Such fights the frustrations

Cricket: Yorkshire 290 & 329 Essex 372 & 100-5
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The Independent Online
Peter Such skipped out of the pavilion and on to the field ahead of his team-mates yesterday morning and stood waiting for them to join him wearing a "come on in, the water's lovely" expression.

His tail was up because he'd taken four wickets the night before and Yorkshire were tottering 37 runs ahead. Such went on to fill his boots with his season's best, eight for 118, yet although his first ball of the day spun into the hands of second slip, with the wickets came exasperation, irritation and a fretful five minutes' batting at the close.

For Essex, pursuing a sixth successive Championship win, ran into Richard Kettleborough. A 23-year-old left-hander playing his fifth Championship game, he batted with wise maturity to reach his maiden century and retrieve his side. He came forward watchfully wherever possible to kill the spin and used skilful soft hands to deaden the awkward bounce on a pitch which is cracked, dusty, shaven at the ends and motley in the middle.

Yet Kettleborough did more than just survive. He unceremoniously dispatched the bad ball with sweet swipes through the covers. Nervous in the nineties, he eventually scuttled a single to reach three figures off 270 deliveries.

Support came from Richard Blakey with whom he shared a 102-run partnership, but for Such the morning was wicketless. He left the field angrily pulling on his jumper having seen his last ball of the session turn, lift and baffle Peter Hartley so completely he couldn't play a shot. However, Such's reward was the first ball after lunch which Hartley plopped gently into short point's hands.

Yet it was a false dawn because the excitable Gavin Hamilton treated the sparse Headingley crowd to an extravagant exhibition and the Essex bowlers with disdain. One Such over went for 14, helping Hamilton to his first Championship 50 in 66 balls.

The spinner, though, struck back trapping Kettleborough leg before and enticing Hamilton into one extravagance too many. This left Yorkshire a hugely irritating 247 ahead.

Graham Gooch appeared stoical compiling 30 unflustered runs until Craig White surprised him with a faster one. And Kettleborough hadn't completed his involvement, catching Paul Prichard at the second attempt and then running out Jon Lewis who had got in an awful tangle with Nasser Hussain.

Such's exasperation was complete when Hussain rashly holed out, and he had to face two tricky overs last night and will have to contribute to the 148 his side still need.

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