Wharf makes a quick impression on Atherton

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The Independent Online
Lancashire 59-3 v Yorkshire

There are pre-season work-outs and there are pre-season workouts. After venturing as far as Jamaica and Zimbabwe, respectively, to get the feel of bat on ball, Lancashire and Yorkshire returned to normality with a vengeance yesterday.

The weather closed in after only 21 overs of their scheduled three-day friendly match. It was a morning for seam bowling, if not much else, and Yorkshire's new captain David Byas would have been gratified at the way his bowlers performed after he had won a helpful toss.

Alex Wharf, who previously had one first-class victim to his name - Brian Lara - prised out Mike Atherton and Steve Tichard in a spell of 6-3-7-2 during which he moved the ball away at a healthy pace.

Tichard was superbly picked up at slip by Byas himself from a ball which nipped away from him as he aimed through midwicket and Atherton was first caught in two minds and then caught behind. And at the other end was the encouraging sight of Darren Gough looking in particularly good order.

Operating off what appeared to be a straighter, maybe slightly reduced run-up, he pitched the ball up around off stump - admittedly anything else would have be folly on this pitch - and, although he ended wicketless, Atherton would have noted how often his bat was passed.

n Ed Smith became the first player for 42 years to score a century on his first-class debut for Cambridge University when he made an unbeaten 101 against Glamorgan at Fenner's. Smith, who is registered with Kent, hit 13 fours in his 218-ball innings. "This is why I came to Cambridge and why the two Universities should remain as nurseries for first-class cricket. There is no other way I could have played against these guys at 18," he said.