Mark Stoneman’s 100 went a long way to giving Surrey a slender lead at the halfway mark of the Specsavers County Championship clash at Scarborough. But Yorkshire’s bowlers fought back impressively after tea.
The former England opener, dropped after eleven Tests early last year, posted only his second Championship century since his omission as the visitors secured a first-innings lead of 35 – at 362 all out – replying to 327 late in a day which saw the White Rose pick up six wickets after tea.
Stoneman’s 167-ball century with 13 fours was the feature innings of a day which saw Yorkshire strike twice with the ball in each of the first two sessions.
Left-handed Stoneman was backed up by useful contributions from Sam Curran (43) and Ben Foakes (40) as eight Surrey batsmen made scores between 24 and 43.
Yorkshire’s loss of six afternoon wickets on day one as they slipped from 187-1 to 231-7 could still prove crucial on a pitch offering extra bounce without express pace. But Surrey have to bat last on a pitch which could well deteriorate.
Stoneman was particularly strong through the covers against a six-man Yorkshire attack who were largely tidy. Only Duanne Olivier and David Willey went at more than three an over, although they picked up important wickets.
Ben Coad, the pick of Yorkshire’s bowlers with 3-60 from 21 overs, and Willey claimed the two morning wickets.
Coad had Dean Elgar playing onto his stumps as he tried to leave alone before Willey had Scott Borthwick caught at first slip by Tom Kohler-Cadmore – his 28th catch in all formats for Yorkshire this season – as Surrey fell to 110-2 in the 30th over.
It was therefore a huge surprise to see Kohler-Cadmore drop Ryan Patel on one at first slip off Willey 10 overs later, with wicketkeeper Jonny Tattersall and Adam Lyth from second slip both scrambling to scoop up rebounds. It was Kohler-Cadmore’s first drop of 2019.
Yorkshire then struck twice in as many overs during the afternoon when Patel (26) was caught behind by Tattersall off overseas South African left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj (three for 75) – his first White Rose wicket on debut – before Stoneman fell to Olivier.
Replays suggest Stoneman was unlucky to have been adjudged caught behind down leg, with the deflection seeming to come off the sweatband on his right wrist rather than glove.
That left Surrey at 186-4 in the 57th over before Curran and captain Foakes, standing in for ill Rory Burns, shared 81 for the fifth wicket either side of tea.
But both fell during the first half of the evening as Yorkshire, and Coad in particular, had success with the new ball.
First of all, Coad had Curran slicing to Jack Leaning at backward point in the 82nd over (267-5) before the same combination accounted for Foakes, albeit in different circumstances as Leaning took a fine diving catch in the gully.
At that stage, in the 90th over, Surrey were 41 behind at 286-6, and they lost another 17 runs later when Willey had Jamie Smith caught at second slip by Adam Lyth in the 96th.
Jordan Clark and Rikki Clarke took their side into the lead, only for the latter to fall caught at mid-on by Kohler-Cadmore off Maharaj, leaving the score at 334-8 after 104. Olivier then bowled Morne Morkel in the next over – 334-9.
Clark was then caught at slip by Lyth off Maharaj for 25 to wrap up the innings and the day.
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