As Dawid Malan and Harry Brook continued their love affairs with batting for Yorkshire at Headingley, Haris Rauf seemingly started one with the home faithful as the county hit back strongly on day two of their LV= Insurance County Championship fixture against Kent.
Kent started the day on 270-6 in their first innings before falling to 291 all out inside the opening half hour of play, including two wickets for effervescent Pakistan quick Rauf, who finished with 5-65 before being given a rapturous ovation by his team-mates and the crowd on home debut.
Later, Yorkshire fell to 23-3 immediately after lunch before Malan and fellow in-form top order star Brook both made superb centuries to close the day on 326-5 from 86 overs.
Left-handed Malan is playing only his fourth first-class match for Yorkshire at Headingley since moving from Middlesex at the end of 2019.
In those appearances, he has posted scores of 219, 199 and this 152 off 180 balls (22 fours and a six).
Unbeaten Brook matched his more experienced partner for fluency and dominance in amassing a career best 131 – his second hundred of a fabulous start to the 2022 summer.
The pair shared a record partnership of 269 inside 55 overs for Yorkshire against Kent, beating the previous high of 267 between openers Wilf Barber and Len Hutton here in 1934.
Unfortunately, this was a day halted for almost 40 minutes from just before 2.20pm due to a medical emergency in the bottom tier of the stand in the North East Corner.
But the spectator in question was responsive when carried away. 10 overs were lost from the day’s allotted 104.
It was only after that stoppage that Yorkshire’s innings gathered momentum having been put under the cosh by seam quartet Grant Stewart, Matt Milnes, Nathan Gilchrist and Matt Quinn.
Stewart had bowled six successive maidens with the new ball from the Howard Stand End before lunch before Gilchrist replaced him and took the first two wickets.
He had Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne (4) caught behind following a loose drive at one angled across him and then George Hill lbw as he shouldered arms, leaving Yorkshire 19-2 in the 19th over.
With the first ball of the afternoon, Adam Lyth feathered Milnes behind down the leg side – 23-3 in the 22nd.
When play resumed shortly before 3pm, following that medical emergency, Yorkshire had things all their own way.
The style of the Malan and Brook alliance was best indicated by Kent bowling 15 maidens in the first 22 overs of the innings and then only three more for the rest of the day.
Brook hit three off-side boundaries off a Milnes over to take the score beyond 50 in the 28th over, and it was doubled inside the next 10.
Brook later hoisted South African left-arm spinner George Linde for a straight six and another pulled either side of reaching his fifty off 73 balls before tea. Malan had reached his off 65 balls a short time before.
This is a pitch which looks excellent for batting on once the new ball is navigated. Both innings have followed that route.
Though Kent need wickets at the rate which Yorkshire took them this morning if they are going to get back into this Division One clash.
Midway through the evening, Malan reached his hundred off 136 balls and Brook followed 10 minutes later off 138, as the score reached 248-3 in the 68th over.
Sandwiched in between, Malan took four boundaries off a Gilchrist over.
He pulled Quinn for six over mid-wicket to bring up his 150, a lead and the partnership record, only to fall next ball caught behind down leg pulling as the score fell to 292-4 in the 76th over. Quinn later trapped Harry Duke lbw.