Captain Gary Ballance hit 74 and went beyond 50 for the tenth time in 15 innings this season as Yorkshire recovered from 9-2 to close the opening day against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford on 251-6 from 96 overs.
The early departures of Adam Lyth and Alex Lees inside the first five overs of this Specsavers County Championship match had left the visitors in a hole, including a wicket for England’s Jimmy Anderson.
But from then onwards the White Rose, who were made to work pretty darn hard, would have been happy with their efforts.
Jack Leaning’s 54 not out off 175 balls represented his second fifty of the season, his first against county opposition.
Andrew Hodd also added an extremely important 41 not out as he and Leaning excelled late in the day during a fruitful seventh-wicket stand of 73 unbroken.
Anderson had to leave the field midway through his sixth over clutching his right groin after pulling up in his delivery stride.
It left the hosts with only two specialist seamers in Tom Bailey and Ryan McLaren and two specialist spinners in Stephen Parry and Simon Kerrigan.
McLaren and Parry were their standout performers and shared three wickets.
After winning the toss, Ballance was able to lead a recovery with eleven fours in 163 balls either side of lunch.
He battled hard to pass 1,100 runs in all cricket this summer.
The left-hander shared 81 inside 33 overs for the third wicket with Peter Handscomb either side of the lunch break to start the recovery.
Handscomb fell in the early stages of the afternoon when he was trapped lbw by McLaren for 29 – 90-3 in the 37th over.
Ballance, who reached 50 off 107 balls, was next to go.
He chipped a widish delivery from Bailey to mid-off as the partnership with Leaning fell two short of 50 as Yorkshire stumbled to 138-4 in the 56th over.
Leaning and Bresnan hit spinner Simon Kerrigan down the ground for a six apiece in the early stages of their innings during the latter stages of the afternoon.
But Bresnan was undone shortly after the break when he was bowled by a McLaren delivery which kept low and nipped back, with Yorkshire now 159-5 in the 67th over.
Lancashire had their tails up again at this stage.
Azeem Rafiq was dropped on one by Liam Livingstone at slip in McLaren’s next over.
But it did not cost Yorkshire too dearly as the off-spinner fell for 16 when he pulled Parry to mid-wicket as the score fell to 178-6 in the 74th.
Thankfully, Leaning and Hodd ensured their was no further damage done, and Yorkshire actually enjoyed their most productive period of the day.
Leaning pulled Bailey for a second six in reaching 50 off 146 balls as he and the former Sussex man took Yorkshire beyond 250 for a second batting bonus point.
Lancashire will perhaps rue their decision to delay taking the second new ball until the 86th over.
ANDREW GALE SAID…
“We’re a bit disappointed that we didn’t get a few more partnerships early on. We feel it’s a decent pitch. It’s going to deteriorate, hence why we batted first. But Jack Leaning showed his quality there. It’s been a while coming and hopefully he can kick on tomorrow.
“He hasn’t looked out of nick. He just needed a score. Hopefully this will kick-start his season. We all know what he’s capable of.
“It looked like it was swinging a bit early doors. No one wants to see Jimmy go down for the sake of the country’s cricket. But the lads dug in well and got us a decent end to the day.
“Who knows, if we can go on and get another 100 tomorrow it puts us right in the box seat.”