Cricket: Yorkshire with a hole to fill

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The Independent Online
Nottinghamshire 152 and 353-8

Yorkshire 404-9 dec

Match drawn

SACHIN TENDULKAR flies home to Bombay today, a sad ending to a modern fairy-tale, leaving an exasperated and frustrated Yorkshire. In the committee room they now have to find a replacement, who will be inferior, and on the field they were baulked by a day-long resistance by Nottinghamshire.

Tendulkar left behind 1,563 runs in all competitions, two hundreds and eight 50s, but, more important, as a boy barely a man, of great modesty, charm and ability, he won hearts in a suspicious and often arrogant tribe. He was never referred to, in hearing, as 'Ower Sachin' but the sentiment was there. He was family.

The word now is that Aqib Javed is no longer under consideration, but that a bowler is being sought and if he does not meet Yorkshire TV's stipulation that he has to be a player of international stature to qualify for their sponsorship then Yorkshire will find his salary. Kenny Benjamin, of West Indies, or, Craig Matthews of South Africa, are the next possible choices.

Still trailing by 121 overnight, Nottinghamshire should have been bowled out on a misty morning, but first Chris Broad, almost six hours over his 120, and then Paul Pollard, batting for 35 overs with two broken fingers on his left hand, always had one end blocked off. The pitch was flat and slow but any team that puts down five catches, as Yorkshire did, can blame themselves.

Broad added 31 in the two hours to lunch but Yorkshire did manage to shift Tim Robinson by a low slip catch. Broad, on 87, should have been held at silly point off Phil Carrick's first ball of the day while Chris Cairns, after a few overs of dutiful defence, suddenly pulled Robinson on to the pavilion roof, tiles clattering on to the committee balcony, a blow that put Nottinghamshire in front.

He was then missed at 34 - at mid-off, off Robinson; at 43 - at backward point, off Carrick; and soon after he had departed, caught at long-on, Greg Mike, on eight, was dropped at mid-off, off Batty. Graeme Archer was missed at slip, when 10, but that would have been a superb hold.

Headingley's controversial Test wicket is to be dug up and relaid again after receiving below average marks for last month's match between England and Pakistan, when England won by six wickets. The aim is to increase pace and achieve consistent bounce.

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