Brown savours spotlight

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Yorkshire 96 and 185

Warwickshire 449

Warwicks won by inn & 168 runs

A MATCH that began in a shower of wickets neatly ended in one, although disgruntled camp followers from the Broad Acres went off muttering that the real shower was their batting line-up. Yorkshire tossed away a prosperous 179 for 2 to be dismissed for a poor 185, with their last seven wickets clattering for six runs in the space of a mere 30 balls.

With lunch and the Rugby World Cup final beckoning the last four wickets actually disappeared in only six balls as Yorkshire crumbled as abjectly as a defender facing Jonah Lomu.

Their defeat, by an innings and 168 runs, popped the fragile bubble of optimism engendered by four victories from their first six Championship matches. And they need only peer into the gulf in class between themselves and the current champions to realise that the notion of finally adding to their 30 Championships is somewhat premature.

That is specially so as, once again, they are without their talismanic opener and skipper, Martyn Moxon. He was rapped on the hand by Allan Donald on Friday evening and X-rays showed he has rebroken his right thumb, an injury from which he had just returned. He could take no further part in this match - high and dry on 36 - and is expected to be out for three weeks.

His retirement pretty much exposed the vulnerable underbelly of the Yorkshire order, particularly once the determined Michael Vaughan and stoical David Byas were separated when the former was bowled by a ball from Tim Munton which scuttled along the deck.

It was the chink Warwickshire required and they poured into it like champions. They were in formidable form in this match, delighting in embarrassing the commentators who wrote off last year's treble as the work of one man.

This was their fifth victory, moving them into second place, and its hallmark, like much of last season, was teamwork. Yesterday it was the turn of their Scottish seamer Dougie Brown to stride into the limelight, producing a spell of 4 for 5 from 3.4 overs to give him match figures of 8 for 55 and edge him one wicket ahead of Donald as the county's leading first-class wicket-taker, with 27 at 25.

He started by removing Australian batsman Michael Bevan for 22 in his first over to set the collapse in train. It was a poor shot from Bevan, playing on an ill-judged cut, as he remains cast in the slough which seems to trap every Yorkshire overseas player. He is currently averaging 30 in the Championship.

Craig White, his decline as meteoric as his rise, played his second very poor shot of the match to be leg before in the next over, and the rest followed meekly. Keith Piper and Dominic Ostler took breathtaking one- handed catches to hasten the decline, which was so rapid that Munton sat on a hat-trick after removing Peter Hartley and Stuart Milburn in successive balls.

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