Sheffield’s Joe Root holds the key

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Joe Root could hold the key for Yorkshire as they look to bat themselves into a strong position on day two of their County Championship Division One match with Durham, writes Rob Lowson.

The Sheffield-born opener, resuming on 30 not out, will be joined at the crease by Jonny Bairstow with the Tykes 57-3 in their first innings.

Tim Bresnan was the star with the ball on an evenly-contested first day, the England seamer returning figures of 4 for 41 to restrict Durham to 237 all out.

After losing the toss, Yorkshire made the perfect start when Bresnan sent Keaton Jennings’ off-stump cartwheeling with his first ball and new-ball partner Ryan Sidebottom had Mark Stoneman caught at slip to make it 8-2.

A stand of 86 between Will Smith and Dale Benkenstein then rebuilt the Durham innings, before a devastating spell of four wickets for just ten runs from the Tykes.

Bresnan returned to dismiss Smith, Ben Stokes and former England colleague Paul Collingwood, bowled for a duck, while Benkenstein was caught in the deep off Steven Patterson to leave the hosts reeling at 104-6.

Wicketkeeper Phil Mustard led a spirited tail-end counter-attack, top-scoring with nine boundaries and a six in his 70, before the last two wickets fell to leg-spinner Adil Rashid on his 100th Championship appearance for the White Rose.

The Tykes openers were then left to survive a tricky 20-over period before the close against a home attack led by England paceman Graham Onions.

And Onions wasted no time in bowling Adam Lyth for a duck in his first over, before running out Australian Phil Jacques to leave Yorkshire in trouble at 13-2.

But Root stood firm and played fluently with captain Andrew Gale, who passed 5,000 first-class runs in making 25, before the latter fell LBW to Onions off the final ball of the day.