Yorkshire struggle in war of the roses

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The Independent Online

Yorkshire's troubled season shows no sign of improving. Desperate for a win to lift themselves out of the relegation places in the First Division of the Championship, they crumbled embarrassingly to 181 all out after opting to bat first on day one of the roses match at Old Trafford.

Andrew Gale, who scored 99 against Nottinghamshire in Scarborough last week, was the only batsman to make Anthony McGrath's decision look remotely wise. His 54 was a largely unsupported effort as Tom Smith, the young Lancashire all-rounder, took a career-best 6 for 46 with his medium pace in a spell of 13 overs unchanged.

Smith then opened with Paul Horton as the home side made batting conditions look rather more straightforward with an unbroken century partnership. Yorkshire have not won in the Championship since June last year in a run spanning 20 matches.

Two of the better wicketkeeper batsmen were in the runs elsewhere. Craig Kieswetter took his aggregate for the season to 688 at an average of almost 53 with another 67 as Somerset ended in a strong position against Nottinghamshire, reaching 316 for 5 after Justin Langer had won the toss. There were half-centuries too from Langer, Zander de Bruyn and Arul Suppiah. Ryan Sidebottom took 3 for 65.

Meanwhile, Warwickshire's sometime England gloveman Tim Ambrose, who hit two centuries in April but has been scratchy since, returned to form with 13 fours in his 63 as his side were bowled out for 309 at New Road.

In the Second Division, Wavell Hinds hit a blistering 74 off 90 balls with nine fours and four sixes at Canterbury but leaders Kent bowled out second-placed Derbyshire for 309, off-spinner James Tredwell taking four wickets. Alex Gidman is unbeaten on 122 overnight after Gloucestershire reached 337 for 5 against Glamorgan at Bristol.