5.45pm Close here at Emerald Headingley. Yorkshire, replying to Durham’s 223-1 from 60 overs, are 62-3 from 29.1. James Wharton 24 and Will Luxton 28 not out both encouraging.

Ben Raine trapped Harry Duke lbw at the start of the day’s final over.

5.28pm Close of play at Middlesex. They are 80-2 from 30 overs. Wickets for Shutt and Brook. Five overs remaining here at Headingley. Yorkshire 56-1 after 25. Wharton 24, Luxton 28.

4.58pm Will Luxton (11) and James Wharton (19) are doing a fine job repelling Paul Coughlin and Brydon Carse at present. Yorkshire 33-1 here at Headingley. At Middlesex, the hosts are 61-1 in the 24th. As I look at the stream, Josh Poysden bounds in to bowl at Sam Robson.

4.24pm George Hill is being assessed for a potential side strain after leaving the field midway through his seventh over this afternoon.

Andrew Gale has been speaking down at Middlesex during a Zoom call with BBC Radio’s Jonathan Doidge. Here’s some of what he’s had to say on today’s game.

“The lads are a bit rusty. It’s the first time they’ve played any sort of game, and we’d only managed to get outside once on grass in a net on Friday because it’s been so wet. We actually had to go to Weetwood because we couldn’t get on at Headingley.

“We haven’t had great preparation on grass, albeit we’ve had some fantastic preparation indoors.

“So this week is about finding their feet again; lads getting overs under their belts and facing some balls in the middle.

“It was nice to see Gary spend some time in the middle after not playing for a while. He batted for over three hours, and hopefully a few more lads will do the same as the week goes on.

“You’re just looking to face a number of balls.

“My mindset as a batter at this time of year was always to try and face as many balls as you could – up to 100 balls. The more time you spend at the crease, you always feel better for it. That’s what builds form and confidence.

“Young Tom Loten, he batted for well over an hour, and you can’t replicate that pressure indoors.”

4.13pm Holden gone! He’s been stumped by Tattersall off Shutt. Middlesex 22-1 in the 10th over at Merchant Taylors’.

Tea Report Gary Ballance posted 52 off 137 balls in his first innings since September 2019, with Yorkshire reaching 138-5 from 60 overs on day one of their friendly against Middlesex at Merchant Taylors’ School in Northwood.

The White Rose county will now bowl for the final session of the day – 30 overs – before Middlesex continue batting for the first 60 overs of tomorrow’s final day. Yorkshire will then bat out the last 30 overs of the fixture.

Ballance’s hard-working innings, on a slow but excellent pitch given the time of year, included two boundaries, the first of which driven straight back down the pitch off seamer Ethan Bamber.

He fell during the afternoon when caught at backward point trying to cut the leg-spin of Luke Hollman.

Harry Brook also made 25 and Tom Loten 23.

The remaining, more inexperienced, members of the Yorkshire squad are also in two-day friendly action against Durham at Emerald Headingley.

The fixture is taking the same format as the Middlesex game, with Durham posting 223-1 from 60 overs, including 55 from new captain Scott Borthwick.

A number of their batsmen retired out, with Mat Pillans taking the only wicket.

Tea Durham are 223-1 after 60 overs, with their innings marked as declared on the scorecard. So looks like we will see Yorkshire bat for the final 30 overs of the day.

3.14pm Yorkshire have finished their first 60 overs with the bat on 138-5, signalling tea. Ballance 52 the feature. Middlesex will bat for final 30 overs of the day.

3.02pm So, it could be Joe Root v Billy Root in the season opener at Emerald Headingley when Glamorgan visit on April 8. County cricket is back with a bang!

2.54pm Some really good news for Yorkshire… ROOOOOOOOT

2.47pm Just listening to the commentary stream down at Middlesex and their coach Stuart Law is talking about his son, Max, who is now on the Leicestershire Academy. He was with the Yorkshire Cricket College a few years ago.

2.44pm George Hill has left the field midway through his seventh over, with Matthew Revis completing the over. Durham 182-1 after 48. Bedingham 28 and Burnham 30, with a six apiece. Ballance has just reached 50 off 131 balls at Middlesex. Yorkshire 125-4 in the 53rd.

