Cricket: Yorkshire hit blockade

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The Independent Online
Centuries from Giles White and John Stephenson, their first in the Championship this season, denied Yorkshire victory at Portsmouth yesterday after Hampshire had followed on.

Hampshire began the final day on 173 for 3 in their second innings, still needing another 47 to make Yorkshire bat again. But White, whose previous top score for Hampshire in 44 matches was a modest 73, led the resistance with a career-best 145.

At the fall of the eighth wicket at 410, Hampshire were only 190 in front and there were still 42 overs left, but Yorkshire's hopes finally disappeared in a stand of 54 in 21 overs between Shaun Udal and Simon Renshaw.

Nottinghamshire squandered a golden opportunity to claim their fourth Championship victory of the season and, in the end, they had to survive the final over to avoid defeat against Somerset at Trent Bridge.

With Mathew Dowman scoring his third Championship century of the season, Nottinghamshire appeared to be well on the way to maximum points as they chased a victory target of 320 in a minimum of 76 overs. However, the departures of the captain, Paul Johnson, and Dowman in quick succession sparked a dramatic slide that ended with the wicketkeeper, Wayne Noon, having to keep out Mushtaq Ahmed in the final over to secure a draw.

The Pakistan leg-spinner had been chiefly responsible for that dramatic slide with a burst of three for eight in 23 balls that had Nottinghamshire wobbling after their comfortable progress in the afternoon session.

n Nottinghamshire are to enter the bidding for Shane Warne and will meet with the Australian leg-spinner's manager, Austin Robertson. Lancashire and Sussex are also interested Warne. Nottinghamshire's cricket committee chairman, Stuart Foster, said: "Warne is our targeted player and we hope to meet him in the next 10 days, but we're in the hands of his agent."