The opening day of Yorkshire’s LV= Insurance County Championship campaign against Gloucestershire at Bristol was largely about Haris(s) – and while Marcus was the standout performer, Rauf helped the visitors gain control.
After electing to bowl first upon winning the toss, Yorkshire were initially unable to get the rewards they had been after during the opening two sessions as Australian left-hander Marcus Harris led the home side’s cause.
Despite three wickets for the on-song Matthew Fisher – who finished with 4-19 – opener Harris was moving towards a fabulous debut century, which he went on to complete in posting 136 off 231 balls.
But, having underpinned his side’s progress to 155-4 at tea, he had to complete his ton as carnage unfolded at the other end.
Yorkshire’s Pakistan overseas quick Haris Rauf roared in to claim three wickets in 13 balls as Gloucester quickly fell to 183-8 before later reaching 227 all out.
Rauf, whose Yorkshire side closed on 37-0 from 15 overs in reply, had started his debut day bowling first change from the Pavilion End.
He took his time to settle on a green-tinged pitch offering good pace and carry rather than extravagant movement before bursting into life immediately after tea when he switched to bowl from the Ashley Down Road End.
His first two wickets came in the second over of the evening – the 66th of the day – which will do well to be matched all season for action.
First of all, he created two chances behind the wicket off the edge of Ryan Higgins at the start of the over before ending it by getting Higgins caught at mid-wicket pulling and Tom Lace lbw with a searing yorker.
That left the score at 167-6 before Dom Bess had Zafar Gohar stumped aiming a big heave and Rauf struck again when Matt Taylor edged to third slip.
Rauf finished with figures of 3-81 from 16 overs.
But, though the 28-year-old swung the game in Yorkshire’s favour with his speedy spell after tea, Fisher was clearly the outstanding bowler, with his 4-19 coming in 14.1 overs.
Interim managing director of cricket Darren Gough spoke to BBC Radio at lunchtime, admitting the county’s start had been a “little bit wide”.
But Fisher struck twice inside the final 20 minutes before lunch to turn the tide.
He had Ben Charlesworth caught behind by Harry Duke pushing forwards for 15 and then James Bracey caught at second slip by Adam Lyth in the final over of the morning, leaving the score at 58-2 in the 29th.
Steve Patterson and Fisher again struck during the afternoon.
Patterson had his opposing captain Graeme van Buuren caught at second slip by Lyth again before Fisher had Miles Hammond smartly caught by Rauf off a top-edged pull as he ran around towards deep backward square-leg.
Then came the flurry of wickets – 6-60 in all – to change the day.
While Yorkshire didn’t get the early wickets, they controlled the run-rate to ensure quick wickets would leave them well placed. Having returned from a Test debut in Barbados last month, Fisher’s figures proved that.
Aussie Harris was superb on his first appearance for Gloucester. He drove handsomely in accruing 22 boundaries and lofted Patterson for a six over long-on.
He has moved to the South West having played as Leicestershire’s overseas last season, scoring a Royal London Cup century against Yorkshire at Grace Road.
Harris offered a sharp chance on 18 to Duke off Rauf’s bowling before lunch.
Duke had an eventful day. He was also involved in both chances created by Rauf in the 66th over, parrying towards Harry Brook at first slip and then being beaten for pace from the second edge from Higgins.
But he took a skied catch behind as Patterson removed Harris off a top-edged pull as Gloucester lost their ninth wicket.
Yorkshire then made an encouraging start to their reply in the day’s final hour, with Lyth pulling Matt Taylor for six over mid-wicket in the second over on the way to an unbeaten 24.
At some point on day two, James Wharton will walk to the crease for his maiden innings in first-class cricket.
He was handed a debut prior to play, with Will Fraine missing out. Ben Coad was the other member of the travelling 13 not selected.