Yorkshire v Surrey - Will Fraine delights ‘Scarbados’ crowd as Yorkshire make hay while the sun shines
“SCARBADOS” was not quite as hot and sunny as its West Indian inspiration, but still glorious enough in this soggy old summer.
At the North Bay Cafe down the road from the ground, the hard-working staff were rushed off their feet, dealing with the usual influx of Yorkshire supporters.
“Yes, mate. What can I get you?”
“A large breakfast, please.”
“There’s a wait on for food?”
A few hundred yards out to sea, a couple of speedboats during the lunch break evoked a James Bond chase, leaving trails of white spray in their wake as Yorkshire members sat eating their sandwiches on the benches that overlook the vast descent to the water below.
“What them boats up to?” said one.
“Nivver mind that,” said the other, “what were Lyth up to?”, referencing the only wicket of the morning session when Adam Lyth over-reached for a ball outside the off stump from Rikki Clarke that he steered to Jamie Smith at point.
On a day when Yorkshire scored 327 after winning the toss, Surrey replying with 48-0, Lyth contributed 55 to an opening partnership of 116 with Will Fraine, who top-scored with 106, his maiden first-class hundred on his ninth appearance.
Remarkably, it was Yorkshire’s first century stand for the first wicket since the corresponding game at the Oval in 2017, when Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Shaun Marsh compiled 162 in one of those interminable high-scoring draws in which that ground specialises.
Not so Scarborough, where there has not been a draw for over six years, going back 12 Championship games.
That has probably put the kibosh on things, but Yorkshire ideally need to win this match to reignite a title challenge by no means beyond them given their bowling strength.
Yorkshire are less strong with the bat, of course, a major problem for some time.
Even when they are doing well they are liable to gremlin, as evidenced when they collapsed from 187-1 to 205-5 and then to 231-7 in the balmy afternoon.
The search for more ruthlessness, as the coaches put it, seems no nearer fruition.
At least Fraine – Huddersfield-born and back after a spell at Nottinghamshire – produced an innings that augured well for the future.
His runs came from 149 balls and contained 19 fours – a potpourri of whips, cuts, drives and pulls, plus a meaty leg-side six into the Popular Bank off Jordan Clark that took him into the 90s; he is clearly a batsman of some potential.
A crowd of 3,689 watched him prosper at North Marine Road, proving once more the enduring appeal of outground cricket.
The hosts handed a debut to Keshav Maharaj, the South African left-arm spinner, and recalled pace bowler Duanne Olivier after a hip injury. Rory Burns (ill) was missing for Surrey, who were led by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.
Surrey were poor in the morning and Yorkshire prolific. Fraine tucked into Sam Curran from the Trafalgar Square end, where he brought his left-armers back into the right-hander helped by a stiff breeze, and Lyth was languidly efficient as always, lofting Clarke and Gareth Batty off his pads into the Popular Bank.
Boundaries flowed like bottled water in the press box, where the greenhouse effect was at its most wearing, while Surrey’s fielding was untidy at times, like the Sunday morning streets in the nearby town centre.
Dean Elgar dropped Fraine on 31 in the gully off Clark, and Foakes later put him down on 102, a difficult chance to his left off Clarke.
It was difficult to see where a wicket was coming from prior to Lyth’s dismissal, when he was perhaps undone by tennis ball bounce, and harder still as runs flowed straight after lunch, especially, as Yorkshire raced along like speedboat drivers.
But then they collapsed as Gary Ballance edged to second slip during a cameo in which he passed 11,000 first-class runs; Kohler-Cadmore dragged on; Fraine was caught behind and Jack Leaning taken at second slip. Sam Curran had David Willey top-edging a pull to mid-wicket before bowling Maharaj for a golden duck.
When Jonny Tattersall was strangled down the leg-side off Clark, who ended with 5-77, Yorkshire were 250-8 shortly after tea.
A ninth-wicket stand of 45 in 5.1 overs between Steve Patterson and Ben Coad followed, then one of 32 for the final wicket between Patterson and Olivier once Coad had sliced Morne Morkel to point.
Patterson was last out, caught at first slip off Clark, whose only previous five-wicket haul was against Yorkshire for Lancashire at Old Trafford last year, when he took arguably the most prestigious hat-trick ever – Joe Root, Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow. Patterson struck 46 from 55 balls with nine fours, a fine effort, before running off to get ready for the 14 overs that Surrey had to bat. They negotiated them without significant alarm before the North Bay Cafe does it all again this morning.