Fiery Cairns destroys Yorkshire's dreams

Nottinghamshire 251-5 Yorkshire 227 Nottinghamshire win by 24 runs
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A season which has at one time or another promised Yorkshire just about everything will end by giving them nothing. Defeat by Nottinghamshire at a packed Scarborough yesterday snatched away even the consolation of finishing second in the AXA Equity and Law League.

The news that Surrey were so firmly in command at Cardiff meant that these two sides were always likely to be playing for second place. Set a demanding target of 252, Yorkshire were generally up with the required scoring rate, but were losing wickets too quickly, in particular three of them in rapid succession to the game's dominant figure, Chris Cairns. The scene had been set for a match-winning innings from the Yorkshire captain, David Byas, on the ground where he played his club cricket, but he was first to go, lbw to Kevin Evans for 9, and Yorkshire's challenge never looked solid thereafter.

While Martyn Moxon, Michael Vaughan and Darren Gough were making runs freely there was still the vague prospect of something to compensate Yorkshire for their broken dreams in the Championship and the two knockout cups. But when Gough holed out to a full toss from Mark Bowen, himself an exiled Yorkshireman, to be the eighth man back in the pavilion, the last realistic hope disappeared. Cairns, Nottinghamshire's New Zealand import, removed Chris Silverwood's middle stump and had Richard Stemp caught to complete a five-wicket haul to end Yorkshire's chase well short of victory.

Nottinghamshire, never in the running for any other prize during a lacklustre campaign, owed their good score to half-centuries from Tim Robinson and arguably the most effective Sunday specialist in the country, Paul Johnson. There was also a whirlwind 38 from Cairns, who announced his arrival with a six off his first ball and he continued in the same vein. Paul Pollard and Matthew Dowman also made valuable contributions, with only Silverwood, among the Yorkshire bowlers, consistently keeping the Nottinghamshire batting line-up quiet.

It was all something of an anti-climax for the last day of the Scarborough festival because there was nothing remotely festive about it for Yorkshire. But the way that their season has fizzled out should not obscure the achievement of being so competitive in pursuit of all the major domestic cricket honours.

It was simply a matter, as Nottinghamshire demonstrated to them yesterday, of not being quite good enough to win one.