A fine unbeaten 82 for George Hill added to 62 for Fin Bean underpinned Yorkshire’s encouraging start to the home summer during a shortened day one against Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities at Headingley today.

Hill played the feature innings as the county closed the first of three days against the students on 294-5 in the 47th over. Bad light ended play half an hour early at 5.30pm.

Bean shared an opening partnership of 114 with Adam Lyth following a delayed start until 1.40pm due to a wet outfield, the latter making 34. 

They set the tone for the day before Hill went beyond both of them to top score from number four. 

Left-handed openers Bean and Lyth starred in last summer’s Vitality County Championship with 2,002 runs between them – 1,019 and 983 respectively.

And they started 2024 in similar fashion against an attack who were faced with challenging bowling conditions during the two sessions of play possible. 

Lyth and Bean LBMCCU

Picture by YCCC. Fin Bean and Adam Lyth at the crease during the early stages of day one at Headingley today.

Bean’s effort included 13 fours from 57 balls, while Hill later hit 12 fours and a six in 83 balls.

After play was delayed due to the effects of rain in the build-up to the game, it was clear there was still a greasy feel to the bowlers’ run-ups.

This performance was a real mixed bag from the students, who conceded 42 in no balls amidst 53 extras.

But they improved as the day went on, and seamer Kurtis Watson impressed with three wickets, finishing with 3-48 from eight overs. Whisper it quietly, he is a Preston-born quick with Lancashire second-team  experience.

They also started the contest with four byes down leg off the first ball – tipped around the corner by a sprawling Harry Duke behind the stumps.

The Yorkshire wicketkeeper is playing in this fixture for the visitors due to his University commitments in Leeds.

Headingley day one LBMCCU

Picture by YCCC. The scene at Headingley this morning.

But they troubled Lyth in particular during his 60-ball stay at the crease.

He was dropped at first slip on 24 having been squared up by new ball seamer Toby Porter and later played on to Watson as the score fell to 114-1 in the 17th over.

By this stage, midway through the afternoon, watery sunshine had been replaced by grey clouds and the need for floodlights.

Bean looked in imperious form. 

Here is a young player who enjoyed a fine breakthrough year last year and has spent time at the start of this year on an England Lions batting camp in Mumbai. 

He was strong on both sides of the wicket, playing a couple of sweetly timed cover drives and a couple of eye-catching pull shots.

Mickey Edwards

Picture by YCCC. Mickey Edwards bowls at tea today.

Unfortunately, he clipped Watson low down to square-leg in the 19th over – 131-2.

James Wharton followed for eight four overs later, edging Watson behind to Duke, who took a superb one-handed catch diving in front of first slip. That left Yorkshire 146-3 after 23.

Hill was 25 by the time tea was taken with Yorkshire at 172-3 after 26 overs.

Hill doubled his score inside the first 40 minutes of the evening to reach 50 off 49 balls, doing so with a glorious straight driven boundary – his eighth in all – off Stanley Brown. By this time, Yorkshire were 228-3 with Jonny Tattersall 25.

Like Bean, Hill looked in little trouble. 

Shortly after reaching his fifty, he advanced at the left-arm spin of Joe Pocklington and lofted his third ball for four over mid-on’s head.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. George Hill raised his bat on day one of the season.

He shared 103 for the fourth wicket with Tattersall either side of tea. 

Tattersall is captaining Yorkshire in this match, and he added a useful 35 before miscueing the left-arm spin of Joe Pocklington to cover – 249-4 in the 40th over.

Hill nearly miscued a catch to mid-on not longer after that, but survived. He hoisted left-arm spinner Joe Pocklington for six over mid-wicket, only to see Matthew Revis bowled by a Calum Fletcher in-ducker with what proved the last ball of the day.

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