Bevan and Blakey to the rescue

Yorkshire 198-5 v Lancashire
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The Independent Online
A brilliant catch in the gully by Michael Atherton, reminiscent of the one he took to send back Sanjay Mandjrekar in India's first innings in the first Test, started an extraordinary collapse by Yorkshire after play here had begun at half past four. However an unbroken sixth-wicket stand between Michael Bevan and Richard Blakey rescued the visitors from disaster.

Steady rain through the morning and the early afternoon had delayed the start. Eventually Lancashire won the toss and with rain about inevitably put Yorkshire in to bat. They were given a strong start by David Byas but in the 12th over he tried to run a short one from Peter Martin to third man and was caught behind.

This brought in Michael Vaughan. He cover-drove Glen Chapple for four and square-cut Steven Elworthy uppishly for another. Chapple was all over the place to start with and when, in the 17th over, Moxon pulled and drove him for two fours Yorkshire were 60 for 1.

Two overs later Chapple bowled one to Vaughan which was short and wide and he cut powerfully without getting right over the ball. In the gully Atherton held the catch two-handed at the same time as being spun round by the pace of the ball. Bevan then off-drove his first ball for four and Chapple was taken off with 1 for 23 from four overs.

Mike Watkinson took his place at the Warwick Road End and in his first over Moxon drove at a wide one without fully moving his feet across and Atherton, very deep in the gully, held another fine catch, low and in front of him.

In the next over Anthony McGrath played back to Elworthy whose whippy action enabled him to find some bounce and slight movement away from the bat. The ball found the edge of the bat and Warren Hegg dived in front of first slip and held a glorious catch. The score became 83 for 5 when, in Watkinson's second over, Craig White drove at a wideish one and was caught behind and Yorkshire had lost four wickets for 17 runs in 25 balls.

A great responsibility now rested on Bevan's shoulders. He found a splendid partner in Blakey and in the last 23 overs, which were divided by a 35- minute hold-up for bad light, they put on 115 runs.

Lancashire won toss

YORKSHIRE - First Innings

*D Byas c Hegg b Martin 22

M D Moxon c Atherton b Watkinson 25

M P Vaughan c Atherton b Chapple 15

M G Bevan not out 73

A McGrath c Hegg b Elworthy 0

C White c Hegg b Watkinson 4

R J Blakey not out 50

Extras (lb6, w3) 9

Total (for 5, 46 overs) 198

Fall: 1-29, 2-66, 3-77, 4-78, 5-83.

To bat: D Gough, P J Hartley, C E W Silverwood, R D Stemp.

Bowling: Austin 8-0-26-0; Martin 8-0-38-1; Chapple 10-0-46-1; Elworthy 10-0-52-1; Watkinson 10-1-30-2.

LANCASHIRE: M A Atherton, *M Watkinson, N J Speak, N H Fairbrother, G D Lloyd, S Elworthy, W K Hegg, I D Austin, G Chapple, P J Martin, G Yates.

Umpires: D J Constant and K E Palmer.