Bairstow and Root hold batting masterclass at Headingley

Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root both near 200s in record 372 run partnership – ideal preparation for England’s first Test of the summer at the same ground next week.

Bairstow and Root set a new record for Yorkshire’s fourth wicket partnership on day two of their County Championship match against Surrey. Bairstow was out for 198, agonisingly short of what could have been a second 200 already this season. Root reached the close on 190, his team on 486-5, a remarkable 471 runs professionally plundered in just one stunning Headingley day.

Root batted superbly and will likely overtake Bairstow’s score early tomorrow, but almost went under the radar playing as we expect him to whilst Bairstow dominated the strike, giving us a master-class a top order international batsman would be proud of. The Yorkshire keeper-batsman already has 533 Championship runs this summer, runs we hope he takes into the first Test of the summer, which commences at Headingley a week on Thursday.

The two of them put on 372 in 67 overs, eclipsing Darren Lehmann and Michael Lumb’s 358 fourth wicket partnership in 2006. This earnt the pair Yorkshire’s second highest partnership for any wicket and the two friends also now hold the record for Yorkshire’s highest ever partnership against Surrey.

Surrey started the day on top, Tom Curran and Ravi Rampaul reducing the home side to 45-3. But the glorious Leeds sunshine made it a batting paradise for the two young men who just love batting together for county and country alike.

There was little playing themselves in, both men getting going with some beautifully elegant cricket shots and some seriously hard running. Their effortless strokes could have made them inclined to rest on their laurels and simply wait for the boundaries, but that is not how these two incredibly fit young men bat.

Their superb understanding and trust in one another allowed them to frequently turn dot balls into ones and ones into twos, making the Surrey fielders work much harder than they would have liked to. Well before lunch the pair were already going at a rate of 6.31 runs per over and didn’t falter far from this remarkable rate at any point of the day.

Bairstow raced to 50 off a mere 30 balls (a 166 strike rate) and brought his 150 up off 155 balls with 22 fours, whilst Root’s 150 was only marginally slower-off 166 balls with 18 fours. The Surrey first and second change bowlers Matt Dunn and James Burke were quite frankly taken to the cleaners – Burke going at nearly eight an over at one point.

The bowler’s blushes were slightly spared through a calmer evening session, the loss of Bairstow allowing them to bring some respectability back to their bowling figures against the new batsmen.

Yorkshire finished the day 156 runs clear of their newly promoted visitors. Wednesday’s forecast is poor, so the White Rose will likely look to put even more quick runs on the board tomorrow morning before handing over to their bowling attack to push hard for their first victory of their season.

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