David Hopps writes on county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps
Surrey 362 (Stoneman 100, Coad 3-60) lead Yorkshire 327 by 35 runs
At Scarborough's second-hand cricket books and memorabilia stall, at the last time of checking, a £25 Doulton China toby jug of Fred Trueman had still gone unsold. Fred would have not have survived a fairly sedate pitch like this one without a chunter or two. "I've seen more life in a tramp's vest," was one of his most famous utterings, which admittedly was not very PC in the 1950s and is even less PC now.
On a day that promised to be groaning with runs, the Yorkshire loyalists who had made the pilgrimage to Scarborough knew they might have to withstand an earnest day's cricket. Around the country, the weather had stabilised and so had the scores. It was just a matter of which Surrey batsman would make them pay.
That accolade fell to Mark Stoneman, who made exactly 100 before he was unfortunate to be adjudged caught down the leg side of Duanne Olivier, not just a strangle but a strangle that deflected off the sweat band of his right wrist as Olivier browbeat shoulder-high bounce from a slowish surface.
Scarborough was first claimed to have restorative properties in the 17th century even though the spring water tasted somewhat bitter and turned the rocks the colour of a new cricket ball. Understandably, by the 1960s, tastes had changed - so, the story goes, had the water - but Stoneman breathed in the enlivening Scarborough air and achieved only his second Championship hundred since he was dropped by England early in the 2018 summer.
Despite sharing the satisfaction of Surrey's Championship win last season, it has been a tough route back. This was another nuggety innings, occasionally lightened as he drove overpitched deliveries, and unlike his colleagues he made his start pay. Long before the end, Stoneman's strength from backward point to the cover region was shining through - 10 of his 13 boundaries came in that region. His hundred was secured in slightly fortunate fashion, however, two balls before he was dismissed, when he edged Olivier uppishly wide of first slip.
He admitted that an injury to his captain, Rory Burns, when Yorkshire visited Guildford last month, had probably spared him from a spell in the Seconds. "I earned a bit of a reprieve when Rory went down with a bad back," he said. "I think I was going to get a tap on the shoulder then."
A walk around the ground at Scarborough is a fraternal wander down memory lane. So it was a day also lightened by chewing the cud with old friends ("you didn't get my bowling off the square once in 30 years") or fielding the occasional quiz question, such as the last batsman with three initials to make a Championship century for Yorkshire before WAR Fraine, who struck his maiden hundred 24 hours earlier. Peter (PSP) Handscomb was the answer to that, although as he was an Australian it was tantamount to cheating.
Stoneman was born not too far north from here, up the coast in Newcastle, and spent much of his career at Durham. Enough north-easterners make the trip for that to qualify him for a measure of respect. His century was spritely enough, too, of 167 balls, but it was a soporific summer's day by Scarborough standards - the seagulls were lolling contentedly in the calm shallows of North Bay - and more than one spectator curled up on the grass on the boundary edge and slumbered through a tightly-contested match.
The next eight Surrey batsmen were dismissed between 24 and 43 as Yorkshire were rewarded for their diligence. Surrey must have had designs on 400-plus, and at 182 for 2 looked as if they would achieve it, only to be pegged back to a first-innings lead of 35. Two wickets in each of the first two sessions were followed by six after tea with only Steve Patterson, among the frontline attack, missing out.
Before lunch, Ben Coad had Dean Elgar playing on to his stumps as he tried to leave alone before David Willey had Scott Borthwick caught at first slip by Tom Kohler-Cadmore - his 28th catch in all formats for Yorkshire this season. "Best slipper in the country," said a spectator beneath the Tea Room, at which point Kohler-Cadmore promptly dropped Ryan Patel.
Yorkshire struck in successive overs after lunch when Patel was caught behind by Jonny Tattersall off South Africa's left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj - his first White Rose wicket on debut on the way to 3 for 75 - before Stoneman fell to Olivier. It looked as if Ben Foakes and Sam Curran might put Surrey on top, but three wickets in the first 15 overs of the second new ball restored equilibrium with Foakes and Curran both falling to excellent diving catches by Jack Leaning.
Yorkshire's short-term loan deal for Maharaj, who will bowl last on a wearing surface, might yet serve them well. "He's no Phil Hart," somebody said, after watching an over or two. Hart played three matches for Yorkshire, but he's a good bloke and a proud Scarborian; that counts for a lot round here.