YORKSHIRE’S bowlers started the season with a polished performance against a Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities side who have caused the county problems in previous years.
This is the third year running the two sides have met at Headingley in the early stages of a summer, with a draw coming in 2012 before Yorkshire won convincingly last year.
But, on both occasions, the students have enjoyed periods of day one dominance. Thankfully from Yorkshire’s point of view, this was a completely different story.
Captain Will Vanderspar, their number four batsman, top-scored with a patient 60 off 118 balls, but nobody else supported him as the visitors were bowled out for 139 in 53 overs just after tea.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid nipped in at the end with the last three wickets to finish with 3-8 from seven overs, while quicks Jack Brooks, Steve Patterson and Liam Plunkett all picked up two wickets apiece.
Yorkshire had just over an hour’s batting to do before close, which they did with few alarms until Alex Lees was bowled for 47 with the last ball of the day by Ivan Thomas.
Yorkshire closed on 94-1 from 24.3 overs. Adam Lyth will begin today’s second day on 45 not out.
"The lads are happy," admitted Brooks. "We had a good workout in the field, and all the seamers got through a good amount of overs. We bowled good areas, held onto our catches and there was a good buzz about us.
"They're a good, well drilled team, although I think we showed our class at times. When we needed to get wickets, we got them.
“We started really well by getting them four down quite early. Vanderspar played nicely, but we stuck to our task well. In the end, the guys at the top have batted them out of the game a little bit.
"If you bowl well on those decks early season, you're going to get wickets. Even Rash getting wickets was good to see. It's good to see your spinner getting wickets early season.
“It helps when the wickets are shared around because everyone's happy. But, as long as we win games when the season starts, it doesn't really matter who gets the wickets."
Gary Ballance had won the toss and elected to bowl when play began at 12.15pm following a wet outfield, although the rest of the day proved to be ideal weather wise, with Headingley baked in sunshine.
It is amazing to think that Yorkshire squads of years gone by would only return to pre-season training on April 1, let alone start their fixture programme.
Ryan Sidebottom had set the tone with a wicket with the third ball of the match, with Yorkshire’s bowlers taking advantage of movement through the air and off the pitch.
New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson will arrive at Headingley today to begin his second spell as the club’s overseas player. He has been playing for his country at the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, but could feature in the three-day friendly at Northampton next week.
He is expected to be on international duty in the West Indies between May 25 and July 7, with Australian Aaron Finch filling in as full-time overseas for all or part of that period depending on his own Indian Premier League commitments.
Williamson could miss as many as six Championship matches.