Cricket: Ballance keeps Tykes ticking over

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Gary Ballance - tipped to be one of those to challenge for an England place - was in form as Yorkshire returned to County championship action against Warwickshire at Headingley yesterday.

The left hander notched his 15th first class century, reaching three figures off 172 balls with 13 fours and a six. He eventually fell lbw for 112 to Keith Barker.

There was also another impressive display from young left-handed opener Alex Lees who made 56, thus following on his unbeaten 275 in Yorkshire’s last Championship outing against Derbyshire.

Yorkshire lost Adam Lyth for 11 and skipper Andrew Gale for a third ball duck to leave them 26-2 before Lees and Ballance added 74 for the third wicket.

After Lee went and Adil Rashid went for seven, Ballance and Azeem Rafiq, 28, added 50 for the fifth wicket before Andrew Hodd joined Ballance in another half-century plus stand.

The Tykes slipped to 267-9 before Steve Patterson and Jack Brooks added a spirited 27 to close on 294-9.