Cricket / NatWest trophy: White hits right note: Devon are denied

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The Independent Online
Devon 242-5; Yorkshire 246-6. Yorkshire win by four wickets

IF TUESDAY was the longest day, and a miserable one at that, things were only too short and sweet besides being tinged with regrets in the sunshine here yesterday. Yorkshire, as expected, may have progressed to the second round of the NatWest Trophy, but when Craig White struck the winning runs there were only four balls remaining. All of which left Devon with mixed feelings, proud at almost bridging the gap between minor and major, and left with thoughts of what might have been.

Their captain, Peter Roebuck, well versed in the leadership role across the border in Somerset, had played his part to the full by top-scoring at The Maer and claiming the wicket of his opposite number. The man of the match writes on the game nowadays, too, and there were a few words of advice for aspiring giant-killers: 'Too many minor counties have inferiority complexes when it comes to this competition.'

Play on a windswept and miserable first day had finished at 8 o'clock with Yorkshire still 127 runs short of their objective, 32 overs in which to get them, and seven wickets in hand. With a transformation in the weather, it should have been a doddle, but Devon were not finished.

Richard Blakey had just crashed Orlando Le Fleming to the boundary when the 17- year-old Exeter schoolboy immediately struck back with the right note. Le Fleming, a seamer on Somerset's books but also a jazz musician, sent Blakey's stumps down with a clatter. When the spinner, Tony Allin, then had Richie Richardson taken at short extra in the next over, spectators stirred.

Yorkshire, in need of rescue, needed 106 off 25 overs. In his writing hat, Roebuck had watched White make fifty for England on Saturday and here was another, he and Paul Grayson putting on 87 for the sixth wicket.