Cricket: Yorkshire's hope of victory slips through their fingers: Middlesex survive after losing Haynes and Gatting

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The Independent Online
Yorkshire 297-8 dec and forfeit; Middlesex forfeit and 224-7. Match drawn

AFTER more than half the match had been lost to the weather, a declaration by Yorkshire at 297 for 8 in their first innings, after Craig White and Paul Grayson had reached good fifties, was followed by two forfeitures before Middlesex set about a target of 298 in 71 overs.

When Desmond Haynes and Mike Gatting were together there was a suggestion that Middlesex might get there, but in the end, with both gone, they were happy to settle for 224 for 7 and a draw. By that time Yorkshire had dropped four clear chances, which effectively cost them the match.

The pitch was slow, the ball did not come through to the bat and there was scarcely a player prepared to try and make up for that by putting bat on to ball. After an uncertain beginning when he was hit on the head hooking before he had scored, Gatting played some thumping drives, a couple of good square cuts and looked in reasonable form, as his recent scores suggest.

At the other end, Haynes heavily besweatered, also drove nicely but it was not a day for West Indians. His Test captain, Richie Richardson, stood muffled with his hands in his pockets in the slips although he withdrew them quickly enough to take a very alert slip catch. From the edge of John Carr's bat the ball had rebounded from the wicketkeeper and then first slip.

Mike Roseberry and Mark Ramprakash both perished lbw half-forward to Peter Hartley and Darren Gough respectively. Haynes and Gatting were together at tea when Middlesex were 87 for 2 but immediately afterwards Haynes was caught down the left side flicking the ball off his hip. Carr played back to Hartley to give Richardson his catch at second slip and when Gatting chipped Mark Robinson to square leg, Middlesex's challenge ended.

Yorkshire were badly let down by their fielding. Haynes should have been caught by Richard Stemp at first slip off Hartley when he was 25, Paul Weekes was dropped at short leg off Robinson when 12 and he was put down again in the gully off Gough when 22.

Then, with six overs left, Weekes drove without any footwork at a wide one from Gough and was caught by Richard Blakey diving to his left behind the wicket.

The first ball of Gough's next over yorked John Emburey, whose vision is still impaired after an operation for a detached retina, and shortly afterwards Neil Williams was dropped at third slip by Michael Vaughan two-handed to his right.

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