Yorkshire seamer Mat Pillans was left reflecting on a bittersweet opening day of the Royal London Cup at Scarborough today.

The South African overseas fast bowler, 30, claimed 4-57 in his first competitive first-team outing of the summer, but unfortunately it ended in defeat against Surrey.

Yorkshire were bowled out for 165 before Pillans’ former county knocked off the runs for the loss of five wickets inside 40 overs with Mark Stoneman making an unbeaten 73.

Pillans claimed two wickets in an over twice and prospered on a fast and bouncy North Marine Road pitch, where he had also claimed 3-23 in Tuesday’s friendly win over Northumberland.

A bowler with an extra yard of pace than many, he admitted: “Conditions suited fast bowling, and you have to make the most of it when they’re like that.

“One of the biggest things for me is to get over the 90 mph mark as frequently as possible.

“When you get these wickets, it’s a pleasure to bowl on.

“This whole year, I’ve been feeling really good.

“I’ve been feeling like I’ve got a bit of pace behind me in the nets.

“Hopefully I can keeping working with that and put in some more performances during the next few weeks.”
It is almost three years since Pillans swapped the Oval for Emerald Headingley, and he did not play with a lot of the players in the Surrey team today. But there were still some familiar faces in there.

He said: “You have to go hard at any team you come up against. But when you’ve played for the club, it’s good to see some of the guys at the other end.

“There was a good bit of banter out of there.”

And on today’s performance, he added: “The lads are upset we didn’t bat the overs, but we have a good talented team and it’s only the first game in.

“There’s still a lot of games to play, and I’m backing us to come back bouncing at the weekend (at Leicestershire on Sunday).”

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