Cricket: White guides Yorkshire along road to recovery: Somerset seize upper hand: Barrie Fairall reports from Taunton

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The Independent Online
Yorkshire 244; Somerset 45-0

IN terms of driving ambition in all forms of cricket, there is a fair bit of mileage already separating these two this season and yesterday, in the Championship, Yorkshire appeared to be heading for the breaker's yard at 99 for 5. Somerset, though, never did shift Craig White, whose unbeaten 74 lit up the road to recovery.

White is 23 and Yorkshire born, but like the England find, Martin McCague, grew up in Australia. Also like McCague, he attended the Australian Cricket Academy, a seat of learning that stood him in good stead when Somerset were whistling through the scorecard in the first session on a steamy morning.

Yorkshire, having decided to bat, had made a reasonable start and there were no undue alarms when Andy Caddick returned to the attack and immediately had Martyn Moxon caught behind pushing forward. Paul Grayson, after all, had been performing solidly at the other end and Richie Richardson's arrival signalled a stab on the accelerator.

The West Indian at one stage treated Caddick with complete disdain, three drives and a hook all heading for the boundary to remind the England bowler of what he might be in for if he is selected to tour the Caribbean next winter. Meanwhile, the half-century partnership arrived in just seven overs.

The direction of the innings changed dramatically, however, when the stand was worth 70, Mushtaq Ahmed bowling Grayson for 37. 'Can't tell from here, can't tell from there,' was a fair comment on which delivery the Pakistani leg-spinner had plucked from his repertoire to beat Grayson's bat. At that point Yorkshire were 97 for 2.

The fact that Richardson invariably fails to keep his head down cost Yorkshire his wicket in the next over, seven fours having been included in his 45. When David Byas was caught at short-leg off Mushtaq, Somerset were celebrating three dismissals in 11 balls.

This became four wickets for two runs in five overs when Graham Rose, who finished with 4 for 33, removed Richard Blakey. Thank heavens, then, for White, who helped raise 69 for the sixth wicket in company with Peter Hartley. He also found an unlikely partner in Mark Robinson, last out but not before 42 had been added in eight overs, White by then having survived 198 minutes.