Captain Shan Masood’s brilliant rearguard 140 helped Yorkshire recover from early strife to end day one against Gloucestershire handily placed at Bristol.

England stars Joe Root and Harry Brook were amongst those to fall cheaply as Yorkshire, invited to bat, reached lunch under pressure at 90-5 before finishing 326 all out inside 81 overs.

Tall quick Zaman Akhter removed both, plus George Hill with what proved the last ball of the morning, only for Masood to expertly lead the recovery with the help of Jonny Tattersall’s fluent early afternoon 58 off 65 balls against the county he represented briefly on loan three years ago.

Left-handed Masood, who hit 20 fours in 184 balls, was also well supported by 51 from Matt Milnes either side of tea before the hosts closed on 28-2 from 14 overs thanks to wickets for Matthew Fisher and new ball partner Ben Coad.

Akhter stood out for Gloucestershire with an excellent 5-89 from 18.3 overs, the 25-year-old South Asian Cricket Academy product’s career best haul in his ninth first-class appearance. 

Masood and Tattersall shared 100 in 18 overs for the sixth wicket to dampen the Glos spirits and lay the platform for a positive afternoon and evening. Masood and Milnes later shared 95 for the eighth wicket.

Masood was particularly strong on the cut, and the Pakistan Test skipper hit down the ground and drove well en-route to his third Championship century in nine matches wearing the white rose. 

Shan Masood

Picture by Dan Mullan/Getty Images. Shan Masood celebrates his third Yorkshire century.

The home side dominated the morning session largely because of some excellent bowling in useful conditions. Akhter was at the heart of that, so too was fellow seamer Ajeet Singh Dale.

Yorkshire came into this fixture on the back of last week’s home draw against Leicestershire.

Glos drew against Derbyshire at Derby when they didn’t bowl a ball because of rain and a wet outfield. 

Root for Jordan Thompson was the only change to Yorkshire’s team.

The hosts made the ideal start through ex-Yorkshire seamer Josh Shaw, who bowled Fin Bean through the gate without scoring four balls into the contest, 1-1.

Further damage was done in the 10th over when Singh Dale had Lyth – for seven – well caught at second slip by Australian Cameron Bancroft, low down to his right.

And when Root fell lbw for two shortly after, playing to leg against Akhter, Yorkshire were 25-3 in the 12th.

Brook pulled Singh Dale for six over mid-wicket and then pulled Akhter for four to move to 26. Unfortunately, however, in trying to repeat the dose next ball, he top-edged high to Marchant de Lange, who took a catch on the run coming around from mid-on towards mid-wicket.

Joe Root

Picture by Dan Mullan/Getty Images. Joe Root at the crease For Yorkshire today.

That left Yorkshire 80-4 after 27 overs – a score which became 90-5 in the 29th, immediately before lunch, when Hill was caught behind off the same bowler.

As well as Glos had bowled, the last two wickets could be put into the avoidable category.

But then things turned in Yorkshire’s favour. The pitch seemed to ease with the sun on it, and the hosts didn’t bowl anywhere near as well.

Masood had settled himself at the crease whilst the morning wickets fell, and he began the afternoon on 49.

His fifty came off 83 balls inside the opening 15 minutes of the session, now with Tattersall for company.

Tattersall actually looked as comfortable as anyone at the crease, playing a couple of eye-catching drives whilst being strong through leg – both off his pads and pulling.

The former Gloucestershire loanee – he played two Championship matches for them in 2021 – reached his fifty off 50 balls before playing on as he tried to leave Singh Dale alone, 190-6 in the 47th over. 

Masood’s first five boundaries were all cuts, either powerfully in front of square or late behind. 

Jonny Tattersall

Picture by Dan Mullan/Getty Images. Jonny Tattersall batted superbly before being bowled by Ajeet Singh Dale.

He also shimmied down the pitch and lofted the off-spin of Ollie Price over mid-off for four, later punching Shaw arrow straight down the ground for another boundary. 

As well as Tattersall played, there was no doubt the 34-year-old’s innings was the key reason why Yorkshire are now in a position to drive the game forwards across the next three days.

It won’t be easy, however. The Kookaburra ball is in use again, which can often make the game look like one is bowling with a satsuma, and the pitch looks pretty good. 

But Yorkshire will be confident of being able to repeat the victory they secured here at the start of 2022 – Ottis Gibson’s first game in charge as coach.

By the time Masood reached his century off 140 balls, Yorkshire were 203-6 in the second half of the afternoon and reached the tea break at 243-6.

Masood had Milnes for company, though Akhter had both men dropped in the slips – Milnes on nought before tea and Masood on 127 after.

Milnes profited to some tune, pulling Singh Dale for six on the way to his fifty off 86 balls.

In fact, Gloucestershire had become increasingly ragged in the field. 

Matt Milnes

Picture by Dan Mullan/Getty Images. Matt Milnes pulls Ajeet Singh Dale for six.

After Masood was caught behind off de Lange’s pace – 285-7 in the 71st over – Fisher was reprieved on nought when Bancroft dropped his second catch at second slip.

But they did oust Milnes and Coad, caught behind off de Lange and caught at mid-off off Akhter, the latter also getting Matthew Fisher (20) caught behind off a top-edge to end the innings.

That was not before Fisher had heaved de Lange over mid-wicket and into the car park for six. 

And his influence on the day was not done as, with the new ball, he forced Chris Dent to play onto his stumps midway through the day’s final 14 overs. Coad then bowled Price in the penultimate over to tip the day firmly in Yorkshire’s favour.

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