Yorkshire rescued by vintage Vaughan

Yorkshire 230 Leicestershire 23-3
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The Independent Online

With the honourable and important exception of Michael Vaughan, Yorkshire's batting hardly resembled the stuff of would-be champions here yesterday. While Vaughan batted beautifully to make 82 in his first innings since June, others found ways of getting themselves out, usually caught behind.

Leicestershire, condemned to what they no doubt feared would be a tough day in the field after three successive days of one-day cricket, probably could not believe their luck. But they seized the moment and both Vince Wells and Phil DeFreitas, swinging the ball effectively in the sultry conditions, capitalised on Yorkshire's errors.

For Yorkshire, the scenario was an inviting one. The pitch was the one used for the semi-final against Lancashire. It was therefore on the slow side, with a lowish bounce. If they could bat for the best part of two days, the possibilities were boundless.

So much for theory. Craig White stroked the first ball of the day imperiously through the covers as though carrying on where he left off in the Roses match; alas, he then fast-footedly followed a wide one from James Ormond to become the first of Neil Burns' victims.

After that there seemed to be two games in progress, with Vaughan stroking the ball effortlessly through the covers at one end and a series of miscalculations at the other. Vaughan timed the ball as if he had never been away and played scarcely a false stroke in passing his half-century from 74 balls with seven fours.

All this, plus Leicestershire's tendency to give the new ball too much width, suggested that wickets would be hard earned. But Wells got a ball of full length through Matthew Wood's defences and, on the stroke of lunch, Leicestershire enjoyed their biggest slice of luck so far when Darren Lehmann, of all people, followed a wide one without too much footwork and was caught behind.

Leicestershire were probably more fortunate when David Byas, following the fashion of going after widish balls, drove one from Darren Maddy which he could have left. There was a noise, but he seemed surprised to be given out caught behind. To his credit you would never have known from his demeanour whether he was dismayed or even disgusted by the decision.

Worse followed when Vaughan, having looked largely untroubled by all the bowling, managed to get himself "strangled'' down the leg side from the first ball of a new spell from DeFreitas. Encouraged by that, the former England man bowled straight, moved the ball late and had the commendable figures, in the heat of the afternoon, of 9-7-6-2.