Lehmann holds back Somerset

Yorkshire 296 Somerset 58-1
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Rumours are flying that this square has changed character; it is now said to be a honey pot for spinners. A glance at the bowling figures adds credence. Yet seam, swing or spin, all come alike to Darren Lehmann, who, for the umpteenth time, propped up a Yorkshire innings until running out of partners when at 90.

Lehmann batted at number six, carrying a stiff back, a regular penalty for his frequent journeys from Adelaide to Leeds. He was probably hoping that Yorkshire, batting first, would leave him in the dressing room for treatment.

Alas, even without the injured Andrew Caddick, and Richard Johnson, Somerset's bowling was good enough to confound a Yorkshire order that looks flakier by the match.

Andrew Gale, one of four Championship debutants, fell to Nixon McLean's late swing; Keith Dutch restricted Yorkshire to 121 for 3 at lunch. With Ian Blackwell pinning one end, McLean and Dutch tried and tempted the middle order with only Lehmann seemingly impervious. So restrictive were Somerset that even Australia's captain Ricky Ponting, also on his debut, managed to concede six runs from five overs.

Ponting also took two smart slip catches, one being Yorkshire's new wicket-keeper Ismail Dawood, returning to the county of his birth after a decade.

After tea the tail did their best to support Lehmann and drive Yorkshire to a second batting point with Somerset relying on the indefatigable McLean to drill through one end. It became cat and mouse with Yorkshire needing four runs with one wicket to fall. McLean won by trapping Steve Kirby. The West Indian celebrated with figures of 6 for 79.

Somerset then had 17 overs, taking toll on some erratic new-ball bowling and advancing at six runs an over until Peter Bowler edged third slip. Ponting looked in ominous form and we saw just one over from the fourth debutant, Yorkshire's England Under-19 leg-spinner Mark Lawson. He is 18, short, fair, bouncy and both county and country have invested much time and effort in him.