Cricket: Yorkshire feast on failings: Gloucestershire put survival at the top of their agenda

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Yorkshire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .445

Gloucestershire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105-1

AS GAMES of two distinct halves go, yesterday's events at Abbeydale Park take some beating. Yorkshire spent the first part of the day thumping their way to their highest total of the season; then Gloucestershire found themselves staring down the barrel once more and were happy to settle for not much more than survival.

Bottom of the table with four defeats from five games, they are probably substantially short of form and confidence and the latter will not have been helped by a shoddy performance in the field as Yorkshire batted them out of contention.

They amassed 138 in the pre-lunch session largely due to Paul Jarvis and Peter Hartley, who feasted on the many variations in line and length and, perhaps finding the ball coming on a shade more than the previous day, were able to drive with great power and gusto.

Mostly in this vein Hartley made the second century of his career from 159 balls with 11 fours. It was his proper first innings of the season. Alright, for the technically minded, he was deemed to have started his innings in the last game at Chesterfield when he walked on the playing area as rain began to fall, but this was the first time he had faced a ball.

His lack of time in the middle was apparent early on when he needed a amount of fortune against Courtney Walsh, who steamed in with the second new ball. Once, he was almost caught and bowled and there were enough other moments against the short-pitched ball to make one wonder why he was not crowded more.

The freewheeling partnership ended when Jarvis looked a bit nonplussed to be given out leg before as he swept at the left-arm spinner, Mark Davies. Curiously, in view of Gloucestershire's problems elsewhere, it was a long time before the off-spinner, Marcus Wight, was seen and eventually he ended the innings by trapping Hartley leg before as he tried to work him through midwicket.

There were not too many plus marks for Gloucestershire at this stage, but the bowling of Kevin Cooper was undoubtedly one. He emerged from the carnage with five for 83 from 40 accurate overs, his first five-wicket haul for three years.

There were those who were surprised (and in Cooper's case upset) when he was released by Nottinghamshire last season. Despite recent injury problems, with his pure, sideways action, he is still capable of getting good players out through his ability to extract every modicum of assistance from the conditions and his performances will be watched with interest, and maybe not a little embarrassment at Trent Bridge.

After all that, Gloucestershire needed, above all, a good start and the panacea of one of Chris Broad's grinding, crease-occupying innings; but this was denied them when, in the third over, he met a ball from Jarvis, which probably stopped a little, and Richie Richardson at gully held a tumbling, low catch.