Gatting tucks in with gusto to lift Sussex
Yorkshire 403 Sussex 233-4
Friday 18 September 2009
The First Division fate of these two teams is unlikely to be resolved until the final round of fixtures but for Sussex and Yorkshire there were glimpses of a brighter future in the performances of some of their emerging players yesterday.
Two 24-year-olds, David Wainwright and Ajmal Shahzad, completed Yorkshire's recovery from 104 for 5 and 209 for 7 with an eighth-wicket stand of 157 thus continuing a trend which has seen the visitors extricate themselves from similarly unpromising positions in nine of their 15 games so far.
A total of 403 was par for a desperately slow pitch at Hove but Sussex, whose need for a victory is greater than their higher-placed rivals in the table, made a positive response thanks to Joe Gatting in only his second Championship game.
There was something in the manner of his uncle Mike, the former England captain, in the way the 21-year-old took the game to Wainwright and Azeem Rafiq, the Yorkshire spinners who were bowling in tandem after 13 overs.
Using his feet and punishing any indiscretion in length, Gatting struck seven boundaries off Rafiq to force the off-spinner out of the attack on his way to 46 from 60 balls with 10 boundaries. In the context of this slow-scoring match it was refreshing to see. Gatting turned his back on a football career with Brighton & Hove Albion a year ago to concentrate on cricket and on this evidence he appears to have made the right decision.
Just as impressive were the performances of Wainwright and Shahzad. There cannot be too many better No 9s in England than Wainwright, who has already made two hundreds including one here last season which effectively kept Yorkshire in the First Division, even though he is by no means a regular in a side where the accent is still heavily on seamers.
Shahzad, playing with the patience lacking in some of his senior colleagues, was in sight of his maiden hundred and had batted for 200 minutes when he played back to Rory Hamilton-Brown's off breaks. Wainwright may be a slight figure but he struck any bad ball with impressive authority on his way to 85 from 146 balls with nine fours.
Their main job, though, is with the ball. Wainwright picked up Chris Nash off a sliced drive in his sixth over but it was Shahzad who revived Yorkshire when he found some reverse swing to strike with successive deliveries. First, Michael Yardy was undone by a ball which stopped after making 58, then Carl Hopkinson was trapped in front.
Yorkshire sensed an opportunity but Hamilton-Brown, given a belated opportunity in Sussex's Championship team after some impressive one-day performances this season, adopted a similarly fearless attitude to Gatting, driving impressively against the spinners. So far he has added 68 in 18 overs with the more prosaic Murray Goodwin proving an ideal foil at the other end.
X Factor judge will appear in court later this month
The Google future, including microphones in every ceiling and data sent directly to your brain
Comment: David Moyes paying the price of Manchester United's virtual abstinence from top-level transfers since 2006. Can he refire their ambition?
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Transfer news: Manchester United will not be forced into panic buys, says David Moyes
Ashes 2013-14 match report: Alastair Cook future in jeopardy after another woeful display sees England lose to Australia by 218 runs to go down 2-0
Manchester United player ratings: The best (and worst) performers for David Moyes during the season so far
- 1 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 2 Council bans use of word ‘Commie’ – but ‘fascist’ and ‘Nazi’ are fine
- 3 The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
- 4 Newly vegan Beyoncé wears fox fur to dine in meat free restaurant
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent