Cricket: Capel causes discomfort

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The Independent Online
Northamptonshire . . . . . . . . . .224 and 47-1

Yorkshire. . . . . . . . . . . . . .158

RAIN prevented play before 3.20pm at the County Ground yesterday but, from a Northamptonshire point of view, the wait was rewarded handsomely. Yorkshire, 47 for three at Friday's close, were dismissed for 158, conceding a first innings lead of 66 which was extended to 113 before Nigel Felton was caught at the wicket off the last ball of the day.

The Northants bowling armoury was deprived of Curtly Ambrose, who twisted a knee on the opening day, but in hazy, muggy conditions, and on a well-grassed pitch, batting never seemed likely to be a comfortable occupation.

David Capel, the former England all-rounder whose back problems require him to bowl in a corset, was the source of much of Yorkshire's discomfort. Maintaining a consistent line and often making the ball leave the batsman late, Capel bowled 16 overs unchanged from the Pavilion End. He ended four for 61 from 22 overs and, for good measure, held two useful catches at second slip.

After defeating Essex at Chelmsford last week, Northants are firmly in contention for the County Championship. They have a match in hand on Essex, whom they trailed by 41 points at the beginning of the current round, and the thought that Allan Lamb might lead his county to a first title is gaining credibility.

Capel achieved his first success with his sixth delivery of the day as Phil Carrick prodded without conviction outside off-stump. The left- armer Paul Taylor, opening at the other end, was less accurate and Richard Blakey drove him through the covers for four. But Taylor soon baffled Sachin Tendulkar who edged low into Capel's grasp.

Next ball, the first of Capel's fifth over, Yorkshire were 67 for six. Blakey drove again and Tony Penberthy dived at third slip for a fine catch. Penberthy combined with Capel again to remove Paul Jarvis at eight down.

Chris Pickles and Craig White added 37 for the seventh wicket before Pickles's jab at Kevin Curran gave Capel his second catch. White lofted to cover to provide Capel with his fourth wicket after sticking around for a valuable 35.