County round-up: Sidebottom and Pyrah leave Yorkshire on top

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The Independent Online

Ryan Sidebottom wreaked havoc against his former county as Nottinghamshire's decision to bat first backfired badly at Headingley yesterday but it was the in-form all-rounder Rich Pyrah who ultimately took centre stage.

Pyrah delayed Durham's victory at Leeds last Sunday with a defiant 81 – his best Championship score – but it was his skill with the ball that came to the fore this time as the champions were dismissed for 143 in 35.4 overs.

The 28-year-old seamer struck with his first ball as Australian batsman Adam Voges was caught at first slip and grabbed his second success when Nottinghamshire captain Chris Read was caught behind as the visitors tottered at 56 for 6.

Three more wickets in the afternoon session gave him career-best figures of 5 for 58, his first five-wicket haul in a Championship innings completed when Alex Hales – the only Nottinghamshire batsman to shine in bowler-friendly conditions – holed out to deep midwicket for 85.

Earlier, Sidebottom had taken two wickets in two balls, the second of them to dismiss Samit Patel without scoring, to have the visitors rocking at 7 for 3, and finished with 4-30 from 12 overs of superb swing bowling.

Opener Joe Root fell for nought but Adam Lyth (64) and Anthony McGrath (49) shared a partnership of 100 to set Yorkshire on course for a first-innings lead, though three wickets for Luke Fletcher in a collapse from 124 for 2 to 144 for 4 pegged them back.

Will Smith (59) and Gordon Muchall (74) shared a second-wicket partnership of 129 but Durham did not make the most of it against Sussex at Chester-le-Street, where an all-out score of 292 looked an underachievement given that they had been 173 for 1. Monty Panesar led a fightback by the visitors by removing Ben Stokes and Dale Benkenstein before either could make a serious impact, finishing with 4 for 88 from 28.4 overs.

Having thrashed early title favourites Somerset in Taunton last week, Warwickshire came down to earth at New Road, where relegation favourites Worcestershire put them in and bowled them out for 201, Australian all-rounder Damien Wright finishing with 5 for 62.

England opener Alastair Cook hit the 32nd first-class century of his career – his 15th in the Championship – scoring 155 as Essex bounced back from two straight defeats to dominate at Wantage Road, where 21-year-old Jaik Mickleburgh completed his second first-class hundred in a second-wicket partnership of 258.