Marnus Labuschagne has come out on top in his mini-Ashes battle with England captain Ben Stokes in the County Championship.
But Joe Root, who’s stood down as England skipper, was in brilliant form for Yorkshire in their Roses match against Jimmy Anderson’s Lancashire on Saturday, scoring an immaculate hundred.
At the Riverside, Labuschagne had mixed fortunes with bat and ball on Saturday as his Glamorgan side’s clash with Stokes’ Durham was left finely poised.
The world’s No.1 Test batsman inspired the visitors to bowl out Durham for 244 in their second innings, setting up the prospect of a win for the Welsh county.
But Labuschagne got rid of Alex Lees and Scott Borthwick, who’d put on 138, before grabbing the prized wicket of Stokes, who’s been in commanding form.
Stokes lost his balance aiming for a booming drive off Labuschagne’s leg spin and the quick hands of wicketkeeper Chris Cooke removed the bails to get him stumped.
Another Australian Test man Michael Neser then wrapped up the tail, ending with figures of 4-57, while Labuschagne finished with 3-35 off his 14 overs.
With veteran Michael Hogan taking 2-56, it meant the Australian trio had taken nine of the wickets in the innings.
But Labuschagne’s excellent day suffered an anti-climactic finish when, chasing a target of 191, he was dismissed for 31 off the evening session’s penultimate ball, leaving his side in an awkward spot on 3-65.
At Headingley, Stokes’ predecessor Root thwarted Anderson and co to register his first Roses century and give Yorkshire hope of avoiding defeat.
In response to Lancashire’s 9-566 Dec, Yorkshire slipped to 4-68 before Root went on to make 147, which formed the backbone of Yorkshire’s stumps total of 8-356.
Anderson finished a hard day with 1-83.
Elsewhere in division one, Jack Leach took an eight-wicket match haul as Somerset claimed victory over neighbors Gloucestershire by a record margin of an innings and 246 runs at Bristol.
Leach’s 5-49 in Gloucestershire’s first innings saw the hosts rolled for 186 in response to their opponents’ 7-591 dec and he grabbed three more scalps in the second innings as they succumbed for 159.
Australian Test opener Marcus Harris had been one of Leach’s victims when he scored 32 in Gloucestershire’s first innings, and he was dismissed for 15 by another England international Craig Overton second time around.
Sam Hain batted through the day to make an unbeaten 140 while Will Rhodes was out for 99 as Warwickshire closed on 4-394 in response to Northamptonshire’s 6-597 Dec at Edgbaston.
Steven Mullaney’s 55-ball hundred – he finished on 100 not out from 58 deliveries – hastened Nottinghamshire’s declaration as they left Middlesex facing an uphill battle to secure a draw at Lord’s.
Mullaney clubbed six fours and eight sixes in Nottinghamshire’s Dec 5-295, leaving Middlesex an unlikely 516 to win.
The hosts closed on 3-69, with Australian-born former England Test batter Sam Robson unbeaten on 51.