Bevan's class act falls short

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The Independent Online
Yorkshire 261-5 v Kent

It was difficult to tell which expression was the more morose, that of Michael Bevan after he had miscued a ball from Kent's rookie seam bowler Nick Preston to mid-on, or that on the faces of the sparse crowd when they had anticipated at the very least a hundred.

Bevan's displeasure was understandable, since his innings had been in full sail, running before the stiff south-westerly that was later to bring rain and rob the spectators of more than an hour's play. He fell a tantalising 20 runs short of the century, at the end of a two-hour tutorial in Batting Made To Look Simple.

It all looked so easy, so effortless, yet the Kent bowlers were not there for the taking. Martin McCague, as hostile as ever and generating enough bounce to pose problems - a wicked one in mid-morning accounted for Michael Vaughan - did not give up runs that easily while Preston, in only his second first-class match, proved to be no pushover.

But Bevan was in a master class of his own. In his present rich vein of form - yesterday's was the fifth time has passed 50 in six Championship innings - he gives plenty of hope to Yorkshire and none to the bowlers.

Ten of his 11 boundaries gave the fielders no chance and the one which did go to hand left it pretty quickly on its way to the perimeter rope.

He fell to Preston, trying to pull a shorter ball - the 102nd of his innings - having put on 128 for the third wicket with captain David Byas.

Preston's maiden first-class wicket was that of Anthony McGrath, one of three fine slip catches for Carl Hooper during the day. After the rain there were further clouds for Yorkshire as McCague muscled in and bustled out Craig White.