Adam Lyth spoke of a challenging two and a half hours at the crease and also hailed centurion Harry Brook as a more rounded player after a superb batting day for Yorkshire at Emerald Headingley.
The White Rose dominated the opening day of their final pre-season friendly against Durham MCC Universities, reaching close on 370-5 from 89 overs.
Lyth and Brook were joined in passing 50 by superb Jonny Tattersall, their captain for this fixture. He ended the day on 111 not out off 170 balls.
Lyth hit 52 from 95 balls upon his return from two months on the sidelines with a right calf injury which curtailed his Pakistan Super League campaign in February.
He stroked five fours and pulled a six into the East Stand and shared a third-wicket 104 stand either side of lunch with Brook, who retired out after tea with an excellent 111 of his own off 178 balls.
They advanced the score from 54-2 after the early losses of Tom Loten (15) and Will Fraine (four) following the students’ decision to bowl first.
“It was very, very challenging in that first session,” said experienced opener Lyth.
“There was plenty of seam and a bit of swing out there. So it was nice to get through to lunch and get a bit of time in the middle.
“They are not a first-class attack, but they definitely kept us on our toes with plenty of good balls. We certainly had to respect them.
???????? Here are a selection of shots from
harry_brook88</a> who retired on 111 earlier this afternoon <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OneRose?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OneRose</a> <a href="https://t.co/SYQgpVzY5r">pic.twitter.com/SYQgpVzY5r</a></p>— Yorkshire CCC (YorkshireCCC) April 3, 2021
“I was a bit disappointed with the way I got out and not to be able to spend some more time out there. But I’m thrilled with how it’s gone for my first game back.”
After two wickets for Tom Price – Loten caught behind and Fraine bowled – Lyth edged a drive at another seamer, Michael Booth, to second slip as the score fell to 158-3 after lunch.
Brook also pulled a morning six, this time towards the practice nets in front of the Western Terrace, where Joe Root was having a bat ahead of Glamorgan on Thursday.
And Brook cleared the ropes again after lunch with the same shot.
Challenged early on, he pulled his first six off seamer Ollie Sheen, whilst hitting him for two boundaries in the same over. One was punched through the covers off the back foot and the other gloriously driven down the ground.
From there, he was dominant against an attack which lost injured quick Mungo Russell having only bowled four overs with the new ball at the start of the day.
Brook, aged 22, was highlighted in the build-up to this game as a young player to watch this summer by captain Steve Patterson.
It’s fair to say Patterson will not be the only person to have this view.
“Brooky has changed a few things this winter,” said Lyth.
“We knew he was a fine player anyway, but he looks even better now. It’s great to see him in good touch at this stage of year. Hopefully he takes that into Glamorgan.
— Yorkshire CCC (@YorkshireCCC) April 3, 2021
“He’s a more rounded player now, I would say, both technique and mindset wise.
“His technique looks heaps better than what it has been in the last couple of seasons, and he’s worked very hard on it.”
Either side of tea, Brook shared 129 for the fourth wicket with Tattersall, whose fifty came off 93 balls just before his partner got to three figures.
That came off 173 balls, and he retired out five balls later having hit 17 boundaries to add to his two sixes.
Both sides have named 14 players for this fixture, with Yorkshire handing a second debut to Dom Bess after his 2019 loan spells.
Unfortunately, though, he fell for a duck when he was caught at short fine-leg having lap swept off-spinner Ollie Price (289-5).
Tattersall pushed on and reached his century in the final 10 minutes of the day off 167 balls with 13×4s. Matthew Revis will begin day two on 24.