Cricket / County Championship: Byas in favour of slow route: Derek Hodgson reports from Scarborough

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Yorkshire 508; Northamptonshire 147-3

MARK ROBINSON, 2 for 9 in his seven overs to tea here yesterday, injected some excitement into a sunny but cold day, when patience was the prime virtue, as this match meandered along on a surface upon which pigeons land and fall asleep. There is neither bounce nor turn for the bowlers but Robinson, using the crosswind to help his outswing, proved that batsmen were not invulnerable.

He was helped by two superb catches, from Simon Kellett at square-leg and Craig White at cover, in dismissing the Northamptonshire openers. If Robinson was inspired in bowling against his old team, he has also bowled well all season and as I suggested Kellett was worthy of a Yorkshire cap, then Robinson should be mentioned as having an equal claim. He has been the one Yorkshire bowler to remain in the national averages since June.

Returning after tea, he was unlucky not to win a leg-before appeal against Mal Loye but then had him caught down the leg side on the same score an over later. If Yorkshire could have achieved a similar penetration from the other end, from which Paul Jarvis had little luck, then the Cobblers might have had an extra day for knocking up before Saturday's NatWest final.

As it was, Rob Bailey restored the balance somewhat by punishing the young spinners before the close. He took 14 in one over off Paul Grayson, but Jeremy Batty is looking for turn in the rough outside the off stump.

Yorkshire batted until almost 2.30 in adding another 184 runs and the outstanding innings came from Jarvis, who scored a career-best 80 off 105 balls, including 12 fours and a six. Since his promotion to No 8, the fast bowler had added a reasonable defence to his known hitting power and is now starting to appear a genuine all-rounder.

He was marching merrily along towards a maiden century before lunch - Northamptonshire had seemed to have run out of ideas - when a misunderstanding with the fiercely concentrating David Byas led to the third run-out of the innings.

Byas, demoted to No 6, banged away cheerfully for his first 40 runs. He then appeared to become screwed up with ambition and his first century of the summer took 219 balls. He should have been caught off Tony Penberthy when 61 and the same bowler missed the chance of a return catch off Jarvis, who was then on 31. On these kind of pitches, the Northamptonshire attack is hardly frightening.