Middlesex 130 for 2 trail Yorkshire 406 (Ballance 132, Lees 63, Bresnan 63) by 270 runs

Shortly after half-past four, bad light at Scarborough brought a sudden exodus. The bulk of the spectators tramped for the exit, in no mood to kill time in the hope of more play. "Seen enough," said one Yorkshire supporter implacably, a self-appointed spokesman for the determinedly departed. Down North Marine Road they stampeded, faces set, for the warmth of the guest houses or the nearest pub.

It has been that sort of summer. It has been that sort of Championship season. The first week of July and it has still to come to life, even in Yorkshire where the White Rose is seeking a hat-trick of titles. Middlesex 130 for 2 in reply to Yorkshire's 406 and, after Gary Ballance's century on the first day, not much to reflect upon.

First the spectators prematurely called off play for the day, then the Yorkshire PA announcer sounded as if he had done the same. The umpires, stoutly awaiting a break in the weather, must have wondered what was going on. Never call off play while you can still see the Scarborough windmill.

A former Yorkshire secretary, Joe Lister, used to make the PA announcements himself, in between fielding correspondence and making his daily run to the bookmakers' tent. "The umpires have reluctantly called off play for the day," he would say, making huge play on the word "reluctantly", even though everybody knew he wanted rid of the crowd as soon as possible.

One day, he inadvertently left his microphone on. Having issued his edict, he added: "Thank heavens for that, time for another gin and tonic."

"Gerr'em out there Bird," came a traditional cry from the tiny minority who were prepared to hang around in the hope of more play: they were rewarded with 21 balls, thoroughly inconsequential.

Dickie Bird stood in his last Test 20 years ago, but the call still goes out in Yorkshire in celebration of his well-worn tale about how he was once barracked entering a Headingley Test during a stoppage for a wet outfield, complete with the punchline: "I wasn't even umpiring". It is good to imagine that the shout will be heard as long as county cricket is played.

The morning had been taken up by the dregs of Yorkshire's first innings, Ballance, 106 not out overnight, moving on to 132 before a checked drive fell into the hands of the bowler, James Franklin. Azeem Rafiq, caught at the wicket later that over, made nought on his Championship return before a spirited counter-attack brought 72 for the last two wickets in 15 overs.

Andrew Hodd, who led the resistance, was struck on the helmet by Steven Finn during Yorkshire's rally, with no ill effects. Steven Patterson was bowled by Finn stepping outrageously to leg, slapping his bat in the crease in self-admonishment, before last man Jack Brooks gained dressing room bragging rights by hooking Finn for six into the pavilion seats.

This is an okay pitch: slow - how can it not be after all this rain? - but with a little in it for the bowlers. For Middlesex, Sam Robson played attractively for his 40 as Yorkshire's attack began moderately, well enough to believe reports from those who have watched him more regularly that he is a better player than the timid debutant who made the last of his seven Test appearances against India two years ago.

Brooks dismissed him attempting a swivel pull, but top-edging to midwicket. Nick Gubbins fell lbw to a fullish ball around leg stump in Will Rhodes' first over.

David Hopps is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps