Stand-in skipper Root falls for a duck

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Stand-in Yorkshire captain Joe Root was unable to stake a claim for Peter Moores’ new-look England team as the 23-year-old was dismissed for a duck on his return to first-class cricket against Middlesex yesterday.

Root, who was dropped from the England Test side at the end of a nightmare winter in Australia, had not played at first-class level since breaking his thumb on a tour of the West Indies earlier this year.

The confident right-hander was not only selected but handed the Yorkshire captaincy for the Division One clash at Lord’s as regular skipper Andrew Gale made the bold call of dropping himself.

The decision did not pay off, however, as Root lasted just five balls before being trapped lbw for nought by fellow England hopeful Steven Finn to leave the visitors 55 for three.

Finn almost had Root first ball after his fast delivery sprang up onto the right-hander’s pads but the enthusiastic Middlesex appeals were turned down.

A nervous start from Root took a turn for the worse soon after, though, as Finn claimed his 17th wicket of the season with a good delivery that hit the batsman’s pads square in front of the stumps.

Finn ended with figures of 4-50 as Yorkshire were dismissed for 178. Middlesex were 64/3 when rain forced an early end to the first day’s proceedings.

Root played for Yorkshire’s second team in midweek against Lancashire and hit a second-innings 61.