Cricket: Hutchison hits home

Yorkshire 501-8dec Hampshire 264-8
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The Independent Online
There are three fast-bowling Championship debutants in this injury- affected fixture, but the one most likely to keep the press cuttings is a rangy left-armer from Leeds, Paul Hutchison, who in one inspired spell unravelled all the hard work done by Robin Smith and Matthew Hayden in countering Yorkshire's huge total.

The other two - the Oxford Blue Chetan Patel and the first Guernsey man to play county cricket, Lee Savident - were part of a dishevelled Hampshire attack, which is one of the weakest on the circuit at the best of times and at present lacks the experience of Cardigan Connor and Kevan James.

They did not relish a wicket that seemed flat and drowsy until Hutchison hammered it awake, and could only watch while Darren Lehmann, supported by Michael Vaughan and Richard Blakey, built an impregnable tower of runs.

Yorkshire declared in time to give Hampshire an awkward 15 minutes before lunch, and with his second ball, Hutchison announced his arrival in county cricket, spearing a yorker into Jason Laney's pads. When he repeated the trick to remove Giles White early on in the afternoon, the home side were beginning to look like sleepwalking club cricketers.

But they do, of course, have two world-class batsmen in Smith and Hayden. Smith, given some uncompetitive bowling, punched, hooked and stroked an afternoon century swiftly enough to revive Hampshire's interest.

Meanwhile, the cautious Hayden was attempting to ensure his side avoided the follow-on, and continued this role long after Smith had been undone.

Then Hutchison returned to the attack. He has had a curious start to first-class cricket, limited to four games in two years by a lack of first- team opportunities and a stress fracture. But in two fixtures in Zimbabwe, a match against Pakistan A and a game for The Rest against the England A side, he took 22 wickets at 12 apiece.

With yesterday's early pair already under his belt, he turned his attention towards the dismissal of Hayden. The Australian left-hander carved a slanting second delivery to slip. The Hampshire captain, John Stephenson, went first ball, and after two further deliveries, Matthew Keech was also castled, while the second ball of Hutchison's next over was too swift for Adrian Aymes. The 20-year-old had aroused a sleepy match, one that he will never forget.