CRICKET

Recent Match Report – Yorkshire vs Hampshire 51st Match 2022

Yorkshire159 (Bess 67, Fraine 53; Abbott 6-36, Abbas 3-25) and 23 for 1 (Kohler-Cadmore 13*, Lyth 10*) trail Hampshire 218 (Brown 53, Barker 52, Thompson 5-60) by 36 runs

For all that the attendances at Scarborough are lower this year you should never doubt the atmosphere a couple of thousand folk can create in the great old ground when cloud builds around this famous bowl and the home side are unexpectedly in the ascendant. This afternoon Yorkshire’s bowlers responded to seeing their side dismissed for 159, their lowest score of the season, by ripping the vitals out of Hampshire’s batting. At one stage the visitors were 72 for 6 and each success, indeed each near thing, was greeted with a deep roar of triumph from people whose loyalty to the county was pledged early and can never now weaken.

Today the accolades went first to Ben Coad who made the most of this quickish pitch to have Ian Holland caught at slip early on in a rain-ruined morning. Less than a decade ago, the same spectators saw Ryan Sidebottom wreaking havoc as Yorkshire won successive titles. And some of those at the Peasholm Park End could probably remember Tony Nicholson rumbling in at taking wickets in the years when titles came as standard and only three on the trot were special.

But the past is never far away at Scarborough. The Aberdeen Walk Picture House, which opened in splendour in 1920, has long since shown its last Hedy Lamarr. It was later renamed the Gaiety Cinema but no amount of merriment could prevent it becoming Corrigan’s Bingo Club in 1994. It is now a British Heart Foundation shop but the art-deco frontispiece remains as an echo of the era when the Players took on the Gentlemen at North Marine Road before retiring to the flicks or the music-hall in the evening.

And rather like that great age of popular entertainment, Yorkshire’s dominance, though exciting, could not last. Resuming after lunch on 5 for 2, Hampshire would lose four more wickets before Ben Brown and Keith Barker tucked in to the home side’s support seamers. Brown, of course, has form against Yorkshire. He has scored most of his 817 runs against them against high-quality attacks. Pulling a long-hop from Matthew Revis to the boundary before snotting a half-volley though mid-off was routine by comparison.

At the other end Barker’s unorthodoxy defeated the attempts of Steve Patterson’s bowlers to contain him. He waited until the last moment before whipping the Yorkshire skipper through the leg side even as the leg before shout was forming on the bowler’s lips. Coming together with their side in modest crisis Brown and Barker had put on 88 and taken their side into a one-run lead before Barker’s final attempt to work the ball off his legs only gave a catch to Will Luxton, the substitute fielder at cover.

That gave Jordan Thompson his hundredth wicket for Yorkshire and this young talisman was to enjoy a further triumph in his next over when Brown feathered a catch to Jonny Tattersall immediately after reaching his fifty. No nonsense, if-it’s-up-it’s-off hitting from James Fuller and Kyle Abbott added 44 runs to the total, giving Hampshire a 59-run lead and leaving Yorkshire with a tricky 13 overs to negotiate.

All too tricky for George Hill as fate’s lazy paw had it. Having been leg before first ball to Mohammad Abbas yesterday morning, Hill survived four balls and another appeal this evening before Abbas had him lbw for another duck and his third in four first-class innings at Scarborough this season. One’s tempted to the view that places like Scarborough should not be the scenes of such cruelties but when was cricket not brutal as well as kind? Adam Lyth and Tom Kohler-Cadmore battled through to the close but their 45-minute examination was not without error and Hampshire’s bowlers should not be frantic with anxiety this evening as to where they will get their next wicket

But at least this evening session took place in perfect sunshine and that was in such acute contrast to the morning’s play that the two periods of cricket could almost have come from different days. Indeed, the first session of play had consisted of 32 balls but still contained a sequence of arrivals and departures, few of them scripted. The players came out at 11.00 only for Patterson to return to the pavilion almost immediately when he was caught by Brown off Abbott. About five minutes later Thompson fell to a catch by Liam Dawson at second slip off Abbott, who took 6 for 36. That completed a Yorkshire innings in which two players made fifties and the next highest score was 8.

Hampshire’s innings began and The Mayor of Scarborough arrived. The latter proceeded around the boundary, his progress as stately as a latter-day Mikado. A sip of coffee later, Holland got one from Coad that spat off a length and he nicked a catch to Hill at fourth slip. Holland walked off the field nearly as slowly as the mayor had ambled round it but with nothing like the affected dignity. Then rain, or at least the certain promise of it, forced everyone off. Folk huddled for shelter and people put their umbrellas up, although one imagines the mayor has a Brylcreemed flunkey to do that for him.

For an hour there was the desultory chat that would have been recognisable to cricket supporters half a century ago. Relatively few people were mesmerised by their mobile phones; rather more unfolded their newspapers. The players returned for just five balls but Felix Organ was leg before to the last of them when a full length ball from Thompson got him into an ill-balanced tangle.

The afternoon session began late and badly for Hampshire. Nick Gubbins was leg before when only half forward to Coad and all Yorkshiremen sense the possibility of future breakthroughs. Thompson chased a ball to the boundary and took out a couple of deckchairs, one of which will never again groan under the weight of aldermanic buttocks. George Hill chased down another drive and collided with a young supporter who was none the worse and now has a story with which to entertain his mates. It became plain that both Joe Weatherley and James Vince were determined to ride into the storm rather than merely hope to survive it.

Neither really managed it. Indeed, both fell to Patterson before Dawson was dismissed by Kohler-Cadmore’s slip catch off Thompson. It was the high-point of Yorkshire’s day. By the time Thompson was receiving a standing ovation for his 5 for 60 the visitors had a valuable lead. An hour later, another talented cricketer George Hill was contemplating the game’s cruelties. Perhaps he should visit the Quiet Room, a sanctuary that has lately been constructed at the Peasholm Park End of this great ground.

Alternatively, he could talk a stroll along the top of the North Bay and consider the matchless infinity of the sea, the inexorable grace of tides. He might then realise afresh that he is a very fine cricketer and there will be other innings, very many of them. He might look down and see people walking happily on this smoothest of beaches, the human figures that through our summer saunter. Or he could get quite drunk, I suppose.

Paul Edwards is a freelance cricket writer. He has written for the Times, ESPNcricinfo, Wisden, Southport Visiter and other publications


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