Cricket: James makes a claim

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IN THE unlikely event of it being remembered at all, yesterday's play might go down in the smaller footnotes of cricket's annals as 'Saturation Saturday'.

Not a single ball has been bowled yet at Sheffield, where Yorkshire have been trying to entertain Leicestershire over the first two days of their three-day game. Entertainment would appear to have been limited to counting puddles. Drier Yorkshiremen might consider this something of an improvement.

There have, however, been no reports of the umpires and groundsmen leading merry congas around the boundary ropes and rumours that, if the rain persists, Martyn Moxon will front an impromptu karaoke session appear to be more hopeful than realistic.

Nor are sun lotion sales exactly booming a little further north in Stockton, where Durham and Gloucestershire have also been confined to the pavilion. Barring a complete wash-out tomorrow, both these games seem to be heading towards an all too familiar scene of a forfeited innings and a contrived result.

In the balmier climes of Neath, meanwhile, Glamorgan have gone some way towards cancelling out Surrey's first-innings total of 318. Following David Ward's belligerent hundred on Friday, runs continue to flow. A century opening stand between Hugh Morris and Steve James was eventually broken by Surrey's promising off-spinner James Boiling, leaving James to reach a hundred of his own.

During what play was possible at Edgbaston, Essex's batsmen had an indifferent day. Only Paul Prichard, with an unbeaten 62, can have been pleased with his day's work.