2.08pm Ballance drives his first boundary back down the pitch off Ethan Bamber at Middlesex, moving to 39. Yorkshire 107-3 in the 44th.

1.53pm Durham’s captain Scott Borthwick has just reached his 50, helping his side to 121-1 in the 35th over. David Bedingham has come to the crease to replace Michael Jones, who retired on 49 at lunch.

Yorkshire’s young attack have certainly had their moments, beating the bat on a number of occasions. They have worked hard on a good surface. Sam Wisniewski is bowling as I type.

At Middlesex, Yorkshire have recovered from the early loss of three wickets and have moved to 94-3 in the 41st over. Gary Ballance has 30 and Tom Loten 17.

Lunch Report An experienced Yorkshire side have reached lunch on day one of their two-day friendly against Middlesex on 75-3 from 30 overs at Merchant Taylors’ School in Northwood.

Will Fraine, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Harry Brook (25) fell in the first hour of play, while Gary Ballance’s return to the game after missing last summer has so far yielded an unbeaten 22 off 67 balls.

The left-hander has spent an encouraging hour and a half at the crease against an attack including former England duo Toby Roland-Jones and Steven Finn.

Yorkshire will bat for the first 60 overs today before taking the field for the final 30 overs of day one. Middlesex will then continue their innings for the first 60 overs of tomorrow’s second day before Yorkshire bat again for the final 30 overs of the contest.

The less experienced members of the White Rose squad are also in action against a strong Durham side at Emerald Headingley in a two-day clash.

Overseas fast bowler Mat Pillans is the player with the most first-team exposure, and he trapped Alex Lees lbw for 14 early on in proceedings.

Durham have since reached lunch, under sunny skies, at 100-1 from 31 overs.

New captain Scott Borthwick (31 not out) has shared an unbroken 82 for the second wicket with opener Michael Jones, who is 49 not out.

After the next two days, Yorkshire have further friendlies against Derbyshire at Derby on Thursday and Friday before hosting the students of Leeds/Bradford and Durham MCC Universities in a pair of three-day fixtures at Emerald Headingley on March 29-31 and April 3-5.

Lunch Yorkshire 75-3 from 30 overs at Middlesex – Ballance 22 and Loten 10. Here at Headingley, Durham are 100-1 after 31 – Jones 49 and Borthwick 31.

12.12pm Durham 48-1 in the 18th. Jones 25 and Borthwick 13. Down at Middlesex, Yorkshire are 58-3 after 25. Ballance 13 and Loten 4.

11.33am Ah, Brook drives and edges Toby Roland-Jones to third slip at MTS. Middlesex have Yorkshire 43-3 – Brook gone for 25.

11.30am The sun may be shining, but it looks freezing out there on the Emerald Headingley outfield. Umpire Neil Mallender is certainly rugged up with a bobble hat, snood, gloves and probably a fair few layers under his white coat.

11.28am Early wicket for Mat Pillans here at EH, and it’s the former Yorkshire batsman Alex Lees who is trapped lbw for 14. Durham 18-1 in the seventh.

Just glanced at the stream down at Middlesex to see Harry Brook steer Steven Finn behind point for four. He has 24 of 41-2 in the 15th.

Live stream Here’s a live stream of the game at Middlesex…

11.01am Merchant Taylors’ – Yorkshire are 14-2 in the eighth over down at Middlesex, losing Will Fraine (lbw) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (bowled) early on.

Certainly the plan down there is for Yorkshire to bat 60 overs, field for 30 on day one. Middlesex then bat first 60 overs tomorrow before Yorkshire bat the remaining 30. Not had confirmation yet that is the plan here at Headingley as well.

10.52am Durham have won the toss and will bat first in the game here at Headingley. At Middlesex, Yorkshire will be batting first.

Good morning from Emerald Headingley

The sun is shining and we are all set for our first action of 2021.

Here at Headingley a young Yorkshire side face Durham today and tomorrow, whilst down at Merchant Taylors’ School a more experienced side face Middlesex.

We will keep you updated from both venues.

We get underway at 11am.

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