— 21 April 2022
Harry Brook continued his superb start to the new season with 84 during a topsy turvy opening day of Yorkshire’s LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.
Brook backed up scores of 101 and 56 not out in the Easter weekend win over Gloucestershire at Bristol to help the county recover from 22-3 to 296 all out with 15 overs remaining in the day.
Northants then replied with 26-2, giving Yorkshire a slender advantage.
Jordan Thompson, who had earlier struck an important 51 from number eight, struck twice in two balls in his penultimate over the day.
Brook, 23-years-old, would have been hugely frustrated to miss out on a sixth career first-class century when he was part of a late afternoon loss of three wickets for as many runs as the visitors fell from health at 203-4 .
Sri Lanka Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne fell for 13 as one of three early wickets for new ball seamer Gareth Berg after Steve Patterson won the toss on a true looking surface.
In fact, Berg claimed the first four wickets, but by the time of his latter Yorkshire had recovered either side of lunch as Brook shared 131 with Dawid Malan, who looked in excellent touch himself for 64.
Brook was punishing on anything short and wide, with the home attack initially struggling to back up the exploits of 41-year-old Berg, who doubles as a player-coach with the Italian national side and finished with 5-58 from 17.3 overs.
Adam Lyth was superbly caught one-handed low down at second slip by New Zealander Will Young before George Hill, batting at number three, and opener Karunaratne both edged behind inside 12 overs.
Left-handed Karunaratne had pushed two boundaries down the ground off Ben Sanderson before his departure, pushing forwards and edging one which was angled across him.
Yorkshire could have been in deeper trouble had home captain Ricardo Vasconcelos held onto a catch at first slip with Malan on nigh off Berg. It looked as straightforward as slip catches come.
But, after a free-scoring spell as Malan and Brook settled at the crease, Northants fought back well during the latter stages of the afternoon session.
This time, they were led by former Yorkshire seamer Ben Sanderson, who forced both Harry Duke (22) and Brook to play on. Sandwiched in between, off-spinner Rob Keogh skidded one through the defenses of Dom Bess, who fell for never playing back.
By this time, Yorkshire were 206-7 in the 54th over.
Following the departure of Malan, lbw playing to leg against Berg shortly after lunch – 153-4 after 38 overs – Brook and Duke shared 50 for the fifth wicket.
But they were both out in similar fashion, bowled off the inside edge as they attempted to force off the back foot.
Thompson hoisted a six over wide long-on against the spin of Keogh before tea, where Yorkshire reached at 237-7 from 64 overs.
Shortly before winning the toss, Patterson named a Yorkshire team including birthday boy Karunaratne, 34-years-old, in place of youngster James Wharton.
Matthew Revis also replaced Matthew Fisher, the England Test seamer who reported back stiffness during the early stages of Sunday’s final day at Bristol.
Ben Coad remains absent after suffering a minor setback with his groin in training.
Revis started the evening session alongside Thompson, with Yorkshire’s first port of call 250 for a second batting bonus point.
And that was achieved as the pair completed a 69-run stand.
Thompson reached his half-century off 69 balls, only to fall lbw to Australian overseas seamer Matt Kelly the following delivery.
And debutant Kelly was on a hat-trick when he forced Patterson to play on, just as Duke and Brook had done earlier.
That left Yorkshire at 275-9 in the 76th over.
All-rounder Revis then opened his shoulders on the way to 31 not out, while Haris Rauf got off the mark with a six over wide long-on against Berg before being bowled aiming something similar at the same bowler.
Rauf and Thompson took the new ball before the latter returned to the attack for a second spell and struck immediately as Northants fell to 25-2 in the 12th over.
Vasconcelos was lbw and nightwatchman Simon Kerrigan caught at first slip by Brook before another nightwatchman, Kelly, survived hat-trick ball.