Yorkshire v Surrey: Late rally from Yorkshire helps soften impact of Surrey's Steven Davies
ALL roads did not lead to Headingley yesterday as the Leeds Half Marathon disrupted spectators' attempts to get to the ground.
If it is not the Tour de Yorkshire causing travel headaches, it is people running round the streets.
“This country!” as Alan Partridge might have mused.
Those who did make it to the ground – many of them complaining of hours spent stuck in the car on the hottest day of the year – were at least rewarded with some hard-fought cricket.
By the end of it, Yorkshire must have felt that they had expended the equivalent of a half-marathon’s worth of energy as Surrey scored 330 after winning the toss, the hosts replying with 15-0.
Steven Davies, the former England wicketkeeper, top-scored for Surrey with 117, his first Championship hundred for almost a year.
Kumar Sangakkara, the former Sri Lanka wicketkeeper, hit 73, his highest score against Yorkshire after his five previous innings against them in all cricket had brought 41 runs at 8.2.
Ben Foakes, the current Surrey wicketkeeper, chipped in with 45 and Tom Curran 32.
Yorkshire were not at their absolute best with the ball or in the field, but they stuck at it gamely and restricted Surrey to a score that looked below par on a good batting pitch.
On a day when the temperature touched the mid-20s, there seemed little doubt that a toss would take place and that Surrey would decline the option to bowl.
There was perhaps a smidgen of help for bowlers early on, but it was mostly hard yakka for captain Andrew Gale and his side.
Initially, Yorkshire were all over Surrey as they conceded just three runs in the first seven overs.
David Willey, indifferent with the ball on debut at Notts, was particularly impressive after Yorkshire took to the field with an unchanged line-up.
Jack Brooks, who shared the new-ball, conceded just two runs in his first three overs and he would have had a wicket in the last of those had Gary Ballance not dropped Arun Harinath on nought at fourth slip.
Willey broke through in the ninth over when Rory Burns nibbled at one that bounced and edged to Jonny Bairstow.
Harinath, on nine, was dropped for a second time with the total on 31, Brooks failing to cling on at long-leg after the left-hander helped round a delivery from Willey.
The opener had a third life on 12 when Adam Lyth dropped him at second slip off Liam Plunkett, only for Plunkett to get him next ball when Harinath, turning to leg, skewed to cover. At 38-2, Yorkshire could be pleased with their start, but they ran into the formidable obstacle of Sangakkara. The 38-year-old went into the game as the division’s leading scorer with 397 runs at 66.16, and he immediately looked in velvet touch as he cover-drove his second delivery for four off Willey.
Sangakkara took three fours off a Plunkett over and caressed the ball with languid ease.
Davies got his game going with a cut for four off Brooks and, at lunch, the picture looked better for Surrey at 96-2.
Straight after lunch, Sangakkara back-cut Steve Patterson for four to reach fifty from 78 balls with nine boundaries.
Davies picked up from where he left off by persuading, on the up, a delivery from Willey to the cover rope – a shot so glorious that you imagined Sangakkara must have played it before the scoreboard confirmed otherwise.
Davies has always been an attractive player to watch, and he soon reached his own half-century from 94 balls with eight fours, raising a century stand with Sangakkara from 168 deliveries.
Moments after surviving a close run-out appeal when he tried a single off Brooks to Willey at mid-off, Sangakkara departed unexpectedly. He appeared to be trying to dink a delivery from Plunkett over the slips but picked out Alex Lees at first slip, who nonchalantly held a difficult high chance.
Sangakkara faced 101 balls and hit 13 fours, and his departure left Surrey 160-3 in the 45th over.
That became 161-4 in the next over when Jason Roy was brilliantly caught low down at third slip by Joe Root off Brooks, the batsman clearly feeling that he had played the ball into the ground, a conviction which the Yorkshire crowd did not agree with as they urged him to “gerr’off the field”.
Yorkshire were held up again as Davies and Foakes added 103 in 27 overs, the former reaching his hundred in the penultimate over before tea from 137 balls.
It took the return of Patterson not long before the second new ball to get rid of both men, Davies driving to short cover and Foakes following soon after when cutting to first slip.
Willey trapped James Burke and Gareth Batty with successive deliveries with the second new ball, and Brooks ended the innings by bowling a driving Curran and having Ravi Rampaul caught by Bairstow off a top-edge.