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Promotion-chasing Yorkshire take control against Gloucestershire at Scarborough
Yorkshire grabbed their latest LV= County Championship match against Gloucestershire by the scruff of the neck on the opening day at Scarborough despite playing some unconvincing cricket with both bat and ball.
To bowl out the visitors, who had won the toss, for 215 on a decent pitch with only two frontline seamers is an effort the White Rose county can be pleased with as they search for a third win of the season to boost their division two promotion hopes.
But having reduced the score to 9-4 inside the first ten overs, Hamish Marshall’s side were let off the hook.
Then, after Will Gidman got rid of Adam Lyth two balls into the hosts’ first innings, his team-mates went and dropped three very catchable chances inside the opening three overs.
Joe Root and captain Andrew Gale steadied the ship from 16-2 to close on 61-2 from 17 overs, the pair reaching 24 and 23 not out respectively.
Yorkshire have had a problem with removing the tail for some time, long before the likes of Moin Ashraf and Azeem Rafiq burst onto the scene. And this was no different as swing proved to be the most potent weapon for pace bowlers.
After a 65-run stand for the fifth wicket between Iain Cockbain and all-rounder Gidman (47), Jack Taylor and Jon Batty (25) added 56 for the eighth inside 14 overs before Anthony Ireland and Liam Norwell added 36 inside ten for the last wicket.
Gloucestershire’s recovery was sparked by Taylor and Batty as they recovered the score from 107-7 in the early stages of the afternoon session, with Taylor scoring 49 of the 56 runs in the partnership from only 43 balls.
Steve Patterson, Ashraf and Rafiq each took three wickets for Yorkshire, who suffered a pre-match blow when Ryan Sidebottom woke up with a bad back and had to be left out.
It meant that Anthony McGrath and the two spinners of Rafiq and Adil Rashid had to share the rest of the work.
Patterson’s figures of 3-35 from 17 overs were the most impressive, although Ashraf finished with 3-44 from 18.
The shot selection of the majority of Gloucester’s batsmen was questionable, sparked by Benny Howell shouldering arms to Patterson in the fifth over.
Marshall played across the line to the same bowler and was trapped lbw, while James Fuller was later rapped on the pads trying to sweep Rafiq. Yorkshire’s innings began in similarly breathless fashion to that of Gloucester’s earlier in the day.
After Lyth was caught behind for a duck, Phil Jaques was dropped at cover by Taylor off his first ball, Root was dropped by Batty behind the stumps off Norwell and at first slip by Howell off Gidman. They could have been 1-4.
Instead they were two down shortly afterwards when Jaques edged Gidman behind. Root and Gale then added an unbroken 45 before close. Root had started the day by receiving his county cap along with Gary Ballance.