Cricket: Yorkshire fall to record defeat

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Gloucestershire 291 and 484

Yorkshire 247 and 204

Gloucestershire win by 324 runs

WHILE there was never the remotest chance that they were going to go the distance, Yorkshire finished up resembling a well-wrung wet rag here yesterday. Inevitably, it was Courtney Walsh who applied the final squeeze, his four wickets in four overs seeing Gloucestershire to their third Championship victory of the summer.

Worse still for Yorkshire, this was their heaviest defeat in terms of runs in the history of the club. 'Thanks for telling me,' one of the players said after the side had been sent packing. The White Rose county ran up the white flag in an hour of capitulation in which the five remaining wickets disappeared for 50 runs in 15 overs. And Gloucestershire's haul of 22 points moved them up four notches into eighth place in the table. Not used to moving in such high places, they could be forgiven for feeling a little giddy. Not Walsh, though, a gifted fast bowler well versed in success.

His 6 for 85 from 18 overs in the second innings was the seventh time this season he had taken five or more wickets and the third that he had 10 from a match. Gloucestershire could not wish for more from their overseas player, nor for such inspiration after giving him the captaincy.

When Yorkshire resumed here, resistance was down to the gritty Martyn Moxon and Richard Blakey. Moxon, though, was batting on one leg with a runner, his knee injury due for surgery sooner rather than later. When he reached 13, though, Walsh persuaded him to edge one to Tony Wright at second slip, Wright parrying the ball to first slip and Martyn Ball catching it.

Walsh promptly yorked Peter Hartley for a duck and had Richard Stemp and Blakey, who made a valiant 82 in 168 minutes, again taken by Ball. Finally, Kevin Cooper sent Chris Silverwood on his way with you-know-who clinging on to the chance. Indeed, Ball had gathered five catches in the innings and eight in the match.

All of which left Yorkshire in total disarray following the news that Richie Richardson, Walsh's West Indian captain, has played his last game for them - a victim of acute fatigue syndrome.

Walsh, meanwhile, has now taken 67 first-class wickets in this campaign with no apparent loss of appetite for the game and no prizes for guessing who will lead the West Indies in India next winter. As for Yorkshire, the South African bowler, Fanie de Villiers, is reported to head their shopping list.