Cricket: Warwickshire's lack of Sheikh

Yorkshire 219-8 Warwickshire 163 Yorkshire win by 56 runs
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The Independent Online
IF THE Benson and Hedges Super Cup is going to live up to its billing, it will need to be a lot more super than Yorkshire's semi-final win against Warwickshire, though there was a super run-out, a few super boundaries from Craig White, and a couple of super dropped catches by Warwickshire. For Yorkshire, the result really was super because they have not appeared at Lord's since 1987. Their opponents - Gloucestershire and Sussex play today - will do well to recall, however, that Yorkshire have never lost a Lord's final.

There was also a super collision between two fielders chasing a catch on the boundary, which led to the uncommon sight of a cricketer being carried off. The victim was Warwickshire's Mohammed Sheikh, who was taken to hospital with an injured neck. Sheikh had the sympathy of a less than super crowd. Counties expect full houses, or something close, for cup semi-finals but Edgbaston was not a quarter-full.

Next year the B&H returns to the old format of qualifying groups for all first-class counties. Presumably it will be renamed the B&H Super Dooper Cup. Committee men like the idea because it means more entertainment for members. The players think there is already too much cricket.

Warwickshire performed as though they had already played much too much. They were without Allan Donald, who has a recurrent ankle injury, Neil Smith, the captain, and David Hemp, but their supporters must have expected them to bat better. David Brown, coming in at No 3, hit a cheerful 49 and Keith Piper played the bowling disdainfully for 29. But Nick Knight scratched around for 32 overs before he was lbw for 45. Of the rest, only Ashley Giles reached double figures.

Craig White took 1 for 17 in eight overs and that, along with his 55 - the highest score on the day and the most assured innings, was enough to confirm him as man of the match. His 50 in 44 balls included two sixes and six fours and he had made the pitch look hard and true compared to last week's Test wicket.

With the score at 93, White was out unluckily when Giles deflected the ball on to the wicket at the bowler's end and, with him gone, Giles and Tim Munton were able to plunder the middle order. Wickets fell at 111 (Michael Vaughan for 29) and 121 (Anthony McGrath for nine) and the run rate slowed so that Yorkshire scored only 81 runs between the 16th and the 40th overs, having taken 77 from the first 15.

But Richard Harden, at 33 an ancient, and Gary Fellows, a 20-year-old tyro, led the recovery with a stand of 61, although the tail-enders were unable to build on it. White said after the game that Yorkshire were looking at a score of 240. They were 20 runs short, but it did not matter.

In the absence of a pitch invasion, Yorkshire's players were able to form a celebratory huddle in the middle after Ed Giddins' stump had been uprooted. Warwickshire's batsmen were able to trudge to the pavilion. They had plenty to trudge about.