Cricket: Stemp's display of petulance

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Yorkshire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .424 and 273-5 dec

Somerset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .332 and 224-4

Match drawn

AN unsavoury outburst by Richard Stemp, the Yorkshire left-arm spinner who has a good chance of making his England debut on Thursday, overshadowed a day's cricket that fell well short of expectations at Park Avenue yesterday. Stemp was alleged to have called Mark Lathwell, among other things, 'a cheat'.

Yorkshire, having left themselves all day to bowl out Somerset, failed on a pitch that was probably too good for even a four-day game, and trouble erupted in only the second over when Lathwell nicked a ball from Chris Silverwood.

It finished up in Richard Blakey's gloves. Lathwell stood his ground and David Constant, unsure whether the ball had carried, gave him not out when his colleague at square-leg, Bob White, was unable to confirm the catch had been cleanly taken.

The entire Yorkshire team had started to celebrate Lathwell's 'dismissal' even before Constant's verdict. Stemp, fielding in the covers, then began his tirade and was twice spoken to by Constant who issued an official warning.

The episode will now be reported to the TCCB. Indeed, Constant's report may well arrive at Lord's around the time that Stemp reports for England duty this week.

Some spectators also complained that Stemp made abusive gestures to them. Later, when he bowled Lathwell, he accompanied the dismissal by pointing the batsman on his way to the pavilion.

Both history and recent form were against Somerset making the 366 they were set. Only Gloucestershire, who made 392 in 1948, have exceeded this to beat Yorkshire.