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YORKS v SOM, Scarborough, 21st - 25th July 2004

Tractor's Spare Tyre

My first ever visit to Scarborough, and I rather enjoyed the experience. I had booked up to stay from Wednesday thru Sunday night and had planned a leisurely drive back home on the Monday.

This tranquil intention changed Tuesday night when I learned that the postponed Worcestershire game had been rearranged to Monday 26th July at 1pm. Bang went my leisurely drive home!After a lengthy 4 hours drive I arrived at Scarborough, checked in my hotel from which there was a great view of the north bay, then walked just across the road to the cricket ground.

Nixon had claimed a wicket with the third ball of the game, and Dutch another two by my 12 noon arrival into the ground. At 174 for 6 a quick cleanup of Yorkshire looked on the cards, but we've been here before. Wood had gone for 59, McGrath 48, and Harvey cheaply, but they still had Lehman (playing with a bad back) who was still playing shots all around this small but well populated ground. Eventually, Nixon ended up grabbing 6 first innings wickets, Dutch 3 and Laraman the other leaving Yorkshire 296 all out with Lehman undefeated on 90. Somerset had a tricky 20-odd overs to negotiate through to stumps and all appeared to be going along nicely until Silverwood found the edge of Bowler's bat and Dawson picked up the low catch. I've seen little of Ricky Ponting up to now, but he looks the business! He came in with the score on 30-odd and with Francis Jnr survived through to stumps that day.

The following day was one of the best I've seen for many a while. Ricky completely dominated the morning session, with steady support from Francis. Ricky completed his ton in what seemed very little time, but then fell to a catch by Gale off Dawson for a magnificent 112. Francis brought his ton up after lunch, and then Burns and Blackwell scored rapid 70s in the afternoon session. At one point it looked like a 500+ score might be on the cards, but in the end we had to 'settle' for 455, so whatever happened we had scored maximum bonus points. This left an evening spell for Yorks to negotiate, and Nixon was fired up. He took 2 wickets that evening and Dutch 1. Yorks 58 for 3.

Whilst I was reading a newspaper on a seafront bench the following morning, Dickie Bird explained to me that had we taken another wicket the previous evening he thought the match would have been over before lunch Friday...

Lehman was without doubt still the dangerman. He saw off Simon Francis with some vicious strokes that didn't do much for Francis' figures. Dutch was brought into the attack and induced Lehman to sky a shot similar to the Afridi shot in the Lord's final a few years ago, only this time towards the bowlers end. Francis took the call and bagged the catch that saw off the last real threat from Yorkshire. Not even Harvey appeared to be the threat he once was with Glawster, and Yorkshire capitulated in their second innings, although their Matt Wood carried his bat and was left undefeated on 66, Yorkshire amassing a mere 160 all out. Dutch and McLean shared all the second innings' wickets to fall, both taking 5 wickets.

This left Somerset requiring to score a testing 6 runs to seal their first championship win. New chap Lawson (spinner) had bagged Francis Snr then McLean with his next delivery in the first innings and was given the new ball to see if he could complete his hat-trick. It wasn't to be, Bowler n.o. 1, Francis Jnr n.o. 5, Somerset total 6, SOMERSET WIN BY 10 WICKETS BEFORE LUNCH ON THE THIRD DAY!!!

Rather than celebrate alone in my usual introvert way I decided, with a couple of fellow Somerset supporters, to share our jubilation with some Yorkshire members in the main pavilion bar for most of the afternoon. The real ale 'Burtons' and the smoothy milky creamy flow Tetleys (when the Burtons had run out) took a bit of a hammering but only in a measured, controlled manner (sort of).

After the bonus day off Saturday, it was a wet and windy start to Sunday, and the weather wasn't too good either. Saturday night it rained heavily as I strolled between pubs in Scarborough's south (and not quite as nice) side, and rain greeted my awakening Sunday morning. It was with great surprise that the game started on time, but distant clouds were gathering and were obviously making their way to the ground. Somerset batted first and suffered a few rain interruptions, amassing a defendable 252 for 6 off 41 overs which could have been defended. Despite Ricky Ponting completing his second century of this Yorkshire tour and some good middle order 'recovery' bowling from McLean and Parsons, the Yorkshire middle order of Wood, Lumb and Gale ensured we just couldn't complete a whitewash, Yorkshire finishing on 255 for 4 off 38.4 overs.

We still celebrated Friday's win though, with a few swift halves and a curry!

Monday morning arrived all too soon, and the drive back home, and the tsl game back in Taunton against Worcestershire, were just a bit too much - my heart, my head and my thoughts still left behind in that little Scarborough cricket ground where we trounced the mighty Tykes!

Grockle's match report