Not only might a bout of food poisoning hasten the end of the contest – and a welcome escape to a less noisy working environment – but it might expedite the prospect of a Yorkshire victory which, in turn, would be music to the ears of most people present.
At the halfway stage of an enjoyable contest (but only if one has got some ear plugs), Yorkshire would appear to have no need for any gastronomic assistance from the local eateries.
They lead Derbyshire by 229 runs, their second innings total standing at 179-2, and with more good weather forecast for the rest of the game, after two days of glorious, unbroken sunshine, they are on course to complete the double over the only side they have beaten in this year’s Championship.
Adam Lyth and Fin Bean, the latest in a long line of fine Yorkshire openers, completed a century partnership – their sixth successive stand of 50-plus – to put their side in a commanding position.
The left-handers are engaged in a private battle to finish leading run-scorer in this year’s competition, Lyth’s 43 lifting him to 832 and Bean’s 64 to 765 with three games left.
It was a positive day all round for Yorkshire, who might have been slightly perturbed when Derbyshire moved to 173-3 in the high afternoon, responding to the hosts’ first innings 297, but who hit back well to dismiss their opponents for 247, Jordan Thompson and Matty Fisher both taking three wickets.
Wayne Madsen hit 93 for Derbyshire but received scant support, with Yorkshire’s fielding tigerish and alert.
There is no greater sign of the times, perhaps, the decline in interest in county cricket and certainly the commitment towards covering it properly, that The Yorkshire Post is the only newspaper staffing this game.
Years ago, the Scarborough festival was a veritable magnet for correspondents, both national and local; indeed, the ratio of 1-16 of newspaper journalists versus non-newspaper journalists in the press box yesterday would have been more or less the other way round, with great suspicion attending the “outsider”.
Why, one is old enough to remember when a secret code used to be used in the press box if a non-journalist suddenly appeared.
“W I T T?” someone would pipe up and, as this is a family newspaper, one can only give you the first three words (who is that) with the other best left to the imagination.
Before a disappointing crowd of 2,298, another sign of the times, Jordan Thompson struck with the day’s sixth ball, having Brooke Guest caught behind without addition to the overnight 47-1.
Madsen got off the mark fortuitously, stepping down the pitch to pace bowler Ben Coad and edging him to the boundary just past the slips, before settling into a familiar groove. The 39-year-old remains one of best players on the circuit; a whipped boundary off Thompson soon got him going, and then he took three successive fours off Fisher.
Complementing Madsen’s experience at the other end was Mitchell Wagstaff, a compact opener who turned 20 on the eve of the match.
Making his second first-class appearance, Wagstaff had just reached a fine maiden half-century when he helped a ball from Fisher to square-leg, where Matty Revis did the rest.
Madsen audaciously lofted Coad over mid-wicket for six en route to a 67-ball half-century that also included eight fours. At lunch, the visitors had advanced to 149-3, with Madsen and Leus du Plooy well ensconced.
Their stand was worth 70 when Thompson intervened, as he so often does, du Plooy edging to first slip where George Hill took the catch inches from the turf, low to his left. It sparked a wobble as Fisher then disturbed the stumps of Matt Lamb and Anuj Dal during an impressive burst from the Trafalgar Square end to leave Derbyshire 193-6.
That became 209-8 when Revis bowled Alex Thomson as he aimed an expansive drive, and then came the key wicket of Madsen, who ballooned Hill to Bean in the gully just shy of what would have been a 37th first-class century and second against Yorkshire.
Zak Chappell cracked a quickfire 20, but, after Sam Conners was caught behind from a top-edged pull off Revis, he was last out when Thompson had him skying to a back-pedalling Shan Masood at mid-off.
Lyth and Bean played serenely, raising the 100 inside 21 overs before Lyth advanced to spinner Thomson and edged to slip. Bean was unluckily run-out when Thomson deflected a straight drive from James Wharton into the stumps at the non-striker’s end, but as Derbyshire went off for their one-star feast, it was Yorkshire in control, Masood’s unbeaten 41 turning the screw.