Lehmann's folly is costly as Yorkshire collapse

Gloucestershire 239-7 Yorkshire 142 Gloucs win by 97 runs
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The Independent Online

Yorkshire's fate in this Benson and Hedges Cup semi-final was sealed by an unbelievable lapse of concentration by their almost invariably admirable Australian import, Darren Lehmann. Needing 240 to win on an awkward pitch, they had lost their first two wickets to edged catches for only seven runs, one falling to each of James Averis and Ian Harvey.

Michael Vaughan was joined by Lehmann and Yorkshire needed a big contribution from them both. They had taken the score to 24 when Lehmann faced his fellow Australian Harvey. Lehmann pushed the ball back past the bowler and Chris Taylor, the fielder at mid-off, picked up behind the bowler and threw back hard and low to Jack Russell. The wicketkeeper whipped off the bails and was insistent that he had run out Lehmann, who was standing still with both feet together.

At first, Ray Julian, the square-leg umpire, did not look as if he was going to refer the matter to the third umpire. Russell persisted in wanting the decision and Julian called in Graham Burgess, who saw from the replay that Lehmann had been standing still with both feet outside his crease.

One can only think that he must have thought he was standing with them both inside the crease. It was the most extraordinary dismissal of its sort I have seen. His folly was shown up in an even sharper perspective when, one run later, Vaughan cut at Harvey and was superbly caught low down by Tim Hancock running in from third man, and, in the over after that, Gary Fellows was lbw pushing at his first ball, from Averis.

Craig White and Gavin Hamilton did their best to restore order. They put on 59 for the sixth wicket and White survived a chance to Russell off Martyn Ball. White then went back and tried to force Mark Alleyne and was bowled off the inside edge and two runs later Hamilton was lbw pushing forward to Ball. The bowlers did not last long after that.

All in all, this had been a massively professional performance by Gloucestershire who have such an astonishing record at this form of the game. They are shrewdly handled, full of players who do a bit of both and this display most emphatically gave the lie to the accusation that they rely too much for their success on their Bristol pitch. To annihilate a strong Yorkshire side at Headingley is evidence to the contrary.

They were without their two principal opening bowlers, John Lewis and Mike Smith, both injured. Yet Averis and Harvey, both moving the ball, at times disconcertingly, did the job admirably. The fielding and catching was excellent and Alleyne's cool head was always noticeable. The support bowlers also did well and Surrey are going to have a job to do if they are to prevent Gloucestershire from winning their fifth successive one-day final at Lord's on 14 July.

After an anxious first few minutes of the morning while they grew accustomed to the uneven bounce of this two-paced pitch, the Gloucestershire openers, Hancock and Kim Barnett, batted with great purpose. They put on 48 in 12 overs and, after Barnett had played one rasping cut too many, Matt Windows took his place and helped Hancock move the score on to 92 in the 25th over before Hancock was run out by Gary Fellows.

The innings now centred on Windows and it was clear that Gloucestershire had reckoned that a score of around 230 on this surface would be enough. With Windows making one end safe and reaching the only fifty of the day, Chris Taylor, Mark Alleyne and Jeremy Snape all made telling contributions and made sure Gloucestershire had enough runs.