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    Shan Masood's score of 140 helped Yorkshire recover from a difficult position, amidst the impressive performance of Zaman Akhter
Shan Masood's score of 140 helped Yorkshire recover from a difficult position, amidst the impressive performance of Zaman Akhter
Zaman Akhter trapped Joe Root lbw for 2. Source: Getty Images

Shan Masood's score of 140 helped Yorkshire recover from a difficult position, amidst the impressive performance of Zaman Akhter

Skipper Shan Masood rescued Yorkshire with his 26th first-class century on the opening day of the Vitality County Championship Second Division match against Gloucestershire at the Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol.

Yorkshire had a shaky start, losing England's Joe Root and Harry Brook for a combined total of 28 runs in the first session, leaving them at 90 for five. However, Masood stood firm and scored his third Yorkshire hundred off 140 balls, hitting 15 fours.

He was finally dismissed for 140. With Jonny Tattersall contributing 56 and Matt Milnes 51, Yorkshire scored 326 all out after losing the toss. Zaman Akhter claimed a career-best five for 85 from 18.3 overs. By the close, Gloucestershire had slipped to 28 for two in reply.

Mark Alleyne's first Championship wicket since returning to the club as head coach had to wait until the fourth ball of the match. The former captain of the club, who had won trophies, witnessed Josh Shaw clean-bowling Finley Bean for a duck with a good-length ball. This delivery set the tone for an excellent pre-lunch session by the home seam attack. Adam Lyth was the next to depart for seven, well caught by Cameron Bancroft diving to his right at second slip off Ajeet Singh Dale with the total on 19.

Root's first innings on his return to domestic red-ball cricket lasted just seven balls. The former England Test captain had been absent from the Championship for almost two years. He had only scored two runs when he was pinned lbw by Akhter while falling across his stumps.

Brook opened his account with a four driven through mid-off and seemed to be settling in when he pulled Akhter for six over mid-wicket. But after helping the total to 80 and himself to 26, he mistimed a back-foot shot off Akhter and Marchant de Lange took a running catch at mid-on.

Just before lunch, George Hill was caught by wicketkeeper James Bracey off a ball from Akhter.

The afternoon session saw a spirited Yorkshire fightback, with Masood and Tattersall adding exactly 100 runs for the sixth wicket.  

Masood reached his half-century off 83 balls, while Tattersall required only 50 deliveries, hitting 10 fours and punishing anything dropped short.

The partnership ended when Tattersall attempted to shoulder arms against Singh Dale and got an inside edge onto his stumps. At 190 for six, Yorkshire needed more from Masood. They were given a boost when Matt Milnes was dropped by Bancroft at second slip off Akhter before he had scored.

At tea, Yorkshire were 243 for six. Masood was unbeaten on 116, having survived just one scare when he was almost run out on 90 by Graeme van Buuren's direct hit at the bowler's end after calling for a quick single to mid-on.

The 34-year-old left-hander almost departed for 127 soon after the interval when Ben Charlesworth failed to hold a sharp slip chance. Akhter was again the unlucky bowler. Masood added 13 runs to his score before edging a ball from de Lange, who was bowling around the wicket, through to Bracey.

At that point, Yorkshire's score was 285 for seven. Bancroft made another mistake by dropping Matt Fisher at second slip before he had scored off de Lange. Milnes reached a valuable fifty off 86 balls and added a single before being caught behind while attempting to drive de Lange, making it 292 for eight.

Akhter took his fourth wicket when Ben Coad was caught at mid-off while attempting to clear the ropes. Fisher achieved the same feat with a powerful pull shot off de Lange before being dismissed by Akhter, who deservedly completed his five-wicket haul, having bowled with pace and accuracy.

Gloucestershire had 14 overs left to bat. Chris Dent got an inside edge onto his stumps off Fisher, and Ollie Price was bowled by Coad while playing down the wrong line. Yorkshire finished the day on top.

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