Cricket: Tendulkar cast in leading role

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The Independent Online
Durham 214 and 155

Yorkshire 108 and 263-5

Yorkshire win by five wickets

YORKSHIRE'S charge to victory, spearheaded by Sachin Tendulkar's first Championship century, ended just after 2pm, the 177 runs required being scored for the loss of three more wickets. Tendulkar reached his hundred with two fours off Ian Botham and then in Botham's next over, skied the ball to mid-on and was caught by Stewart Hutton.

All of Yorkshire's four victories this summer can be attributed in some part to Tendulkar: his 89 on a slow turner against Derbyshire at Harrogate was a decisive innings in a low-scoring match.

His 93 was a substantial step towards an innings-win over Essex; his 56 and 48 were significant scores against Lancashire earlier this week; similarly his contribution has been crucial here, all of which makes a nonsense of the view held by some Yorkshire committee members that only an overseas bowler can win matches.

Yesterday the balance hovered, briefly, after David Byas had added two runs to his overnight score. Trying perhaps to be too careful he played into short leg's hands as Botham pressed determinedly for an early breakthrough.

That brought in Tendulkar, with 175 still needed, and Durham, with a good third-day crowd behind them, scented the possibility of another collapse. In bright sun, a slight breeze and hardly a cloud in the sky, Tendulkar drove and cut with the alacrity and confidence of a player with 500 on the board.

Botham managed one appeal for leg-before, but that was as close as Durham came to taking his wicket as he rattled off eight fours in his 50, 14 in reaching 80 and 16 in his hundred off 96 balls.

A century before lunch was a certainty before Phil Carrick, the nightwatchman, having pulled Botham for six, decided to steal the strike in the final half an hour before the interval.

Durham have now lost four successive matches, but their crowd remains enthusiastic and their management now has the task of planning for 1993 when, with the initial impetus behind them, the real test of first-class viability will come.

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