Yorkshire v Surrey (day 2): White Rose looking for swift response at Scarborough

IT WAS the sort of steady day when a journalist desperate for a theme and determined not to fall into the trap of obtaining mundane player reflections to fill out 800 words was grateful for any quirky information that he could get his hands on.

Yorkshire celebrate as Surreys Ryan Patel is caught behind by Jonathan Tattersall for 26, bowled by Keshav Maharaj, at Scarborough. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

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Pulling on the heartstrings

One advantage of Scarborough’s press box is that the scorers operate from within its confines so one hears all the detail relayed to them by the umpires on their walkie-talkies.

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Yesterday, as Surrey moved from their overnight 48-0 to 362 all-out on day two in reply to Yorkshire’s first innings 327, there was early action across the airwaves as umpires Alex Wharf and Ian Blackwell revealed that it was so windy that they were having to use heavy bails.

They were also unhappy with spectators sitting too close to the boundary in deckchairs at the Trafalgar Square end.

“Can we get those spectators moved?” came the crackling message, “we don’t want any fielders crashing into them”, the scorers then radioing the request to the Scarborough office staff.

Later, as seagulls circled the sun-kissed skies, the umpires were unhappy with a black car parked on the Popular Bank that was causing the afternoon sun to reflect in their eyes.

After much to-ing and fro-ing across the walkie-talkies, a black sheet was found to cover the car, a medical vehicle which had the words “Event Responder” emblazoned on its side.

The words on the black sheet were even more impressive – “Keep Off”, it read in big white letters, a message wilfully ignored by the ground’s insect population.

It was a day, indeed, for drinking in the sights and sounds of North Marine Road, a day when the pollen count at times felt higher than the excitement on the pitch.

Not that there wasn’t plenty for the 3,168 crowd to enjoy; why, the cricket-loving Yorkshire public could probably enjoy a day consisting solely of maiden overs.

There were a fair few of them yesterday, although perhaps not quite as many as Yorkshire would have wished.

Surrey eked out what could yet prove a useful lead; they won here last year, remember, despite conceding a first-innings deficit of 75.

The South African connection in this game is considerable, with two on either team, and the early skirmishes yesterday featured handsome boundaries by Dean Elgar off Duanne Olivier.

When the Yorkshire pace bowler pitched it up, Elgar drove him back down the ground; when he dropped short, the left-hander pulled him to the rope. Elgar looked threatening but was soon dispatched by Olivier’s pace partner Ben Coad, who bowled him as he tried to withdraw his bat to end the opening stand at 68.

Coad was also driven and pulled to the rope as Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick flourished in tandem, Stoneman turning his overnight 28 into a half-century reached from 93 balls.

The second-wicket pair added 42 before Borthwick edged David Willey to first slip, where Tom Kohler-Cadmore did the rest.

So reliable a catcher is Kohler-Cadmore that the most notable moment in the morning session came when he then shelled Ryan Patel on one off the same bowler, wicketkeeper Jonny Tattersall almost claiming the rebound.

A further 60 runs were added before Patel was third out at 182, caught behind driving at the South African left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, his first wicket for Yorkshire.

Surrey slipped to 186-4 in the next over when, two balls after reaching his 23rd first-class hundred, Stoneman was adjudged caught behind down the leg-side off Olivier. The former England batsman did not look happy with the decision after fending at a short ball, but he played well during an innings that spanned 167 balls and included 13 fours.

With Yorkshire having collapsed from 187-1 to 231-7 on day one, the hosts were at that stage threatening to inflict something similar, but Ben Foakes and Sam Curran added 81 in 26 overs, Curran lofting Maharaj for a six into the Trafalgar Square end.

Curran sliced Coad to Jack Leaning at point shortly after tea, Leaning taking another good catch diving to his left in the gully to dismiss Foakes off Coad as the visitors fell to 286-6.

First innings spoils were then in the balance – indeed, the first half of this match has had a very tight feel to it, a bit like a jumper pulled on after the Christmas festivities.

Jamie Smith was seventh out at 303, caught at second slip by Adam Lyth off Willey, and Rikki Clarke eighth out at 334, when he lazily chipped Maharaf to Kohler-Cadmore at mid-on.

Olivier bowled Morne Morkel for a duck and Jordan Clark swung at Maharaj and was caught by Lyth at slip to end the day, leaving Yorkshire in need of the odd “Event Responder” or two out on the field to claw back the balance.