Klusener suffers let-down

Yorkshire 225 Nottinghamshire 68-3 Yorkshire win by 2 runs (D/L)
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The Independent Online

Faced with the challenge set before Nottinghamshire after rain had made a mess of things here yesterday, it is hard to think of a batsman you would pick ahead of Lance Klusener to do what was required.

A twice revised target ultimately needed the home side, having been forced by two stoppages to spend almost three hours inside the dressing-rooms, to score 36 in five overs with nine wickets in hand when they emerged for the final time. For the South African powerhouse on his home county debut, it looked a near-perfect script.

What followed, however, was a series of fluffed lines. Klusener hit one six off Craig White but looked out of touch. The other 22 balls he faced yielded only two boundaries as Nottinghamshire, losing three wickets, failed by three runs to reach a Duckworth/Lewis created target that had looked well within their compass.

The off-spinner Richard Dawson deserves particular credit, conceding only seven runs from his two overs, although the man of the match award went to the Nottinghamshire left-arm seamer Greg Smith, whose 5 for 39 played a major part in dismissing Yorkshire for 225.

With the batsmen battling against a crosswind, Smith's inswinging deliveries from the pavilion end caused problems from the outset. He was pulled for six by Matthew Wood but then claimed four wickets in three overs to turn a promising start by Yorkshire, having been put in, into a rocky one.

After White, on the back foot, had been caught behind in Smith's fourth over, Wood and Chris Silverwood both perished in his fifth and Michael Lumb in his sixth as Yorkshire's score tumbled from 25 for 0 to 46 for 4. Wood chopped on before Silverwood, batting at No 3, was tricked by a slower ball. Lumb then hit a pull shot straight into the hands of Usman Afzaal at square leg.

The innings was rescued by a fifth-wicket partnership of 109 in 22 overs between Darren Lehmann, who made 89 off 92 balls, and Anthony McGrath, much to the chagrin of Nadeem Malik, sharing the new ball, who almost had Lehmann caught at slip on four. McGrath was out two short of a half-century, bowled by the 19-year-old Malik off an inside edge.