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John Ward at Kidderminster
August 15, 2007
Yorkshire 152 for 5 (McGrath 55) v Wocestershire
Everybody, except perhaps Kent, should spare some sympathy for Worcestershire, which has been virtually a cricket-free zone for almost two months.
Even when they are finally able to play on a home ground - Kidderminster made a welcome return to the county circuit as a result of the disaster at New Road - a day and a half are lost due to the return of the wet weather before play can start. The anticipated large crowd, and the vital gate takings so desperately needed by the county club, have therefore been severely reduced.
If 35 overs constitutes a day's play, then it belonged to Worcestershire. Yorkshire paid heavily for their willingness to leave the field for bad light when they need to secure every possible point to regain lost ground at the top of the Championship, as their two top scorers of the day fell quickly after the resumption. Kabir Ali was the home side's champion, taking three vital wickets cheaply, although he did tend to be erratic.
Yorkshire suffered another dismal start when put in to bat, losing Craig White for the second match in succession without scoring, and Joe Sayers, still sadly out for form, for 4, to be 22 for 2. Anthony McGrath, though, was in exuberant form from the start, taking advantage of some loose bowling, especially in direction. As usual, he drove well through the covers and had the good fortune on 45 to be dropped by Graeme Hick at second slip - the slips certainly had plenty of exercise practice. He reached his fifty immediately after tea, but paid the penalty for opting to take the light; he was caught by Phil Jaques in the slips for 55 off Kabir soon after the players returned.
Earlier Younis Khan had batted rather irresponsibly for 15; Jacques Rudolph, bowled by a jaffa from Kabir for 25, also suffered from the break in play. This left Yorkshire in trouble at 125 for 5, with all their specialist batsmen gone.
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