Dutch and McLean leave pie-throwers in a pickle

Yorkshire 296 & 160 Somerset 451 & 6-0 Somerset win by 10 wickets
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The Independent Online

Although the acting captain, Matthew Wood, carried his bat, the first Yorkshireman to do so since Geoffrey Boycott in 1985, another middle-order collapse meant that Yorkshire were bowled out in 89 minutes here yesterday, giving Somerset their first Championship win since last September and only their sixth in their last 42 matches.

Although the acting captain, Matthew Wood, carried his bat, the first Yorkshireman to do so since Geoffrey Boycott in 1985, another middle-order collapse meant that Yorkshire were bowled out in 89 minutes here yesterday, giving Somerset their first Championship win since last September and only their sixth in their last 42 matches.

The Yorkshire coach, David Byas, took the second smashing defeat in six days - after losing the C&G Trophy semi-final at Bristol - phlegmatically, though he may have been boiling underneath: "We simply weren't up to scratch. We didn't score enough runs on a good pitch and paid the penalty.'' That's the ABC of it.

The XYZ of it is that Darren Lehmann was not fully fit, Anthony McGrath was not fit to bowl, there were poor decisions against Michael Lumb and Mark Lawson in the second innings, and on Thursday they bowled like pie-throwers. The attack was, and is, the principal weakness.

Two years ago, Yorkshire had five England seamers: Gough, Silverwood, Hoggard, Sidebottom and White. Now only Chris Silverwood, out of form in his benefit year, and the occasional Matthew Hoggard remain. Craig White, the captain, is injured and will not play again this season.

Somerset have responded to Ricky Ponting's arrival like a team transformed. Australia's captain set the example with a century on debut, two slip catches, a spell of accurate little dobbers and frequent conversations with the captain, Mike Burns, and the bowlers.

They bowled straighter, kept a better length, fielded with belief and batted as though imbued with Tasmanian sunshine. The off-spinner Keith Dutch, who is rumoured to be leaving in September, earned and enjoyed his second-innings figures of 5 for 26.

Nixon McLean finished with match figures of 11 for 124 and some might argue that he would have been better employed by West Indies. The ball that bowled Ian Harvey was a diamond.

Byas has seven more games, including Derbyshire and Glamorgan home and away, to find enough points to win promotion. He reckoned it took him six years to build a Championship-winning team and this morning he probably feels he has to start again right at the bottom.

Ponting, Lehmann and Harvey will soon be recalled by Australia for the Champions Trophy but Phil Jaques will return for Yorkshire. Byas will probably spend some time this autumn looking up details of likely overseas fast bowlers who can bat.

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