Yorkshire find Somerset are just the ticket


Somerset 182 & 212Yorkshire 400
Yorks win by inns and 6 runs

Somerset 182 & 212Yorkshire 400 Yorks win by inns and 6 runs

Matthew Hoggard's 5 for 50 was timed a week before the selectors could confirm the victors of Lord's for the third Test at Old Trafford, as if he felt a reminder might be needed. The early victory cuts Surrey's lead by only three points but they are back in second place and still have to host the champions and third-placed Lancashire.

Somerset were pitched straight into further trouble when the fourth ball of the day bowled Piran Holloway. He had complained the ball before, about movement in the press box behind Hoggard's arm, thus exciting a lively discussion in the box.

It has been in this position, 25 yards to the right of the pavilion, for more than a century. My own experience of it goes back to 1956 and never before to my knowledge has any batsman before Peter Bowler, in the Somerset first innings, ever complained about itinerant hacks. Indeed, in those lush days when Asda so prodigally sponsored the Festival, they were mostly fast asleep by mid-afternoon. "We were," as the then Yorkshire Post correspondent put it, "as sponsored as newts".

Holloway was complaining about a Scarborough official, who happened to be visiting the box. He certainly appeared unsighted when he lost his off-bail. That was 12 for 3 and even the Yorkshire fanatics were hoping that play might last until lunchtime on another glorious seaside morning.

Bowler and Keith Parsons averted the immediate crisis with Parsons pleased to punish the regular wayward delivery and it was not until David Byas recalled Hoggard to bowl from the Trafalgar Square end that the breakthrough was made: Bowler, who should have been caught off Chris Silverwood, when one, by either keeper or first slip, was beautifully taken by a swooping catch at cover, now becoming a Gary Fellows' speciality.

The third ball of the over was edged by Neil Burns to third slip. When Parsons was pinned in front by Paul Hutchison's ball that straightens, to make the score 74 for 6 the end seemed near. But, as has been written, Somerset are nothing if not resilient.

Rob Turner and Ian Blackwell all but doubled the score in 20 overs before a frustrated and angry Silverwood induced a slip catch to remove Blackwell. The returning Hoggard provoked Anthony McGrath into a second slip catch, this low and fast to his right to end Turner's resistance. Peter Trego was another to misread Hutchison.

The No 11 Steffan Jones, with nothing to lose and all the time in the world, managed a career best, taking his 50 off 45 balls, he and Graham Rose coming close to making Yorkshire bat again.

Three Somerset players collected parking tickets, caught by Scarborough's draconian new regulations. A 10,000-plus crowd is expected for the National League match tomorrow - Somerset have sent for Marcus Trescothick and Paul Jarvis - and the wardens are licking their pencils

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