Adam Lyth reminded the England selectors what he’s capable of on Day Three of Yorkshire’s match against Surrey with a timely hundred on the eve of England’s opening test against Pakistan, the first full day of play at The Oval this week.
The champions took just 33 overs to take their final five wickets before Lyth’s century gave Yorkshire a fantastic platform alongside Andrew Gale, despite this one inevitably heading for a draw.
Surrey resumed 164-5 after two days of poor weather and Yorkshire took just four balls to get the breakthrough they wanted as Ben Foakes edged to Lyth giving Steven Patterson his third wicket of the innings.
That brought 18-year-old Sam Curran to the crease who wasted no time in punching Liam Plunkett for four through the covers, whilst Steven Davies went about his business quietly before reaching 50 from 69 balls.
However, like Aaron Finch on Day Two, he wasn’t to last much longer as shortly after Curran had displayed his confidence by reverse sweeping England’s Adil Rashid for four, another Yorkshireman with England pedigree struck.
That man would be Tim Bresnan, who trapped Davies in front for 56 to leave the hosts 239-7, Tom Curran joining brother Sam at the crease after a 75-run partnership for the seventh wicket.
That wicket would be Yorkshire’s sign to pounce as after Davies departed, Sam Curran went to his second first-class half-century before Adil Rashid struck for the first time in the innings.
He removed Tom Curran for six and made it two in an over when Gareth Batty departed for a duck.
Azeem Rafiq wrapped up Surrey’s innings as Lyth took his second catch of the day leaving Surrey all out for 267 with Sam Curran unbeaten on 59 from 98 balls.
But Lyth’s two catches were just the start of his day.
He and Alex Lees made a solid start to Yorkshire’s reply with a tad of fortune as Lees edged Sam Curran through the slips for a boundary, but the youngster wasn’t to be denied for long as the left-arm seamer bowled the opener for 15.
Surrey had their second shortly after as Jack Leaning chopped on off the bowling of Stuart Meaker for an eleven-ball duck, bringing Gale and Lyth together at the crease.
The pair batted through till tea with Lyth passing his fifty two overs prior to the break and the pair continued to grind Surrey down after tea before bad light stopped play for just under half an hour.
The break only benefitted the visitors however as Lyth smashed Zafar Ansari over long-on for six, before Yorkshire’s third-wicket partnership passed 100 and Lyth went to a classy century from 159 balls, his third of the season.
Gale had passed a milestone of his own shortly before by reaching 50, but Surrey finished the day strongly by getting a prized late wicket 20 minutes before the end of play after Gale fished at a ball outside off stump from Tom Curran and feathered it through to stand-in keeper Steven Davies, leaving Yorkshire 197-3 after a partnership of 150.
Steven Patterson assumed night atchman duty and he and Lyth saw Yorkshire through to stumps on day three 207-3 with the latter resuming 118 not out on Thursday morning.