Cricket: Silverwood running hot

Yorkshire v Kent
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The Independent Online
THERE HAS been little hint of a carnival about this match, the centrepiece of the 113th Cricket Festival. No pop music, no fireworks, no chanting, no singing. The crowds, averaging almost 4,000 a day, have been attentive, watchful and appreciative of a tight contest. The Scarborough Club celebrated their 150th birthday this week and whatever the England and Wales Cricket Board may think, and TV pundits proclaim, county cricket is a long way from dying, especially in these parts.

After their creaking progress of the previous day, Yorkshire were in friskier mood on a hazy morning, the first hint of autumn in the current heatwave. Julian Thompson, having driven to Canterbury and back to discover that his wife was not giving birth just yet, did offer one loose ball an over but he also produced a beauty that took the edge of Craig White's forward push.

Michael Vaughan went to his 150 before being tucked up and losing his off bail, which left the stage to the last pair, Chris Silverwood and Ryan Sidebottom, to add a further 44 runs in seven overs. The fast bowler Silverwood is something of a rustic cavalier as a batsman, barnyard heaves following classic strokes. He has a good eye, gives the ball a whack and is not to be intimidated by other fast bowlers. His half-century turned the match.

Kent's deficit was 87 and with the pitch still flawless, it was a surprise when they pitched straight into trouble. Ed Smith was missed off Silverwood's first ball at square leg and again when 16, at third slip, also off Silverwood.

Between times, Robert Key played on at 11 and David Fulton was caught behind at 25, which left Smith and Alan Wells in something of a crisis.

The third-wicket pair spent 22 overs in scoring 40 runs in almost total silence, applause coming only for a maiden or exceptional fielding. The impasse was broken when David Byas moved quietly from second slip to leg slip for Wells to glance obligingly into his hands. Kent then came to almost a full stop; Smith had laboured through 48 overs for 30 at tea- time; Matthew Walker had scored a single run in 13.

Yorkshire have ordered their left-arm fast bowler Paul Hutchison to take a complete winter's rest. Neither the coaches nor the physiotherapist are satisfied that his remodelled action is not straining his back. Since returning from last winter's England A tour, Hutchison has been able to make only intermittent appearances and although currently working in the nets he will not play in either of the county's remaining two Championship matches.

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