Yorkshire 299 Nottinghamshire 356-6: Read century offers timely reminder to Vaughan

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The Independent Online

Quite apart from the honour of being asked to fill Stephen Fleming's shoes, the boon for Chris Read of being promoted to captain Nottinghamshire as well as keep wicket is that he has even less time to reflect on the apparent injustice of his England career.

None thel ess, on days like yesterday, it must be difficult even for a character as resiliently positive as he is not to feel the unwanted gnawing of frustration somewhere in the inner recesses of his psyche. In front of the England captain, a match-saving, maybe even match-winning century could not have been a more pointed statement.

Michael Vaughan is not known to be a Read fan. He could not have failed to be impressed, however, at the way England's tried and discarded gloveman led his side from the ropes to the centre of the ring with the 12th first-class century of his career.

Granted, by a sun-dappled late afternoon the pitch here was playing as easily as it has in the match and Yorkshire had lost their new overseas fast bowler, Morne Morkel, to a suspect hamstring. But to focus on that phase of Read's innings would be to pay inadequate attention to the fact that Nottinghamshire were 86 for 4 when he appeared before lunch and 115 for 5 shortly afterwards.

Aided first by Graeme Swann, who hit 68 off 87 balls in a 136-run partnership for the sixth wicket, and then by Stuart Broad, enhancing his all-rounder status with a highly impressive half-century, Read has given Nottinghamshire a lead of 57 going into the final day. Given that they had been 184 behind with half their wickets gone, it is a substantial turnaround.

For Darren Gough, the Yorkshire captain, it was a miserable day. Unable to find any consistent rhythm himself, he watched Swann go after Adil Rashid in a way that tested the young leg-spinner's nerve, and then saw Matthew Hoggard hit out of the attack as Broad revealed a fine cover drive, the England seamer conceding 31 runs in three overs before Gough decided he had better have another go himself.

It did not help matters that Morkel, the 23-year-old South African speed merchant who is Yorkshire's overseas player until early June, had bowled only two deliveries with the second new ball when he felt a hamstring tighten and limped off the field. He had looked threatening at times in his earlier spells and had he made an impact then, with Nottinghamshire 273 for 6, the day might have evolved rather differently.

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