SURREY have a good record at Park Avenue. They have won seven times on this ground, starting with a thumping margin of an innings and 228 in 1888 (George Lohmann 13-119). Monte Lynch would settle for a little less on Monday.
For Yorkshire, this is their Field of Dreams. The pavilion, foolishly destroyed, contained more ghosts than anywhere outside Bramall Lane, another victim of vandals. It was possible to sit here on the balcony on a summer afternoon and, without too much of a stretch of the imagination, see Hirst, Rhodes and Haigh and hear their rich dialects.
Bradford council, the Yorkshire club and the Friends of Park Avenue were rightly pleased with the return of the first-class game. There is no pavilion and no cover outside of the sponsors' tents but the weather was kind, the field, the home of the Yorkshire Academy, in superb condition and the pitch, bless it, preserves the ground tradition of helping the spinner.
Martyn Moxon, leading an experimental team (Richard Blakey is with England, Mark Robinson has a slight arm injury, Phil Carrick was rested) was pleased to bat first and for 48 overs the match went Yorkshire's way, Surrey being reduced to some profligate and somtimes ludicrous lbw appeals. Is it really necessary to shout every time the ball hits the pad?
Once Lynch called on his spinners the game changed. Both openers departed shaping to cut, Moxon, rarely one to show emotion, looking very aggrieved. Ashley Metcalfe, cutting hard, was well picked up at cover and Craig White, after patiently measuring the pace for 10 overs, mistimed a straight drive to offer a low return catch.
David Byas, returning after a broken nose, and Paul Grayson, who is playing for a regular place next season, became a first steadying and then plundering fifth- wicket partnership of 97 in 21 overs. Byas drove and pulled 11 fours in his 70 off 97 balls. Grayson will get a chance to show off his left-arm spin today.
Rudi Bryson bowled fast but he needs more than sheer speed on Northern turf while Martin Bicknell, Surrey's best bowler, was consistently unlucky.
Chris Tavare compiled a brilliant century, his first for the year, between lunch and tea as Somerset scored 370 for 8 declared after being put in by Hampshire at Weston-super-Mare.Reuse content