Pietersen tucks into depleted Yorkshire

Nottinghamshire 393 Yorkshire 10 for 1
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The Independent Online

The new scoreboard here, to be unveiled at the second Test, carries the cryptic sign "Removers''. On a day when they were flayed by Kevin Pietersen, Yorkshire are in dire need of such.

Fielding what is possibly the weakest attack in their Championship history they did well in the end to restrict Notts to less than 500. They are without a single capped bowler and under threat that Australia may pull Ian Harvey out of the team at any moment should the projected Test matches in Zimbabwe become a one-day series.

Matthew Hoggard is with England, Chris Silverwood is injured, Steve Kirby is convalescing. The bowling was opened by John Blain, late of Northamptonshire II, and at 2.20pm Craig White took the ball, the seventh bowler to do so. Yorkshire's hardcore supporters are already resigning themselves to another, and third, summer in the Second Division.

Their team was saved from annihilation by a pitch of varying pace and bounce and some good fortune. Jason Gallian suffered from a sharp lift in the first over; Russell Warren fell to a fine slip catch in the seventh. Darren Bicknell, in cool command was run out by Anthony McGrath, from virtually square and 25 yards. When David Hussey in flamboyant form played on in trying to pull, Notts were 120 for 4 and Yorkshire could hardly believe their luck.

It did not last. Pietersen, indestructible and Chris Read (who says I can't bat?) added 145 in 37 overs, a stand that only ended when Richard Dawson lured Read into misadventure. Mark Ealham's ambitions were ended abruptly four overs after tea when White made one ball come back and skid into the off stump.

Pietersen then led the tail in an accelerating assault, two of his three sixes being hit straight, off Dawson. Paul Franks threatened to join the mayhem until removed by a brilliant high catch at mid-off, and it was Tim Bresnan, who had a torrid day, who got among the tail. Pietersen was bowled on 167 after kissing his cap badge at 150. Is he staying at Trent Bridge? Even in adversity there are consolations. White, the Yorkshire captain, had a good workout on his bowling action. His all-round ability will be invaluable. Dawson was given another long bowl, a discipline to which young spinners are rarely submitted.

Dawson was probably Yorkshire's best through the day. Neither Bresnan, who seems overweight, nor Nick Thornicroft, appear to have improved since their young England days, and Harvey is regarded as a one-day bowler. Before this summer is over he may be sighing for his Gloucestershire days.

The "Removers'' sign turned out to be, binoculars revealed, an abbreviation for "Remaining Overs''. In the penultimate one Ryan Sidebottom, released by Yorkshire, bowled Matthew Wood middle stump.

Pietersen becomes qualified for England in September and on recent form must be regarded as an absolute certainty for selection for his native South Africa this winter.

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