Yorkshire159 (Bess 67, Fraine 53; Abbott 6-36, Abbas 3-25) and 23 for 1 (Kohler-Cadmore 13*, Lyth 10*) trail Hampshire 218 (Brown 53, Barker 52, Thompson 5-60) by 36 runs
Today the accolades went first to Ben Coad who made the most of this quickish pitch to have Ian Holland caught at slip early on in a rain-ruined morning. Less than a decade ago, the same spectators saw Ryan Sidebottom wreaking havoc as Yorkshire won successive titles. And some of those at the Peasholm Park End could probably remember Tony Nicholson rumbling in at taking wickets in the years when titles came as standard and only three on the trot were special.
But the past is never far away at Scarborough. The Aberdeen Walk Picture House, which opened in splendour in 1920, has long since shown its last Hedy Lamarr. It was later renamed the Gaiety Cinema but no amount of merriment could prevent it becoming Corrigan’s Bingo Club in 1994. It is now a British Heart Foundation shop but the art-deco frontispiece remains as an echo of the era when the Players took on the Gentlemen at North Marine Road before retiring to the flicks or the music-hall in the evening.
At the other end Barker’s unorthodoxy defeated the attempts of Steve Patterson’s bowlers to contain him. He waited until the last moment before whipping the Yorkshire skipper through the leg side even as the leg before shout was forming on the bowler’s lips. Coming together with their side in modest crisis Brown and Barker had put on 88 and taken their side into a one-run lead before Barker’s final attempt to work the ball off his legs only gave a catch to Will Luxton, the substitute fielder at cover.
But at least this evening session took place in perfect sunshine and that was in such acute contrast to the morning’s play that the two periods of cricket could almost have come from different days. Indeed, the first session of play had consisted of 32 balls but still contained a sequence of arrivals and departures, few of them scripted. The players came out at 11.00 only for Patterson to return to the pavilion almost immediately when he was caught by Brown off Abbott. About five minutes later Thompson fell to a catch by Liam Dawson at second slip off Abbott, who took 6 for 36. That completed a Yorkshire innings in which two players made fifties and the next highest score was 8.
Hampshire’s innings began and The Mayor of Scarborough arrived. The latter proceeded around the boundary, his progress as stately as a latter-day Mikado. A sip of coffee later, Holland got one from Coad that spat off a length and he nicked a catch to Hill at fourth slip. Holland walked off the field nearly as slowly as the mayor had ambled round it but with nothing like the affected dignity. Then rain, or at least the certain promise of it, forced everyone off. Folk huddled for shelter and people put their umbrellas up, although one imagines the mayor has a Brylcreemed flunkey to do that for him.
For an hour there was the desultory chat that would have been recognisable to cricket supporters half a century ago. Relatively few people were mesmerised by their mobile phones; rather more unfolded their newspapers. The players returned for just five balls but Felix Organ was leg before to the last of them when a full length ball from Thompson got him into an ill-balanced tangle.
The afternoon session began late and badly for Hampshire. Nick Gubbins was leg before when only half forward to Coad and all Yorkshiremen sense the possibility of future breakthroughs. Thompson chased a ball to the boundary and took out a couple of deckchairs, one of which will never again groan under the weight of aldermanic buttocks. George Hill chased down another drive and collided with a young supporter who was none the worse and now has a story with which to entertain his mates. It became plain that both Joe Weatherley and James Vince were determined to ride into the storm rather than merely hope to survive it.
Neither really managed it. Indeed, both fell to Patterson before Dawson was dismissed by Kohler-Cadmore’s slip catch off Thompson. It was the high-point of Yorkshire’s day. By the time Thompson was receiving a standing ovation for his 5 for 60 the visitors had a valuable lead. An hour later, another talented cricketer George Hill was contemplating the game’s cruelties. Perhaps he should visit the Quiet Room, a sanctuary that has lately been constructed at the Peasholm Park End of this great ground.
Alternatively, he could talk a stroll along the top of the North Bay and consider the matchless infinity of the sea, the inexorable grace of tides. He might then realise afresh that he is a very fine cricketer and there will be other innings, very many of them. He might look down and see people walking happily on this smoothest of beaches, the human figures that through our summer saunter. Or he could get quite drunk, I suppose.
Paul Edwards is a freelance cricket writer. He has written for the Times, ESPNcricinfo, Wisden, Southport Visiter and other publications