New captain Shan Masood top-scored with 44 on debut as Yorkshire were bowled out for 254 by LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two leaders Durham during today’s opening day at the Seat Unique Riverside.
Masood opened the batting with Adam Lyth having won his first toss as skipper after arriving from Pakistan at the start of the week.
Unfortunately the left-hander was one of a number of visiting batters who got starts without being able to convert on a two-paced natured pitch, with some injudicious strokeplay also at play.
Some deliveries from pacemen such as England fringe duo Matty Potts, who claimed 4-49, and Brydon Carse carried nicely through to the keeper, but Yorkshire’s batters largely found timing an issue before Durham closed on 42-2 from 13 overs in reply.
That Masood and Jonny Bairstow, the latter for 27, both chopped onto their stumps during a four-wicket afternoon session indicates that this pitch is not a batter’s paradise.
And a 10th-wicket partnership of 36 between Matthew Fisher and Mickey Edwards could prove to be crucial when all’s said and done.
Masood was one of two changes from the most recent draw against Glamorgan at Headingley, himself replacing Fin Bean at the top of the order. Matthew Revis has come in for the injured Ben Coad.
Revis was another batter who failed to make the most of a start. He made 21 following Dawid Malan’s 36.
Yorkshire were hampered by their other Pakistan overseas batter Saud Shakeel retiring hurt with a right ankle complaint during the morning, him leaving the crease on eight.
The left-hander required lengthy physio’s treatment having slipped whilst completing a single alongside his compatriot and captain Masood.
The visitors lost Adam Lyth caught at point for nought off Potts in the second over of the match – 2-1.
Masood hit three boundaries in his 92-ball 44, all coming before lunch. His first – a pushed drive wide of mid-off against Ben Raine – was the most commanding of them.
Malan took 21 balls to get off the mark and reached lunch on 15 out of 79-1 from 26 overs.
Unfortunately, Masood was unable to add to his morning score – bowled by Potts six balls into the afternoon, leaving Yorkshire at 81-2.
Malan and Bairstow shared 51 for the third wicket to put Yorkshire in an encouraging position at 132-2.
Malan cut and drove on the up and Bairstow confidently cut a couple of boundaries of his own. However, they both departed in successive overs to change the complexion of the day.
Malan was caught at slip as he edged an attempted cut at Carse to first slip in the 41st over before Bairstow inside-edged an attempted drive at Netherlands all-rounder Bas de Leede onto his stumps with the score still on 132 in the next. Yorkshire were four wickets down and a batter injured to boot.
Another partnership followed, this time 49 between former Sedbergh School pair Hill and Revis.
Hill shimmying down the pitch and lofting former Yorkshire left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel for an arrow straight six down towards the Finchale End of the ground was the eye-catching shot of the day.
New Zealander Patel is making his debut as Durham’s overseas player this week.
Revis had made his way into the twenties when he lost his off-stump when playing down the wrong line to Raine, who had just returned to the attack – 181-5 in the 61st.
Yorkshire reached tea with 10 more runs added, but wicket number six came shortly after tea when Dom Bess (13) pulled Potts to mid-on. That left the score at 202-6 after 66 overs.
Hill followed in the next over, miscuing a pull at Raine to mid-wicket, falling for 28 as the score slipped to 202-7.
Shakeel returned to the crease with Lyth as his runner, and having earlier been struck down with his ankle injury he was in the wars again when struck on the helmet by a Potts bouncer.
That forced a concussion check, something which Masood had earlier had to go through having been struck a glancing blow on his lid.
Unfortunately, Shakeel fell almost immediately afterwards, pulling Potts to mid-wicket before Jordan Thompson was bowled around his legs by Carse, leaving the score at 218-9 in the 73rd over.
Fisher and Edwards then raised Yorkshire’s hopes during a near eight-and-a-half over alliance, which brought a solitary batting bonus point for passing 250.
Edwards played a particularly confident cover drive for four off de Leede’s seam in finishing with 13 – he was last out caught behind off Raine against the new ball in the 81st over. Fisher finished unbeaten on 27.
Fisher’s work for the day was not done as he took the new ball with Thompson, who claimed the first home wicket to fall when Michael Jones edged behind to Bairstow. He took a good low catch as the score fell to 12-1 in the sixth over.
Hill then struck with only his sixth ball when Alex Lees was lbw stuck on the crease for 15 in the 11th over – 38-2.