COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP : Gough bounces in for Yorkshire

MIKE CAREY reports from Chesterfield Yorkshire 177; Derbyshire 122-7
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The Independent Online
From the moment Martyn Moxon's thumb was broken by a lifting delivery from Devon Malcolm in the fifth over, batsmen sensed they were in for a testing, eye-watering time here yesterday. So it proved and, by the end of a freezing day of much playing and missing, 16 wickets had fallen for 299 runs.

If Yorkshire ended on top, it was probably because their bowlers located a much fuller, more demanding length and Derbyshire's problems increased with the news that Daryll Cullinan, their South African batsman, also broke a finger when struck by Darren Gough.

Down the years, great fast-to-medium bowlers have prospered here because the ball has moved off the seam, while others have swung it lavishly.This time the problem was mainly the steep bounce from a dry but green-tinged pitch on which no one ever felt established.

The ball that did for Moxon, for instance, was not much short of a good length. From his glove it looped into the gully where Phil DeFreitas got both hands to it but could not hold on. One ball later, however, Moxon had to retire and a battle of considerable attrition was on.

Yorkshire, having been put in, probably felt that if they could negotiate the morning session with limited further casualties, which they did at 94 for 3, all would be well, but if anything the going was tougher later.

Maybe that was partly because Derbyshire began to put the ball in the right place more often. Dominic Cork, for instance, having been hooked for six by Craig White, gave him a considerable going over when he pitched it up. He also bowled Michael Bevan and Michael Vaughan with balls of a full length.

White's departure, when he steered a catch to slip off Allan Warner, was one of the day's tamer dismissals and when Richard Blakey's robust activities were ended by Devon Malcolm's yorker, the last six wickets had disappeared for 41 runs.

Curiously, considering all the flak that was flying about, only one chance found its way to Andrew Bairstow, the 19-year-old son of the former Yorkshire wicketkeeper, David, who was making his first appearance behind the stumps for Derbyshire.

Some Yorkshire sides of recent vintage would not have operated without a third man, given their modest total, but it was soon clear, as Gough whistled the ball through to Blakey at chest height, that they needed as many close catchers as possible, and David Byas held on to four high- class efforts in the slips.

Gough, Mark Robinson and Peter Hartley needed only to pitch the ball up to reap regular rewards. Adrian Rollins, after retiring with a damaged hamstring, returned with a runner to make a courageous 38, while De Freitas flung the bat at anything he could reach. On this pitch, who is to say he was wrong?