Cricket: Hartley caps Yorkshire's home run

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The Independent Online
IAN POTTS

reports from Harrogate

Yorkshire 338 and 204-4 dec Durham 206 and 125 Yorkshire win by 211 runs

The records show Harrogate to be Yorkshire's favourite home ground, the only one where they enjoy a success rate of more than 50 per cent. A thumping victory over Durham yesterday merely enhanced that little statistic.

It may not be sufficient to keep St George's Road on the first-class calendar, however. The club is considering a pounds 3m offer from the local council to sell up and relocate, but the proximity to Headingley's executive boxes could prove the deciding factor.

Should this turn out to be Yorkshire's last visit, it will be remembered with some satisfaction, a 23-point haul elevating the Tykes to fourth place in the Championship.

That alone would have cheered England's chairman of selectors, but the bonus for Ray Illingworth was that Darren Gough and Craig White limbered up for Thursday's date with the West Indies by sharing four wickets to help whip out a Durham side, minus the injured captain, Mike Roseberry, for 125.

Something of a surprise that, as the pair had gone into the game with 19 and 12 Championship victims respectively. Had Raymond paid attention to matters close to home, he would surely have been more impressed with the tireless efforts of the 35-year-old seamer Peter Hartley and the all round contribution of the stand-in skipper, David Byas, the first batsman to 1,000 runs this season and among the safest slip catchers around.

Hartley matched his four-wicket return from the first innings to finish with 8 for 116, and having passed last season's personal best of 61 Championship scalps on Saturday, his tally is now 65 and rising.

Anyone watching Gough waste too much energy yesterday on a bouncy pitch which rewarded accuracy above untamed aggression, must have felt Illingworth and company had got the wrong man, now that age is no barrier.

Durham, who had made an unlikely 341 to overturn Glamorgan three weeks ago, simply could not cope with the unexpected lift and were beaten by lunchtime.

Having already lost acting opener David Ligertwood on Saturday evening, five more wickets fell in a traumatic opening session as they collapsed to 77 for 6, chasing 337.

At 98 for 8, with the last pair at the crease, they were struggling to reach three figures, but an unbeaten 37 from Jimmy Daley and a career- best 14 from Melvyn Betts - most of them off Gough - kept Yorkshire waiting for what was their fourth successive Championship win on this ground, where they have not lost since 1983. But since when did tradition and sentiment last have a place in cricket?

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