Fin Bean scored an excellent 93 off 128 balls before captain Shan Masood passed him to his first Yorkshire century as the pair underpinned a dominant opening day of the LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Glamorgan at Cardiff.
During a day which saw 18 overs lost to rain, Yorkshire cruised to a close of play 330-3 from 78.
They rarely looked in any type of trouble on a slow Sophia Gardens pitch.
Bean was out seven short of a fourth Championship century of the season having hit 11 fours. Had he reached three figures, he would have become the first non-capped Yorkshire player to score four hundreds in a first-class season since Richard Blakey in 1987.
Masood topped the 21-year-old opener’s contribution during the evening session, going on to finish unbeaten on 113 not out off 153 balls with 12 fours.
This was a day for the left-handers and one Glamorgan could ill-afford.
They have to win here to have any chance of gaining promotion from Division Two.
Their chances of a top-two finish were slim coming into this fixture – their penultimate of 2023 – and even slimmer now.
Adam Lyth also contributed 49 at the top of the order before falling in the early stages of the afternoon when he chopped left-arm seamer Jamie McIlroy onto his stumps.
Lyth had shared 98 inside 26 overs for the first wicket with Bean.
At the other end of the day, George Hill hit an eye-catching 51 not out.
Opening duo Lyth and Bean have now posted seven successive half-century partnerships in Division Two, a run which includes three hundred-stands, and they both went beyond 850 competition runs for the summer. Lyth has 881 and Bean 855. Both are averaging in the early fifties.
From there, second-wicket pair Bean and captain Masood dominated a friendly Glamorgan attack on a pitch with little pace and bounce, sharing 127 inside 26 overs either side of tea.
The hosts were hurt – literally – by the afternoon loss of off-spinner Ben Kellaway with suspected concussion after hitting his head on the turf as he tried to stop a boundary. If and when he returns, the likelihood is that we will find out on day two.
Yorkshire have handed a first-class debut to fast bowler Ben Cliff, in for Matthew Fisher (side) as the only change from last week’s win over Derbyshire at Scarborough.
Yorkshire are now in excellent shape to win back-to-back Championship matches for the first time under Ottis Gibson’s tenure as coach. They will, of course, hope the weather plays ball across the next three days in the Welsh capital.
Bean was strong square on both sides of the wicket, as he usually is, while Masood was strong through the off-side off both the front foot and the back.
The Pakistan international had a stroke of luck when he inside-edged his first boundary to fine-leg and was probably troubled by Glamorgan’s bowlers more than Bean and Lyth were.
Opener Bean just fell short of becoming the first non-capped Yorkshire player to score four hundreds in a season since Richard Blakey achieved the same feat between May and August 1987. The wicketkeeper-batter was capped by the county at the end of that season.
Bean, with three already to his name, still has two-and-a-half games in which to match that feat.
However, given today’s excellent performance, it’s not unrealistic to think that he won’t get the opportunity to bat again in this fixture.
Yorkshire reached lunch at 86-0 from 22 overs and 217-1 from 48 at tea.
Bean reached his fifty off 79 balls before Masood followed him to the same milestone off 58.
Yorkshire lost two quick wickets after tea to peg them back a touch.
Bean edged a drive at Kiran Carlson’s off-spin to slip as the score fell to 225-2 in the 51st over before McIlroy trapped James Wharton lbw pushing forwards for three – 240-3 in the 54th.
Carlson was employed as Glamorgan’s second spinner, owing much to Kellaway’s injury.
Kellaway had been introduced into the attack after only 10 overs, indicating that Glamorgan think this pitch will turn. And it did. That will encourage Dom Bess.
This was Masood’s first century in first-class cricket since last May when he was playing for Derbyshire as their overseas player. In all, it was the 22nd of his career to date.
By the time he reached it, off 132 balls, Yorkshire were 289-3 in the 69th over.
He ended the day by sharing an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 90 with Hill, who settled nicely at the crease ahead of day two.
A particular feature of his innings was the use of his feet to the spinner Carlson. Twice he advanced at him and lofted him straight over the top for boundary fours and reached his fifty off 76 balls in the closing stages of the day.
He will hope to join Masood in reaching three figures tomorrow morning.