Jaques upstages Vaughan

Northants 281 and 9-0 v Yorkshire 328
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The Independent Online

A crowd of a thousand or so turned up here, and a good number of them would have done so to watch Michael Vaughan play his first Championship game for Yorkshire since 2003. It was also an interesting early test of his form in this Ashes summer.

A crowd of a thousand or so turned up here, and a good number of them would have done so to watch Michael Vaughan play his first Championship game for Yorkshire since 2003. It was also an interesting early test of his form in this Ashes summer.

Almost everyone was disappointed, not least Vaughan himself, who walked off looking thoughtful after making a modest 12 runs off 41 balls. A good length ball from Damien Wright, Northamptonshire's Australian import, nipped in past the inside edge and knocked back the off stump.

Vaughan's runs came off four scoring shots, and three of them were a stirring reminder of earlier, longer and more rewarding innings. He got off the mark by swivelling his hips and pulling a ball from Wright to the square-leg boundary. After an interval when he left most of the balls he received, a well-timed, leg-side flick off Jason Brown went for another four. Brown was also the victim when Vaughan drove hard off the back foot to extra cover for three. Add one nudge through the slips for a single and that was the sum total, literally.

Elsewhere, Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss were out cheaply. But in these early days, the failure of Vaughan and his colleagues to make runs is a disappointment, not a disaster.

The person who did make runs yesterday was another Australian. Philip Jaques is from Wollongong in New South Wales; a 25-year-old left-hander, he reached 100 out of 171 off 156 balls, with his 15th four, an edge that bisected the keeper and first slip at catchable height. It was his first false shot. He was on 166 when Yorkshire took a first-innings lead, and his 176 took 254 balls.

He is not your usual Aussie import; his father is from Sheffield and he professes a genuine loyalty to the county. In the absence of Darren Lehmann, he is clearly their most reliable batsman. Jaques is not going to win any style prizes. He may look cramped, but he is a brutal cutter, and strong off the back foot through mid-off.

Ian Harvey, Yorkshire's other Australian, has also played a key part ingames against Essex (drawn) and Somerset (won by an innings), but not yesterday. He played no shot to his second ball and mislaid his middle stump. Wright was the bowler again; he had Jaques caught behind, and caught and bowled Richard Dawson next ball. His figures then were 5 for 50, though rain stopped play before he could bowl the hat-trick ball (he didn't get it). His figures of 8 for 60 were a career best. Perhaps stability is back on the agenda at Headingley.

Colin Graves, the supermarket mini-tycoon, who has run the club for a couple of years, has announced he is standing down, and the post of chief executive has been advertised. But his successor will have his work cut out. Yesterday the Yorkshire middle order wasn't in proper working order, and neither was the main scoreboard.

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