IT WAS not exactly bucket-and-spade weather at Scarborough on Tuesday.
Thick cloud clung to North Marine Road, where spectators shivered in unseasonable temperatures, and 52 overs were lost to rain, much fewer, however, than the forecast had suggested.
It was the sort of day when, had you been holidaying in the town, you would be bemoaning your luck that the recent heatwave had not held out.
“Ee, if only we’d picked t’other week instead of this one, Ethel.”
“Aye, but tha weren’t to know, Ernest, tha weren’t to know.”
In the circumstances, 44 overs represented unforeseen riches after the weathermen had predicted we would get little or no action on day two.
But after play began half-an-hour late after rain, coastal conditions again proved their tendency to have a mind of their own as spectators enjoyed three hours’ cricket before the rain returned, leaving pools of puddles on the concrete perimeter.
Yorkshire, who resumed on 42-3 in reply to Somerset’s 268, scrapped and scraped their way to 159-7 before play was suspended at 2.54pm, never to be unsuspended.
As the 1,800 crowd eventually slipped away, buried beneath a sea of multi-coloured umbrellas, Scarborough looked as far removed from its affectionate nickname of ‘Scarbados’ as it is possible to be; it just looked like Scarborough on a wet Tuesday in July.
What cricket we saw was nevertheless compelling.
It was slow going at times; Yorkshire scored only 68 runs in 32 overs in the morning session.
But T20 aficionados would not have wanted for nearby amusement arcades, while devotees of the game’s purest form would surely have been in their element, sustained by their flasks of piping hot drinks.
The day began with Harry Brook and Tom Kohler-Cadmore at the crease, the new face of Yorkshire’s top-order batting.
The old face has not looked too healthy of late – more wrinkled old age than youthful good looks – and Brook was instantly into his stride, on-driving two runs from the first delivery of the day from Tim Groenewald at the Peasholm Park end.
As the 1,800 crowd eventually slipped away, buried beneath a sea of multi-coloured umbrellas, Scarborough looked as far removed from its affectionate nickname of ‘Scarbados’ as it is possible to beThe YP’s Chris Waters
Brook’s day had begun with news of his appointment as England Under-19 captain for a five-match one-day series against India, starting on August 7.
It means that he cannot play in the Scarborough Festival, which begins the previous day when Yorkshire take on leaders Essex in a potential Championship decider.
Although Brook’s call-up is deserved recognition, one wonders if the 18-year-old would not have been better served playing in the Championship game if chosen.
A quaint view perhaps, but, hey, somebody has got to have them.
Brook, who made his Championship debut last month against Middlesex at Lord’s, looks the part in the four-day team, and he followed up his on-drive off Groenewald by square-driving the same bowler to the boundary in front of the Popular Bank.
The crowd soon built up on the Bank’s wooden benches as word got round that the cricket was taking place after all despite the weather, although the light was poor right from the get-go.
Brook, wiry and compact, then produced arguably the shot of the truncated day when he on-drove Craig Overton to the rope at the Trafalgar Square end, drawing purrs of appreciation from the knowledgeable crowd.
“Ee, this Brook looks a good ‘un,” you could sense the crowd saying.
Doubtless they will be purring over this lad for 15 years and more.
Brook is only learning, of course, and his education advanced another step forward when Overton produced a snorter to send him back to the pavilion.
The score was 71-3, to which Brook had contributed 31, when he fended a short delivery to second slip, where Marcus Trescothick took the catch almost in slow motion.
Moments earlier, Trescothick had dropped Kohler-Cadmore low in the same position off Overton when the batsman had 19.
Brook and Kohler-Cadmore’s stand was worth 50 in 17 overs, hinting at good things to come in the months and years ahead.
Kohler-Cadmore also played some sweet strokes in his own innings of 31, not least a cover-driven four off Overton and a square-driven boundary off Groenewald.
The 22-year-old was fifth out with the score on 88 in the 40th over, somewhat unluckily playing a ball from Groenewald on to his thigh and down on to the stumps.
Yorkshire lost their sixth wicket just before lunch when Tim Bresnan edged Overton to Jim Allenby at first slip.
A flurry of runs followed after the break as Adil Rashid and Andy Hodd showed their skill and their flair.
But Hodd became Overton’s fifth wicket when he was lbw trying to turn towards leg.
Jim Allenby bowled some nagging out-swingers from the Peasholm Park end and deserved more than parsimonious figures of 0-12 from nine overs.
The match remains intriguingly poised, although Yorkshire say that Ryan Sidebottom is unlikely to take any further part with the ball after sustaining a side injury on day one.