Cricket: Cold-blooded first century for Vaughan

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The Independent Online
Yorkshire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .303-5


THERE will be little point in telling Michael Vaughan that cricket was never meant to be played on days like yesterday. The umpires wore gloves, mittens and scarves, the spectators huddled under travelling rugs but Yorkshire's young opening batsman wore a deserved smile of satisfaction after making his maiden Championship century.

It was an achievement which brackets him with Lord Hawke who, like Vaughan, was born outside Yorkshire. David Byas's 10th hundred was a robust, hugely entertaining affair but Yorkshire finished less well off than had seemed likely against a below-strength attack on an excellent pitch.

This was due to a bizarre episode during which they lost three wickets to successive balls, though no hat-trick was involved. First Byas was well caught off an inside edge by the diving Robert Turner off Matthew Dimond, an 18-year-old college boy who would not have been playing but for injuries to senior seam bowlers.

Dimond's reward for bowling straighter and to a fuller length than earlier was then the removal, first ball, of Bradley Parker; from the next, Vaughan was run out by Mushtaq Ahmed's direct hit, which ended an elegant display of driving that brought him 14 fours and not too many moments of uncertainty outside his off stump.

It also caused chaos in the Yorkshire dressing room. The new batsman Craig White, whose Australian background might have made him mindful of the implications of Law 31 (timed out), had hurry on to the outfield carrying his pads and to complete his attire there, having thus technically started his innings.

Before that, Byas and Vaughan put on 216 in 53 overs. It was often heady stuff against an attack which had no margin for error and next to no luck. Byas reached three figures from 139 balls and one of his four sixes carried right out of the ground. Amid this, Andy Hayhurst gallantly took on the role of stock bowler while no doubt wondering what else could go wrong. The answer came when Brad Donelan bowled his first ball for Somerset; Byas swept it on to an unguarded helmet behind the wicketkeeper, thus collecting five penalty runs.