Cook disappoints, Lyth impresses
Yorkshire 82 for 2 (Lyth 53*) trail MCC 221 (Hildreth 89, Mitchell 54, Rhodes 2-10, Sidebottom 2-27) by 139 runs
Alastair Cook lasted just six balls on his return to action, three months after his last innings on England's tour of Sri Lanka, but he was then able to enjoy a first-hand view of the man who could be his next Test opening partner, as Adam Lyth's unbeaten half-century set the cap on a successful day for Yorkshire in the Champion County match.
Yorkshire have provided six members of England's Test squad for the West Indies and three of them lined up against Cook, who took his place in the MCC XI alongside several recent international team-mates in Nick Compton, Michael Carberry and Graham Onions. Yorkshire were missing Joe Root, Gary Ballance and Liam Plunkett, all of whom will be in the Caribbean, but still put on a strong display in Abu Dhabi.
Ryan Sidebottom proved he still remains a force, even in his 38th year, by removing both the MCC openers inside three overs. Compton and Cook opened the batting for England 17 times in Tests but they were separated after one delivery, with MCC captain Compton caught behind off the first ball of the match.
Cook was then pinned lbw for 3 in Sidebottom's second over and trooped off in a fashion that became familiar in his final series as England's ODI captain, a position he was relieved of weeks before the World Cup. Cook's last first-class innings came against India in August but he is likely to get another outing here before heading to the West Indies for three Tests.
MCC recovered from 7 for 2, firstly through Carberry and James Hildreth, who added 74 for the third wicket; then Hildreth and Daryl Mitchell, whose stand of 79 seemed to have swung the balance somewhat. However, both fell in the evening session - that is, between lunch and tea, with this match being played under lights with a pink ball - and Zafar Ansari was the only other batsman to make double-figures as the innings folded quickly.
Sam Billings, Kent's prospective England wicketkeeper, joined Compton in making a duck as Jack Brooks, Adil Rashid and Will Rhodes matched Sidebottom in taking two wickets apiece.
In reply, Alex Lees, another Yorkshireman tipped for England though left out of the current squad, fell for 11 and Jack Leaning made just 14 but Lyth guided the 2014 champions to the close. Lyth struck six fours with Cook watching on in the field and the 27-year-old will hope to continue the good impression ahead of his first England tour.
MCC were further hampered by a groin problem that forced Onions out of the attack after 3.5 overs. Onions, who is entering a benefit season with Durham and has spent the winter recovering from back surgery, will be assessed on Monday.