Liam Plunkett produced a hard-hitting unbeaten 56 to help Yorkshire reach 178 all out at tea on the first day of their game against Middlesex at Lord’s.
That may seem a modest effort but it was riches indeed compared to the White Rose’s plight when Gary Ballance was caught in the gully at 2.37pm and the visitors were 113-7. And if Ryan Sidebottom had not been dropped at second slip by the previously excellent Ollie Rayner off the third ball he received Yorkshire may not have had the chance to reach relative respectability.
As it was, Sidebottom and Plunkett added 48 for the eighth wicket before the visitors lost their last three batsmen for 17 runs against Middlesex’s powerful pace attack in often overcast conditions.
Plunkett hit ten fours in his 55-ball innings, Sidebottom made 12, all of them in boundaries, to give Yorkshire’s bowlers something of a total to bowl at. It was Plunkett’s third first-class fifty for Yorkshire.
For Middlesex Steven Finn did his Test chances no harm by taking 4-50 off 17 overs, while James Harris and Tim Murtagh claimed three wickets apiece.