Cricket: White colours Illingworth's Test vision

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The Independent Online
Yorkshire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .408-5

New Zealand

THERE IS little wonder that a warm glow of satisfaction seems to surround Ray Illingworth at present. On home territory yesterday, watching Yorkshire gather easy runs in the Tetley Bitter Challenge match against New Zealand, his vision of a successful debut Test series as chairman of selectors can only have been reinforced.

Craig White, 24, added to an acclaimed undefeated century against Essex last Thursday a half-century off 58 balls in the gloom of the afternoon here.

However, White was undone by Heath Davis, who made a ball bounce a little more than the batsman foresaw from a pitch of no great pace and induced a catch at the wicket, as White sought to make another dent in the offside advertising boards.

With that, Illingworth left for another engagement, with plans to return today to see what White's brisk medium pace can achieve. He will cast an eye, too, over Richard Stemp's left-arm spin.

White gathered eight fours, often placing his shots with precision through gaps in a loaded off-side field. It made for splendid entertainment, but was not the day's only illustration of the inadequacy of the tourists' bowling resources as Yorkshire reached 408 for 5 before bad light brought an early close.

Everyone helped themselves to one degree or another, keeping the scoreboard moving at a steady four an over almost from start to finish.

After White, Richard Blakey continued the theme, striking the ball with increasing confidence in spite of the poor light of the final hour, which seemed to cause more problems for the fielders.

Davis was called 17 times for overstepping on the way to his third 'century' conceded on this tour. Chris Pringle was more impressive but the pick of the four seamers in use was unquestionably Mike Owens, the 24-year-old from Christchurch who has replaced the injured Simon Doull. He marked his first appearance by taking 4 for 89.