‘Scarbados’: Lyth and Tattersall shine for Yorkshire CCC at seaside
The weather was “scorchio”, as the expression goes, with the sun beating down from hazy blue skies.
Lyth scored 152 and Tattersall 104, the latter his maiden County Championship century, the pair sharing an unbroken 239 to take Yorkshire to 364-5 at stumps.
Before a crowd of 3,092, who were grateful for the stiff breeze that buffeted the flags at the Peasholm Park end and took the sting off the temperatures, Yorkshire could be well pleased after choosing to bat in challenging conditions. On a pitch offering pace, bounce and sideways movement, with a tinge of green adding to the demands of a competitive surface, they could quite easily have been skittled for 150, say, and perhaps even should have been by opponents who came into the game top of the Championship.
But Surrey possibly got carried away with that bounce, bowling a touch too short and too many no-balls (18), one of which cost them a wicket when Will Luxton edged Conor McKerr to Will Jacks at second slip.
That would have left Yorkshire 77-4 in the second hour after Luxton had earlier been dropped by the same fielder off the same bowler when Yorkshire were 59-3, the ball disappearing to the third-man boundary for good measure to give the 19-year-old Championship debutant – who made his List A debut here last year – his first runs in first-class cricket.
In the context of an inexperienced and potentially vulnerable top-six, with Harry Brook away with England and only Lyth possessing a first-class record of any real note, it was essential that the 34-year-old Lyth stood up to be counted.
One cannot recall him giving a chance – just one false shot when he was lucky that a leading edge off McKerr looped agonisingly over the bowler’s head as he tried to catch it running back from his follow-through.
Otherwise, the left-hander was imperious on a ground he knows well, having played his club cricket here for many years. Anything short of a length was savagely dispatched – as seamer Tom Lawes discovered when feeding Lyth’s cut and pull early in the piece – and anything over-pitched dismissed with aplomb, usually through the covers, the Lyth trademark.
The word on the street was that Surrey would have bowled had they won the toss, and it was not hard to see why.
Yorkshire, who must have flirted with the idea themselves but wanted runs on the board, lost a wicket to the game’s sixth ball when George Hill edged Dan Worrall low to third slip.
It became 20-2 when James Wharton was trapped leg-before on the back foot by Lawes, the ball perhaps going over the top, and after the hint of a rebuild by Lyth and Will Fraine, the latter was third out at 58 when he drove an away-swinger from Aaron Hardie to Jacks at second slip.
Luxton rode his luck but played some handsome shots too, not least when cover-driving McKerr and timing Hardie through mid-wicket. But his fortune ran out to the first ball of the afternoon session, wicketkeeper Ben Foakes catching him down the leg-side off Jacks.
When Matthew Waite flicked at a delivery from Worrall and was caught at second slip, Yorkshire were 125-5 and in some trouble.
But in strode Tattersall for his first Championship appearance for Yorkshire since May last year (he played two on-loan for Gloucestershire last summer and also one for Surrey), the busy right-hander making the most of his chance after replacing fellow wicketkeeper Harry Duke.
Initially, Tattersall – who made his previous-best Championship score of 92 on this ground against Nottinghamshire three years ago – was becalmed. Soon the runs flowed with confidence and although he survived an easy opportunity at second slip on 75 when Jacks grassed him off Worrall, along with an appeal for a direct hit, it was a terrific innings full of handsome strokes all around the ground.
Lyth went to his hundred from 165 balls with his third six to go with 16 fours, nonchalantly lofting Jacks’s off-spin over long-off into the Pavilion End, Tattersall reaching his century from 211 deliveries with his 14th boundary, clipping a full toss from Overton through square-leg.
Lyth seemed as pleased for his partner as Tattersall was himself, the cheers of the crowd ringing in his ears. On a day that began with Yorkshire awarding a first-team cap to Jordan Thompson, their talismanic all-rounder, it provided the perfect finish to a day which Lyth sealed by pulling its last ball to reach his 150.