Lyth runs the show for Yorkshire

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Adam Lyth & Jos Buttler

Adam Lyth pierces the off side on his way to 142 at Taunton, surpassing his previous highest score in first-class cricket

Adam Lyth hit a career-best 142 as Yorkshire dominated the opening day of their LV= County Championship Division One match against Somerset at Taunton.

The visitors ran up 296 for four after winning the toss, with Joe Sayers, Lyth’s opening partner, making 50 and Anthony McGrath an unbeaten 73.

They all enjoyed a flat pitch and cloudless skies, although Ben Phillips claimed a creditable three wickets as Somerset otherwise toiled.

Opener Lyth looked untroubled for most of his 255-ball innings. The 22-year-old left-hander hit 15 fours in passing his previous highest score of 132, made against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 2008.

It was a tough start for Somerset’s new overseas signing Murali Kartik, who sent down 26 overs for 79 runs without taking a wicket.

Lyth and Sayers shared an unbroken stand of 100 in the morning session, with Lyth reaching his half-century off 81 balls. A couple of edges fell short of the slips, but otherwise the batsmen were rarely inconvenienced.

Phillips made the breakthrough early in the afternoon when Sayers played forward and edged to Kartik at second slip, having just brought up his fifty off 115 deliveries, with four fours.

McGrath made a watchful start while Lyth continued to accumulate steadily, and it was 163 for one in the 55th over when the opener brought up his century off 163 balls with a back-foot forcing shot to the cover boundary off Alfonso Thomas.

By tea, Yorkshire had progressed to 204 for one, with Lyth on 113 and McGrath having begun to blossom on 31 - but both were given lives just after the break.

Without addition, McGrath was dropped by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, while Lyth had added only a single when reprieved by Marcus Trescothick at first slip. On both occasions Phillips was the unlucky bowler.

Lyth had excelled with his off-side play, but it was a pull shot that brought his downfall to the eighth bowler used by Somerset, Zander de Bruyn. Phillips took the catch at mid-on in the South African’s first over with the total on 251.

Somerset delayed taking the new ball until the 89th over, but then struck twice with it in quick succession.

Jacques Rudolph, who had begun with two cracking cover-driven fours off Charl Willoughby, drove Phillips tamely to mid-off to depart for 11.

The inexperienced Gary Ballance looked nervous and it was no surprise when he edged behind off the same bowler.

The two late wickets took the edge off Yorkshire’s day somewhat, but with McGrath looking more assured with every over, they ended it in an enviably strong position.

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