|Scorecard:||Yorkshire v Somerset|
Overnight: Yorkshire 296; Somerset 451; Yorkshire (2) 63/3 off 23 overs (Wood 25*, Harvey 5*)
Before lunch: Yorkshire (2) 160 all out; Somerset 6/0 off 0.4 overs and won by ten wickets.
Geoff Boycott, come back, all is forgiven! Yorkshire demonstrated how far they have fallen from their great traditions as they slumped to a dismal ten-wicket defeat at the hands of Somerset, before lunch on the third day at Scarborough. Matthew Wood, who carried his bat through the innings for 66, alone escaped condemnation, though even he did not give the impression of traditional dogged Yorkshire grit. Somerset had not won a championship match before this season until meeting this spineless Yorkshire team, and on the third day their heores were Nixon McLean, with ten wickets in the match, and Keith Dutch, five in the innings.
Yorkshire’s hopes of making a match of it and atoning for their poor play of the first two days depended on overnight batsman and acting captain Matthew Wood and the yet to be seen Darren Lehmann. Wood began the day with some positive strokes, as did his partner Ian Harvey, who hooked Nixon McLean’s first delivery of the day for four. But two balls later McLean bowled him with an absolutely beauty that ripped back off the pitch, between bat and pad, and clipped the bails. Harvey made 10 and Yorkshire were 73 for four.
Lehmann was in next and he drove the last ball of the over off the back foot through extra cover for four. In the next over, from Simon Francis, he slashed a ball hard just over the slips, but with such force that second slip could not get a hand to it as it flashed to the boundary. Two further boundaries followed off the next two balls, the second a magnificent straight drive down the ground.
Francis’s next over saw him pulled by Lehmann over the head of the fine-leg fielder for six, followed by two more boundaries; in all, Lehmann scored 32 runs off the first 11 balls he faced. It seemed to affect Wood, who aimed an extravagant hook at the next ball he faced and was almost bowled. However he pulled the next one safely away for four, even if he didn’t middle it.
Lehmann’s kamikaze innings came to a close as Keith Dutch replaced Francis. Lehmann defended the first ball and then tried to slog the next over the top, only to send up a huge skyer that was taken at mid-off. He scored 36 off 16 and Yorkshire were 114 for five. The catcher was Simon Francis, who must have felt some sort of satisfaction. “Skipper, may I bowl again now, please?”
Yorkshire were still 41 behind and defeat seemed inevitable, with only Wood of the specialist batsmen left, and even he did not give the impression of real permanence.
Ismail Dawood (1) was next to go, pushing forward to Dutch and being bowled through the gate; 116 for six. Without addition new man Richard Dawson (0) was caught at short leg by Michael Burns off Dutch, and then Chris Silverwood (3) flashed outside the off stump to give McLean his tenth wicket of the match, caught by the wicketkeeper Rob Turner; 131 for eight.
Mark Lawson fell for 1, beaten by a ball from McLean that came back sharply off the pitch and was adjudged to have edged it to wicketkeeper Turner; 135 for nine. The general feeling was that he had not hit the ball, and that Lumb had also been given out caught at the wicket off his sleeve the previous evening. In addition Yorkshire had much less success with their lbw appeals than Somerset – but no excuses could atone for their poor cricket.
Wood finally reached his fifty, off 97 balls, and then swung Ian Blackwell over the square-leg boundary for six, which enabled Yorkshire to avoid the innings defeat. But Kirby, playing no shot at a full-length delivery from Dutch, was adjudged lbw for 7, leaving Wood unbeaten on 66, having carried his bat through the innings. He alone of the Yorkshire batsmen emerged with any credit from this spineless innings. The wickets were shared between McLean, who took five for 45, and Dutch, five for 26.
The total was 160, leaving Somerset to score just 6 runs to win before the large crowd would be sent home disappointed before lunch. Lawson, who was actually on a hat-trick, opened the bowling but it took only four balls before the match was over – one run to Peter Bowler and 5 to John Francis. Yorkshire will need to do a lot of work to get their act together if they are to hope for any more victories this season.
(Article: Copyright © 2004 John Ward)
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