McCague demise sees end of Kent

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The Independent Online

A stirring eighth-wicket stand of 102 in 26 overs between Matthew Fleming and Martin McCague took Kent to within reach of an extraordinary victory over Yorkshire here yesterday. They came together when they had lost their first seven wickets for only 59 in pursuit of their target of 230.

A stirring eighth-wicket stand of 102 in 26 overs between Matthew Fleming and Martin McCague took Kent to within reach of an extraordinary victory over Yorkshire here yesterday. They came together when they had lost their first seven wickets for only 59 in pursuit of their target of 230.

When they joined forces, it seemed that the height of their ambition was to prolong the game into the afternoon. They had put on eight by lunch by which time Fleming had already been hit a painful blow on the right thumb by Matthew Hoggard. His typical response had been to drive him at once to the cover boundary.

After lunch, McCague was splendid coming on to the front foot whenever he had the chance and playing some resounding strokes. Two lofted leg-side fours off the medium-paced Gary Fellows and a ferocious slash off the left-arm spinner, Ian Fisher, brought up the 50 stand and on it went.

McCague swept Michael Vaughan for six and then straight-drove Fisher for four more and the hundred stand arrived in 91 minutes. After a final spanking straight-drive for four, McCague lost control for a moment, slogged wildly at the next ball and was bowled. He had hit one six and 12 fours and had faced 80 balls while making 72, the highest score of his career.

An optimistic, slashing square drive then accounted for Fleming and finally Martin Saggers drove over Fisher and was bowled.

The early damage had been mostly done by Gavin Hamilton. He took 4 for 6 in 7.4 overs, including the wicket of Rahul Dravid who was always going to be the danger man. Hamilton also accounted for Robert Key and Ed Smith, who both played on, and Mark Ealham, while Hoggard and Greg Lambert took the other three wickets to fall in a morning which contained some pretty ordinary batting.

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