Harry Brook made an eye-catching return to county colours with a blistering unbeaten 74 following a polished display by Yorkshire’s bowlers during a dominant day one against Durham at Headingley today.

The two counties are putting the finishing touches to their respective pre-season programmes with a two-day Easter weekend friendly, and it was Yorkshire who made the impressive start.

Durham batted for the contest’s first 60 overs, recovering from 45-5 in the Leeds sunshine to declare on the verge of tea with 235-9 on the board.

Left-arm spinner Dan Moriarty returned 3-47 from nine overs, claiming the last three wickets to fall during the afternoon session. His haul included Durham’s top-scorer Brydon Carse for 76. 

Carse was forced into a recovery job following excellent early work from seamers Matt Milnes and Mickey Edwards, who claimed two wickets apiece.

Brook then headlined Yorkshire’s strong response – 196-2 from 30 overs – through until close, hammering 10 fours and four sixes in just 42 balls, giving the county’s supporters a reminder of what they can expect during the first five matches of this summer’s Vitality County Championship.

He was ably supported by opener James Wharton’s 58 not out from 83 balls and George Hill’s 48 from 53. Both have enjoyed a productive spell of friendly action over the last two or three weeks.

Scorecard 

England star Brook has not played for Yorkshire since July 2022, owing much to his stunning start to life in international cricket.

Here, he crashed two sixes apiece off England fringe quick Carse and left-arm spinner Callum Parkinson. The two off Carse were picked up over the leg-side and the two off Parkinson went over cover. 

The first against Parkinson was hit flat off the back foot with a brutal air about it.

Brook came to the crease at number four with Yorkshire 75-2 in the 18th over. Fin Bean had fallen cheaply to Carse, while Hill was trapped lbw by another seamer, Daniel Hogg, two short of what would have been another fifty.

He scored one against Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities last week.

Hill hit a pair of sixes down the ground off Parkinson amidst a 70-stand with Wharton, who was the most measured home batter on show without going into his shell.

Harry Brook

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Harry Brook is back in action for Yorkshire for the first time since July 2022.

Brook led a partnership of 121 inside 13 overs with Wharton as newly promoted Durham were forced onto the back foot. 

Brook reached his fifty off 33 balls, while Wharton’s came shortly afterwards off 72 as an entertaining day drew to a close.

Earlier, tall Anglo-Australian Edwards finished with the pick of Yorkshire’s bowling figures, 2-15 from eight overs. 

Milnes claimed 2-39 from eight overs, while Dom Leech and captain Jordan Thompson struck once apiece. 

Milnes did the initial damage by trapping Alex Lees lbw and getting Michael Jones caught low down at second slip by Brook, leaving Durham at 13-2 in the fifth over after the visitors had won the toss.

Edwards then had Scott Borthwick and Ollie Robinson caught behind by Harry Duke, the wicketkeeper who then claimed his third catch to help Leech oust Graham Clark.

Mickey Edwards

Picture by Ian Roman/Abu Dhabi Cricket and Sports hub. Mickey Edwards impressed with the  ball on day one v Durham.

This fixture sees more than 11 players per side used. 

Edwards, for example, wasn’t named in the Yorkshire team on the official scorecard, while Clark batted twice, scoring 13 and 33. 

Durham reached lunch at 93-5 as Carse and Dutch all-rounder Bas de Leede (27) set about an 80-run partnership for the sixth wicket. 

The latter was bowled by Thompson in the early stages of the afternoon before Carse, who had slog-swept Moriarty for the first of two sixes, was bowled by the same bowler – 158-7 after 47 overs.

Moriarty then had Paul Coughlin caught in the deep before getting the returning Clark caught at slip by Brook, who would later have an even bigger influence on the day.

Meanwhile, England Test captain Ben Stokes was at Headingley today, training with his Durham team-mates.

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