Recent Match Report – Yorkshire vs Surrey 43rd Match 2022

Yorkshire 521 and 65 for 2 (Hill 33*, Overton 2-4) lead Surrey 515 (Burns 132, Foakes 86*, Amla 79, Bess 5-126) by 71 runs

In the land of the Kiss-Me-Quick hat, Yorkshire and Surrey have been squeezing each other slow. In the first 263 overs of the match, Yorkshire strutted their stuff with 521 and Surrey winked back with 515. Both sides have scored at around four an over and, although the draw remains favourite, there is still ample time for final-day frolics.

Adam Lyth and George Hill set a more puritanical tone in Yorkshire’s second innings and seemed set to survive the final 20 overs of the day only for Jamie Overton to take two wickets in the penultimate over as he had Lyth caught off a glove with one that bounced and left him and added the nightwatcher, Dom Bess, lbw for nought to the second ball he received. A markedly inexperienced batting line-up still has a big job to do.

This is another excellent Scarborough surface. It is more batter-friendly than some of recent vintage, but it offered pace and bounce on the first day and, as the sun has shone down, it has begun to offer a little grip for seamers and spinners alike.

In place of Adam Lyth and Jonny Tattersall, Yorkshire’s providers on the first two days, Surrey offered their own opening batter and wicketkeeper combination in Rory Burns and Ben Foakes. Only Foakes was denied a hundred and he was unfortunate because he hardly put a foot wrong in making an unbeaten 86 from 156 balls.

Burns began the third day on 94 and he reached 132 (260 balls) before Shannon Gabriel, the West Indian quick, squeezed the ball through the smallest gate from around the wicket to clip his off stump. Hashim Amla was beaten on the drive by Jordan Thompson, who also claimed Will Jacks to a dirty drag-on. At 303 for 5, still 218 behind and the second new ball only eight overs old, Yorkshire might even have imagined enforcing the follow-on, but Aaron Hardie and Overton hit about then on either side of tea to dispel the notion. A rumbustious last-wicket stand of 48 between Foakes and Dan Worrall then let Surrey back into the match.

Yorkshire’s fight was led by Bess, who appears to be in his best rhythm of the season, and who was rewarded with 5 for 125, including three stumpings for Tattersall on his return to the side. There was also an excellent arm ball to Jamie Smith – a catch, on this occasion, for Tattersall – and perhaps a bit of fortune as Conor McKerr was ruled to be caught at the wicket as his bat scraped against the ground. He has had to fulfil a holding role for much of the summer and he adapted well to a surface offering some turn. He is beginning to look a more seasoned bowler after the disruption of his early England experience.

There was also a brief moment of concern when Thompson injured himself in the field. No player embodies Yorkshire county cricket these days more than Thompson – Lyth perhaps? – and the Vitality Blast finals day is on Saturday at Edgbaston. There was every reason to sub him for a while and check him over. That is not Thompson’s way. He is as robust as they come and, after a once-over from the physio, he yanked his freshly-awarded county cap a little further down his head and tested his fitness by a dash and dive after the next ball.

Down on the sea front, Scarborough was basking in one of its most golden days of the summer. On South Bay you could never give global warming and the cost-of-living crisis a second thought with temperatures a balmy 20C and stalls offering five doughnuts for £3; cash preferred. Even reports of gull muggings are down, although the giant ones hanging around malevolently outside a tattoo parlour were so menacing that they looked capable of stealing not just your fish and chips but your wallet.

The Terror Tower offered the chance to TOUR THE FILMSETS OF THE CHILLER MOVIES, even though it was only a little place and it was difficult to believe that you could cram Pinewood Studios sets into somewhere so small. But then exaggeration is only to be expected in Scarborough. No less a staid body than English Heritage likes to claim that the castle has a 3,000-year-history on the grounds that someone once found a bit of ancient pottery on a site that is more accurately dated to Medieval times.

North Marine Road needs no exaggeration. “Finest cricket ground in t’world,” White Rose loyalists regularly sigh, although Yorkshire’s long list of absentees might have contributed to thinner-than-normal attendances. Who knows, there might even be a bit of sulking going on about the off-field struggles that have bedeviled the club in the past year. Hampshire are along in a fortnight and it will be school holidays and they will hope for the stands to be better populated.

At times like this, the appointment of Ottis Gibson as head coach seems to be a masterstroke. His geniality and authority bring hopes that a happier future – one built on equal opportunities for all – is achievable. Many Yorkshire players are out of contract at the end of the season and he deserves a young squad to pin their faith in his leadership. Some of them, even, before Yorkshire head for Finals Day.

Before play began, old men watched him suddenly break off from his supervision of Yorkshire’s preparations to call over a young lad on the terraces for a couple of impromptu catching routines. When it was over, the youngster remembered to shout “thank-you”, Gibson signalled recognition of his good manners and the old men burst into slightly self-conscious applause.

Surrey, with a 17-point buffer over Hampshire, in second, would leave the East Coast relatively satisfied with draw points, but with Hampshire seemingly destined to beat Warwickshire and Lancashire positioned to put Somerset under pressure on the final day, their nearest challengers are both capable of overhauling them as they seek to win only their second title in 20 years.

David Hopps writes on county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps

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