Cricket: Byas sparks Yorkshire

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The Independent Online
Yorkshire 364 Nottinghamshire 5-0

Nottinghamshire, whose elevated position in the Britannic Assurance table still stretches logic a little, had their limitations exposed as Yorkshire took advantage of a perhaps misleadingly green pitch to establish a position of strength.

The assessment is qualified on the assumption that Paul Johnson, the Nottinghamshire captain, expected there to be something in it for his seam attack when he asked Yorkshire to bat first. It may have been a sound judgement.

The day's events, however, probably led him to doubt himself a little more with each passing hour. Given the success so far of Kevin Evans and Mark Bowen, who have more than 50 wickets between them, Johnson has every reason to back his bowlers. But although both had success here - Evans taking his second five-wicket haul of the season - they took a little longer to settle on a rhythm and a decent line and length, allowing Yorkshire to prosper.

David Byas, with his third century of the season, Martyn Moxon and Darren Lehmann were the chief beneficiaries of the home side's shortcomings as Yorkshire made merry progress at more than four runs per over. Evans' delight at claiming the wicket of Richard Kettleborough with the ninth ball of the day was short-lived.

Moxon continued to promise a sustained return to form with his third half-century in four innings off 85 balls, outpacing Byas in a stand worth 103 before Evans had him lbw. The partnership for the third wicket between the left-handers, Byas and Lehmann, was more productive, adding 135 in 29 overs.

Lehmann, the Australian who Yorkshire signed to replace Michael Bevan, is earning his wages handsomely. In seven Championship matches, he has made two centuries and, with this one, five scores over 50. Byas's hundred was made off 156 balls, with 14 fours and a six, pulled over mid-wicket off Evans.

He was striking the ball with such authority that it came as a surprise that having collected four more boundaries, he should give away his wicket tamely, driving Nathan Astle straight to mid-on. Nottinghamshire fought back in the second half of the day as Evans finished with 6 for 91 and Yorkshire's last six wickets fell for 78.

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