Yorkshire vs Middlesex, Day 2.
Close: Middlesex 130/2, Yorkshire 406 all out
Andrew Strauss, England's director of cricket, watched on as Yorkshire and Middlesex were locked in an unresolved battle to gain the upper hand on the second day of the Specsavers County Championship match at Scarborough.
When a second weather interruption ended play with 13.4 overs remaining, Middlesex were 130 for two in reply to Yorkshire's first innings score of 406.
Their position would have been considerably stronger if Sam Robson and Nick Gubbins had not fallen in quick succession after being largely untroubled in an opening stand of 87 in 27 overs.
The Middlesex innings began straight after lunch and Robson set the tone by hitting Brooks' first ball for four with Gubbins soon afterwards off-driving the paceman to the boundary.
Off-spinner, Azeem Rafiq, entered the attack at 39 without loss in ten overs but was taken off as soon as Robson straight drove him for six.
If Strauss were contemplating a long innings from Robson he was to be disappointed because he went for 40 from 74 balls, top-edging an intended pull at Jack Brooks to Will Rhodes at mid-wicket.
Inspired captaincy from Andrew Gale was responsible for the demise of Gubbins for 43. He immediately removed Brooks from the attack and replaced him with Rhodes who in his first over had Gubbins lbw moving across his stumps.
Stephen Eskinazi was joined by Australia's George Bailey, in his first Championship appearance for the visitors, and they had just settled in nicely when the weather first intervened with the loss of eight overs.
On the resumption, Eskinazi cover drove Bresnan for four but with 16 added from 21 balls they were off for bad light again with both batsmen on 19 and this time they did not return.
Gary Ballance was 106 and Rhodes 12 when Yorkshire resumed the second day on 291 for five and a third batting bonus point had just been acquired when Rhodes dragged a ball from Tim Murtagh into his stumps.
There were 12 overs remaining in which to gather further bonus points but Ballance and Andy Hodd seemed more intent on building a big total rather than taking undue risks.
They had added 34 together and Ballance had moved on to 132 when he was the first of two wickets to fall in the same over from James Franklin. He chipped a gentle return catch after lasting for 262 balls and striking 19 boundaries.
Azeem Rafiq came and went, edging Franklin to Robson at slip, but Middlesex were frustrated by the tail as 72 came from the last two wickets in 15 overs, the effort being underpinned by Hodd.
He put on 37 with Steven Patterson, who was bowled by Steven Finn for 19, before Brooks began an entertaining last wicket stand by hooking Finn for six to get off the mark.
Hodd punished Murtagh with two fours in an over as he and Brooks piled up 35 in four overs and the lunch interval had already been held back almost 20 minutes when Hodd edged Toby Roland-Jones to Robson at slip for a valuable 37 from 87 deliveries with three fours and a six.
Middlesex's attack had generally stuck well to their task and Murtagh, Roland-Jones and Franklin were deserving of their three wickets apiece.
Tea: Middlesex 95/2
Middlesex made a solid start after bowling out Yorkshire for 406 on the second day of the Specsavers County Championship match at Scarborough but then lost both of their openers in quick succession.
Sam Robson and Nick Gubbins put on 87 together before Robson mistimed a hook at Jack Brooks and was caught by Will Rhodes at mid-wicket for 40.
Brooks was immediately withdrawn from the attack by skipper Andrew Gale and replaced by Rhodes who pinned Gubbins lbw for 43 in his first over, Middlesex going in to tea on 95 for two and trailing by 311.
Yorkshire began the day on 291 for five and soon lost Rhodes but Gary Ballance continued to add to his overnight 106 until paceman James Franklin struck twice in an over.
He forced Ballance into giving a return catch for 132 from 262 balls with 19 fours and had Azeem Rafiq edging a catch to wicketkeeper, John Simpson.
Yorkshire were 334 for eight, but their tail wagged heartily and the last two wickets put on 90 in 15 overs, Andy Hodd leading the assault with 37.
Lunch: Yorkshire 406 all out.
Yorkshire's late order offered further resistance at Scarborough this morning after Middlesex paceman, James Franklin, had claimed two wickets in an over, including that of Gary Ballance for 132 from 262 balls with 19 four.
They were eventually bowled out for 406 after the lunch interval had been delayed because the last wicket pair were at the crease.
The title-holders resumed on the second day of the Specsavers County Championship match on 291 for five with Ballance on 106 and Will Rhodes 12.
The score was 300 when Rhodes attempted to pull a ball from Tim Murtagh but only succeeded in dragging it into his stumps and at the 110 overs stage Ballance and Andy Hodd had moved the total on to 332 for six, Yorkshire taking three batting bonus points and their opponents two bowling points.
Ballance's flawless innings ended when he chipped back a catch to Franklin and in the same over new batsman, Azeem Rafiq,edged a catch to wicket-keeper John Simpson, making it 334 for eight.
Hodd responded with two boundaries in an over off Murtagh and last man Jack Brooks opened his account by hooking Finn for six into the pavilion enclosure.
The innings was wrapped up when Hodd was out for 37, edging Roland-Jones to Sam Robson at slip. Brooks was unbeaten on 19, having put on 35 in four overs with Hodd. The last two wickets added 72.