Blackwell sets up Somerset
Ian Blackwell's terrific 127 not out helped Somerset to a useful first-innings score of 380 all out on the second day of their game against Yorkshire in Division One of the LV County Championship at Scarborough.
In reply Michael Vaughan again fell early for the home side before Anthony McGrath and Adam Lyth helped Yorkshire to recover to 121 for one by the close.
Before Somerset resumed on 160 for three on the second morning there was a short ceremony at which Yorkshire captain, Darren Gough, on his 38th birthday, handed out first-team caps to leg-spinner Adil Rashid and left-hand batsman Andrew Gale who was not playing in the match because of an elbow injury.
It was not long before Yorkshire gained a wicket when, at 167, Arul Suppiah edged a drive at Matthew Hoggard into wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy’s gloves.
Blackwell began to gather runs attractively as soon as he came to the crease and his only fortunate moment came on 18 when he stepped out of his crease to Rashid and Brophy fumbled a stumping opportunity.
James Hildreth, who had enjoyed three escapes the previous day, finally ran out of luck when Tim Bresnan had him edged to first slip where Jacques Rudolph held on to the catch after a juggling act.
There was more than a hint of good fortune about the dismissal which resulted in Rashid becoming the first Yorkshire bowler to reach 50 first-class wickets this season, Craig Kieswetter striking Richard Pyrah a firm blow on his shoulder at silly point with the ball bouncing off to reach Bresnan at short cover.
Blackwell resisted the temptation to go for big hits and he moved steadily to his 50 by on-driving Rashid for his sixth boundary while adding 99 either side of lunch with Peter Trego, who gave his partner excellent support.
Trego had just moved to his own 50 off 65 balls with ten boundaries when he was comprehensively bowled driving at Hoggard, who also trapped Steffan Jones lbw.
However there was no stopping Blackwell whose century came off 137 balls with 12 fours and he went on to celebrate by pulling Rashid smartly for six.
Bresnan made sure Blackwell ran out of partners by having Andy Caddick caught behind and then getting Willoughby to float a catch to Gough at mid-off after the last man had stepped back to smack him for a couple of fours and a six.
With Gale out of action, Yorkshire experimented with a new opening batting combination in Vaughan and Whitby-born Lyth but it was unable to end the long string of first wicket failures this season as Vaughan soon perished - however not before striking Caddick for a classic cover drive for four.
Lyth, however, had already played a couple of glorious cover drives himself and he continued to show his rich potential in an unbroken second wicket stand of 96 with McGrath.
The young left-hander eased his way to his third half-century in four championship innings at North Marine Road this season, his runs coming off 94 balls with nine cleanly-struck boundaries.
By the close there was just time for McGrath to go to his 50 from 99 deliveries with eight boundaries.