Durham crush woeful Yorkshire
Durham 126 for 1 (Mustard 66*) beat Yorkshire 122 (McGrath 50, Wiseman 3-34, Gibson 2-6) by nine wickets
Yorkshire's top batting order these days goes out to meet opposing bowlers with all the omnipotence of the Titanic facing an iceberg. For the second successive day, the county threw away a match in the first few minutes with a display of complete incompetence.
Durham at Riverside were the beneficiaries, winning the match by nine wickets. Yorkshire again won the toss, but it did them even less good on Monday than on Sunday. Within minutes their top three were back in the dressing room, all without scoring and with only a wide on the board. Jacques Rudolph was bowled by the first ball of the match, Craig White was lbw and Gerard Brophy flicked a catch straight to midwicket.
Ottis Gibson, as he so often does, was the main tormentor, but basically it was feeble batting against bread-and-butter bowling. Some balls moved off the pitch, and it was the off-cutter, so successful against Yorkshire in recent matches, that removed the luckless White. Inzamam-ul-Haq, once again, was also to fall lbw, this time for 7. Not until the sixth over, after nine extras, was the first run scored off the bat, and in the eighth Anthony McGrath, captain for the day in the absence of Darren Gough with a sore shin, hit the first boundary. Only three more were to follow in the entire innings, plus a six from Bresnan.
But Yorkshire had already decided on damage limitation, not counter-attack. Only in the 19th over did the run rate creep over two an over; after 30 overs the score was 71 for four. McGrath's 50 off 109 balls would have been a good fightback in a championship match, but in Pro40 cricket it was grim.
The later batsmen got out quickly enough to ensure that Yorkshire did not produce one of the lowest incomplete innings totals for years in the competition, and with one ball to spare they capitulated for 122. Paul Wiseman took 3 for 34, and Gibson, not permitted a second spell, returned admirable figures of 6-4-6-2. Liam Plunkett alone would have been disappointed, with 27 scored off his eight wicketless overs.
The sky darkened, but Durham made fools of those who insist on coming off for bad light in first-class cricket as they romped to victory in less than 16 overs. The Yorkshire bowlers made no impact, and Matthew Hoggard, who had his second bad day on the trot, became quite aggrieved with several snicks and an uncooperative umpire. The only wicket to fall was that of Gareth Breese (32), run out in a mix-up. Phil Mustard hammered 66 unbeaten off only 31 balls, while Kyle Coetzer unashamedly slogged his way home with 26.
In the last month, Yorkshire have either climbed the heights or plumbed the depths. They have a great deal to win or lose during September, and it could well be that the pressure is adversely affecting them.