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Duke confident Yorkshire's batters can secure the draw

— 14 May 2022

Harry Duke is confident Yorkshire’s batters, with some help from the lower order, can complete the job tomorrow and secure a Roses draw at Headingley.

Success on day four would be sealing a fourth successive Division One draw, and the bonus would be maintaining an unbeaten home Roses record in LV= Insurance County Championship matches dating back to 2011.

Yorkshire will start day four on 356-8 in reply to Lancashire’s first-innings 566-9 declared. They are 60 short of the follow-on, though the pitch remains a good one for batting.

Wicketkeeper Duke, 20-years-old, contributed a determined 40, sharing a sixth-wicket partnership of 154 with standout Joe Root, who made 147.

“It was amazing to be out there with Rooty, who is such a great player,” said Duke, who batted from late morning to midway through the evening session.

“I felt like I learnt quite a lot today by spending that time in the middle with him.

“He gave me that confidence to keep playing the way I was, even though it was quite a tough situation.

“It was just unfortunate I got out in the way I did, trying to manoeuvre the field and going away from what I’d done so well.

“I’ve probably not had the scores I wanted this year, so it was nice to spend some time in the middle there.

“It’s a case of the lads who are in now spending as much time out in the middle tomorrow and trying to come out of this game only one point behind them. That’s a big goal of ours.

“We have the depth in our batting line-up to do it.”

By his own admission, it hasn’t been the easiest of starts to the season for the young gloveman. But he is hopeful things will turn for him sooner rather than later.

“I’d have liked to take a few more chances than I have, but I’m putting the working in behind the scenes,” he added. “At times, I’m just not doing what I’ve done well over the last year with my keeping.

“I’ve had a few conversations with people I’m close to, my old man for one, and they’re filling me with confidence.

“He’s been there for me, and he’s seen me keep since I was nine or 10. He knows what I’m doing.

“I’m putting in the work, and I know it will come.”

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