Gough inspires Yorkshire to easy win
Yorkshire 186 for 5 (Gale 68, McGrath 45*) beat Durham 185 (Gough 3-31) by 5 wickets
A good all-round bowling performance, spearheaded by a vintage spell from Darren Gough, and a dashing innings by Andrew Gale were the main features of Yorkshire's comfortable win over Durham at Headingley.
The rain forecast did not arrive but Yorkshire nevertheless put Durham in to bat on winning the toss in hazy sunshine. Gough was quickly proved correct, as his bowlers moved the ball about and for a while the Durham openers found it very difficult to get bat on ball, especially the normally dynamic Phil Mustard. Dion Kruis was particularly hard to play, yet he conceded 47 overs and failed to pick up a wicket.
Only 20 runs came in the first seven overs for the wicket of Michael Di Venuto. Mustard, with 26 out of 69, played a most uncharacteristic innings and hit his first boundary in the 13th over, but was distinctly miffed to be given out caught at the wicket slashing at a very wide ball from Gough. Gough dismissed Paul Collingwood (2) and Neil McKenzie (1), caught at the wicket and at slip respectively, soon afterwards.
At 81 for 4, Durham never quite recovered, though Dale Benkenstein (31) shared a useful partnership with the top scorer, Kyle Coetzer, whose 61 came off 101 balls. But both fell in quick succession, and the tail collapsed completely. The last four wickets fell for just three runs, and Durham were bundled out in the 48th over. Gough and Richard Pyrah took three wickets apiece, and overall it was a good bowling performance by Yorkshire.
The light had deteriorated but the ball was playing fewer tricks when Yorkshire chased 186. Graham Onions, after a dismal match against Lancashire and then being run out without facing a ball in Durham's innings, turned his own luck with a brilliant catch at third man to dismiss Gerard Brophy for 2, but Gale was not to be stopped. With Michael Vaughan playing himself in at the other end, Gale take the pressure off him by racing to his fifty off 42 balls, out of a total of 65 for 1. He was finally caught at slip for 68, as Harmison angled the ball across him, and Vaughan (22) immediately followed, driving Onions tamely to point. Once more the England captain had played himself in but failed to go on.
Yorkshire had slumped to 94 for 3, and a period of consolidation followed as Anthony McGrath and Jacques Rudolph dug in. They added a sound but unspectacular 60, their 50 partnership coming up off 90 balls, before Rudolph, the more aggressive, was caught down the leg side off Steve Harmison for 34. The paceman then produced a rearing ball that had Adil Rashid fending off to slip; 152 for 5, and Harmison had given his team a glimmer of hope again.
It was not to be, though; McGrath never looked perturbed, finishing on 45 not out, while Tim Bresnan (10 not out) faced up to Harmison with commendable confidence. The Yorkshire crowd, initially cheered with news that Lancashire were 45 for 7 against Scotland, went home even more happy.