Adam Lyth and Fin Bean straight back in the groove for Yorkshire CCC

LAST year, the Yorkshire opening pair of Adam Lyth and Fin Bean scored 1,278 runs together in 20 County Championship innings with an average stand of 63.9.

They shared four century partnerships and had three others in the 90s.

Eleven of those 20 stands were over 50, and only two were less than 21.

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At one point, they strung together seven consecutive stands of 50-plus and eight in nine innings.

Back in the old routine: Fin Bean, left, and Adam Lyth. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.comBack in the old routine: Fin Bean, left, and Adam Lyth. Picture by Allan McKenzie/
Back in the old routine: Fin Bean, left, and Adam Lyth. Picture by Allan McKenzie/

They batted superbly, in other words.

On the opening day of the three-day friendly against Leeds-Bradford UCCE, it was no surprise to see them continuing from where they left off, putting down an early marker that last season’s efforts were no flash in the pan.

Although the bowling was a step down in standard from the Championship, with the students no better than game opponents in the annual curtain-raiser, some of the strokes were a joy to behold and superior bowlers would have struggled, too.

The Lyth cover drive was out in full force - still one of the glorious sights of the domestic game - and Bean was especially strong off his legs.

George Hill was in fine form against the students. Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images.George Hill was in fine form against the students. Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images.
George Hill was in fine form against the students. Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images.
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They looked like men on the brink of another summer brimful of runs.

Bowling attacks, certainly, have been put on notice.

As Yorkshire scored 294-5 in the 46.3 overs possible (there was no toss), Lyth and Bean shared 114 in just 16 overs.

Lyth hit 34 before being bowled by Kurtis Watson from the first delivery of the 17th over, having faced 60 balls and struck seven fours.

Bean weighed in with 62 from 57 deliveries with 13 boundaries and was second out with the total on 131, flicking Watson to Calum Fletcher at square-leg.

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Still only 21, there is every sign that Bean, the junior partner in this latest in a long line of splendid Yorkshire opening partnerships, can build on an impressive breakthrough year.

Later, George Hill, still only 23 himself, and a terrific all-round prospect, struck an unbeaten 82, made from 83 balls with 12 fours and a six.

It was the innings of the day and looked effortless at times.Only light deemed unplayable as soon as Matty Revis was the fifth man out, bowled by Fletcher for 20, denied Hill the opportunity of a three-figure score.

It was solid stuff all round from the young Yorkshire batsmen.

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Throw in confirmation from the club that Harry Brook and Joe Root will each be available for five of the first seven County Championship games (Brook for the first five rounds, then Root for rounds two-to-five inclusive, followed by seven), and it was an excellent first day of the season for the hosts.

It had been a mostly fine morning at Headingley too, but a wet outfield meant that the players could not get on to the field until 1.40pm, effectively leaving two sessions of play, much of which was conducted beneath floodlights.

There was a smattering of hardy spectators present who were duly rewarded for their optimism and patience; the cricket was nothing less than entertaining for them, with the run-rate essentially one-day pace.

Jonny Tattersall led Yorkshire in the absence of Shan Masood, who is due to arrive later in the week and play in the behind-closed-doors two-day friendly against Durham at this ground from Easter Sunday.

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Tattersall’s presence behind the stumps meant that Harry Duke, his wicketkeeping colleague, turned out instead for Leeds-Bradford, Duke distinguishing himself with a good diving catch when James Wharton edged Watson to leave Yorkshire 146-3 in the 23rd.

Hill reached fifty from 49 balls with eight fours and shared 103 for the fourth-wicket with Tattersall inside 17 overs.

They looked in little trouble until Tattersall miscued Joe Pocklington, the left-arm spinner and Leeds-Bradford captain, to Watson at short cover, departing for a useful 35.

Yorkshire have a crop of good all-rounders, not least Hill and Revis, who shared 44 before Revis was defeated.

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Hill looked strong all round the ground and hoisted Pocklington for six over mid-wicket.

Play would have continued until 6pm but for the light, but it was March 26, after all, not August 26, the season seemingly starting earlier each year.

Meanwhile, Mark Arthur, the former Yorkshire chief executive, has joined the management board at Scarborough Cricket Club, which is this year celebrating its 175th anniversary.

Also joining the board at the club’s annual general meeting on Monday were Steve Denison, the former Yorkshire chair; Jim Love, the former Yorkshire batsman; Lady Rachael Boycott; Jemima Bird and John Spencer.

The nine-strong board is completed by Kevin Grace, the chairman, Louise Hanks and Neil Duell.

Bill Mustoe has stepped down from the board and continues as president.

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