Middlesex v Yorkshire: Joe Root makes half century on injury return

LV= County Championship Division One, Lord's

Close, day two: Yorkshire 178 & 213-4 v Middlesex 123

Middlesex 3 pts, Yorkshire 3 pts

Match scorecard

Joe Root struck a half century on his return from injury as Yorkshire dominated the second day of their Championship match against Middlesex.

Resuming 64-3 on an overcast morning, the hosts lost seven wickets for 59 runs to be shot out for 123 and trail by 55, Ryan Sidebottom taking 4-34.

Yorkshire openers Adam Lyth (54) and Alex Lees (33) then shared 82 to extend the advantage.

And, with Root adding 63, Yorkshire closed on 213-4, 268 ahead.

Root, captaining the side after regular skipper Andrew Gale dropped himself, was lbw to Steven Finn for a duck in the first innings, his first since returning from a broken thumb.

But his strokeplay off Finn was a feature of a fluent knock, with an early hook for six setting the tone and three boundaries in the same over taking him to a 70-ball half-century.

Finn (3-55) was at times guilty of bowling too short, but after a torrid winter that ended with an early return from England's tour of Australia, he again showed the potency that has made him the leading wicket-taker in the Championship this season.

Finn roughed up Lyth before having him brilliantly caught one-handed by Ollie Rayner at second slip and returned late in the day to have Kane Williamson held at gully and once more pin Root leg before.

Off-spinner Rayner had earlier persuaded Lees to shoulder arms to one that hit off stump, ending a fine start to the Yorkshire second innings that took advantage of more favourable batting conditions in the afternoon sunshine.

The weather was in marked contrast to a grey start to the day in which Yorkshire ran through the Middlesex batting.

Left-armer Sidebottom had already accounted for Joe Denly and Neil Dexter when Eoin Morgan (33) flashed a wide one to second slip, where he was well caught by Lyth.

Rayner was the only other batsman to pass double figures, but he was powerless to prevent a trimmer from Jack Brooks shaving the off bail as part of the former Northants pace bowler's 3-47.