributing 27 each.
Shortly after the interval, captain Cook became England’s most prolific Test run scorer at just 30 years of age.
The two openers continued to build a platform for the hosts putting on a century partnership, as Lyth also reaches his maiden Test fifty.
This was the first opening stand of 100 on home soil since 2011, when ex-England captain Andrew Strauss put on 186 with current Three Lions skipper Alastair Cook in Birmingham.
Following Lyth’s milestone, it was not long before Cook had his bat raised, getting to his fifth half century in his last seven innings, with the score now 120 for no loss.
The Englishmen appeared to be thriving off each other as they continued to thwart the New Zealand attack reaching 163 runs at Tea with Lyth and Cook on 76 and 70 respectively.
The Kiwis eventually got their breakthrough, with Mark Craig claiming the scalp of the England captain LBW following review for 75, at 176-1.
Lyth was joined by fellow Yorkshire compatriot Gary Ballance, as he moved into the nervous nineties on 94 runs, nearing another milestone.
He did not hang about, slog sweeping Mark Craig’s delivery over mid-wicket for six to reach his first Test ton to back up his selection.
The 27 year old was run out for 107 by Boult, after some miss-communication between him and Ballance, but England were still in a strong position on 215-2.
Momentum was shifted in the final hour of play with the score on 238-2, as England lost three wickets in just under half an hour, adding just nine runs, with Ballance, Ben Stokes, and Joe Root falling victim to the new ball.
This late flurry meant New Zealand ended the day on the front foot with England trailing by 97 runs at the close of play, on 253-5 going into day three.
Lyth plays his county cricket at Headingley and admits how special his century was.
It was very pleasing to get three figures in front of my home crowd and family”
By Matthew Tilbury, Image Credit to England Cricket.