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John Ward at Worcester
June 17, 2009
Yorkshire 55 for 1 (Sayers 25*, Vaughan 21*) trail Worcestershire 415 (Davies 112, Mitchell 68, Moore 60, Ali 55) by 360 runs
After the magnificent weather of the first day, typical English summer conditions were restored for the second, and half the day's play was lost. In the cricket that did take place, Steven Davies completed his century as Worcestershire passed 400, and then Michael Vaughan produced a very pleasing little cameo that was in turn cut short by the weather.
Worcestershire began the day with, for them, the unusually strong score of 319 for 5 wickets. Their immediate concern was to see Davies to his century. He began well, cutting the second ball of the day, from Ajmal Shahzad, for four. There were a couple of early snicks through the slips by both batsmen, and Ashley Noffke benefited from a low edge to the keeper that was not held. But Shahzad and Matthew Hoggard continued to give Davies too much width, and he thrived on the cut.
He lost Noffke for 35, adjudged lbw padding up to Shahzad without playing a stroke, but then another smart cut, off Hoggard, brought him his century, off 152 balls, a fine dashing innings. He went on to reach 112 before he fatally flicked at a ball from Shahzad down the leg side and was well caught by the wicketkeeper. Worcestershire were now 375 for 7 and within reach of a fourth batting bonus point, for the first time this season.
The weather, however, was causing problems, and after a brief stoppage earlier the players left the field for an early lunch. The rain was light but persistent, and 42 overs were lost before the game resumed after tea. Worcestershire reached their coveted batting point for the loss of Kabir Ali, as he tried to turn a ball from Hoggard to midwicket but only lobbed it to cover off the leading edge. They had the option of declaring to deny Yorkshire a bowling point, but continued batting, only to lose Gareth Batty, caught in the slips off Tim Bresnan for 25. Matt Mason flicked Hoggard over midwicket for a well-timed six, to finish with 11 not out when Chris Whelan was caught in the slips off Bresnan for 5.
The innings closed for 415, the highest total so far managed by Worcestershire during this difficult season for them. Deon Kruis finished with three wickets, but Bresnan, with two lower-order wickets for 58, was the best and most economical of the bowlers, often beating the bat without any luck in for the most part good batting conditions.
Yorkshire soon lost the wicket of Jacques Rudolph, who has tended to be rather too flashy opening the innings at times this season. He quickly hit Kabir for two boundaries, but then tried injudiciously to force a ball from Mason off the back foot and was caught at the wicket for 9; Yorkshire were 15 for 1. Vaughan naturally excited interest on his arrival and he made a rather tentative start. He pushed a single into the covers, and then a few minutes later produced a silky cover drive for four off Mason.
At the other end Joe Sayers struggled for survival against the fiery Kabir, with the light deteriorating and rain threatening. Vaughan, although clearly unimpressed by the umpires' refusal to take the players off the field, nevertheless produced another superb cover drive for four, this one on the up, followed by a classic off-drive to the boundary; then came a third in the same over, an exquisite square straight drive. With two fours, one involuntary, from Sayers the 50 came up in the 11th over. In Mason's next over came a cut for four from Vaughan; then the rain returned and the day came to a premature close.
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