Jonny Tattersall’s maiden first-class fifty was the standout contribution in an impressive Yorkshire fightback on day one of their Specsavers County Championship match against Surrey at Scarborough.
Tattersall and seventh-wicket partner Tim Bresnan came together shortly before tea with the hosts, who elected to bat, on 166-6 and in danger of falling short.
And they batted for close to 32 overs to share 100, with Yorkshire closing at 299-8 from 96.
Tattersall top-scored with 70 off 156 balls, while Bresnan added 48. Both fell shortly before close.
Gary Ballance, like Tattersall, also reached 50 as the White Rose ensured the Division One leaders, led by the pace of ex-South Africa international Morne Morkel, did not enjoy the dominance that looked likely.
This was a particularly hard-fought and fascinating day of Championship cricket, a far cry from last week’s forgettable draw against Hampshire on a turgid Ageas Bowl surface.
Neither side gave an inch in front of a crowd of 4,384.
That was typified by Indian overseas batsman Che Pujara taking 42 balls and 70 minutes to get off the mark before lunch on his way to 23.
The chief frustration for Yorkshire will have been that a number of their top order made starts without going on, including Pujara in his last appearance before the start of the August’s Test series in England.
Adam Lyth made 42 before lunch and Jack Leaning 21 afterwards, with both falling via miscues to Morkel and his new ball partner Jade Dernbach.
Yorkshire reached 76-2 at lunch, losing Alex Lees for a duck and Lyth. Lees was caught and bowled by Dernbach and Lyth caught in the gully driving at Morkel as the score fell to 51-2 in the 20th over.
Pujara, in at number three, left the ball expertly, often on length, and first scored when he drove Ryan Patel through the covers for four to the delight of the home faithful.
After lunch, Surrey gained the upper hand.
Off-spinner Amar Virdi, 19, struck twice in three balls.
He had Pujara caught at short-leg and then trapped Harry Brook lbw two balls later for a duck as he played back to one that skidded on, leaving Yorkshire at 107-4 in the 37th over.
Ballance pulled Virdi for six to reach a 60-ball half-century, but he fell when he was bowled by Rikki Clarke as he offered no shot to one angling in from around the wicket almost eleven overs later – 139-5.
And when Leaning miscued a pull at Dernbach to deep mid-wicket, where Will Jacks took a low catch – his second of the day – Yorkshire were 166-6 in the 60th.
But, thankfully, the wickets dried up for the rest of the day as Tattersall, on home debut, and Bresnan united.
No doubt, they had their luck, including Bresnan dropped on 18 by wicketkeeper Ollie Pope off Patel’s seamers with the score on 200-6.
Surrey’s seamers also beat the bat regularly through the day. But Tattersall and Bresnan deserved their fortune.
The former reached 50 off 126 balls, hitting three successive boundaries off Dernbach to get there.
Bresnan was bowled by Clarke and Tattersall caught at second slip off Morkel inside in the day’s last six overs.
Morkel finished with 3-53 from 23 overs, bowling three no balls in the last over of the day and conceding 19.
This match is being live streamed on both clubs’ website and on Sky Sports’ website, with a four-camera operation a first for county cricket.