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Rafiq hits maiden century

— 25 June 2009

Azeem Rafiq plundered an outstanding 92 ball maiden first class century at New Road to see Yorkshire past 500 before the visitors were frustrated in their attempts to turn their draw into an unlikely victory.


Azeem Rafiq plundered an outstanding 92 ball maiden first class century at New Road to see Yorkshire past 500 before the visitors were frustrated in their attempts to turn their draw into an unlikely victory.


Yorkshire’s total of 516 was a fantastic achievement for a side who were 108-5 yesterday as Matthew Hoggard assisted Rafiq superbly with a half century in a critical stand of 150 runs. Rafiq resumed on 62 not out and was quickly into his stride as the boundaries continued to flow for the teenager. It was fitting that a four took him to his hundred when dispatched Gareth Batty before succumbing two balls later for 101 caught by Matt Mason.


Hoggard made his fifty with back to back fours off the hapless Chris Whelan before a brief run a ball 16 from Deon Kruis helped the tykes wrack up a lead of 101.


73 overs were left in the match but the hosts made their way to lunch without loss en route to salvaging a draw. Rafiq picked up a couple of wickets before the close but the introduction of Joe Sayers and Andrew Gale into the bowling attack signalled the end of the game as a contest in front of a quickly disintegrating crowd before the captain’s shook hands at ten to five with the hosts 203-3.


Yorkshire are still without a win this season, both sides took 12 points from the game with maximum batting and bowling bonuses all round. 


DAY THREE REPORT 


An outstanding Andrew Gale hundred was backed up by Tim Bresnan’s 97 and a stunning quick fire half century from Azeem Rafiq at New Road as Yorkshire headed toward a first innings lead after looking odds on to follow on at lunch.


Gale and Bresnan put on an epic stand of 180 to get the visitors out of trouble after they lost four wickets in 23 balls for only 11 runs in the morning.  


Rafiq took over when Gale was caught by Matt Mason for 101 and stunned New Roadwith seven fours and three sixes in a 36 ball 50.


Yorkshire closed on 413-8, trailing by only two runs in a game that is now near enough guaranteed to end in a draw.


Earlier Michael Vaughan was removed for 43 to signal the collapse from 97-1 to 108-5.


Anthony McGrath was then caught quickly for six off a top edge, Joe Sayers edged to the slips for 44 and Jonathan Bairstow went first ball in bizarre fashion as he looked to leave but toe ended the ball to Steve Davies behind the stumps who finger tipped the ball into first slip Ben Smith before second slip Daryl Mitchell took the catch on the rebound.


Yorkshire will resume on 413-8 tomorrow with Rafiq unbeaten on 62 and Matthew Hoggard on 15.



DAY TWO REPORT 


Worcestershire passed 400 at New Road to earn maximum batting points and took the prize scalp of Jacques Rudolph before the close as Yorkshire were frustrated by the weather as three hours and 54 overs of cricket were lost to the West Midlands rain.



Steve Davies was the tykes main cause for concern and he celebrated his birthday by turning his overnight 75 into a hundred.


Ashley Noffke but went LBW to Ajmal Shahzad soon after for 35 and the Tykes finally saw the back of Davies for 112 when Deon Kruis forced an edge through to Jonathan Bairstow behind the stumps.


A strange tactical decision allowed the tykes to get their full allocation of bonus points when Gareth Batty helped the hosts reach 400 for eight but captain Vikram Solanki opted not to declare with Yorkshire still in need of a wicket to earn an extra point. The decision immediately proved costly when Batty edged the next ball to Rudolph who held on well with the ball arrowing quickly toward him.


The home side were finally dismissed for 415 and removed Rudolph when he was caught behind for just nine to leave the visitors in real trouble on 15-1.


Sayers and Vaughan stood up strongly to the Worcestershire attack before the close with Vaughan cutting and driving superbly to notch five fours and finish the day unbeaten on 21.


Sayers had made his way to 25 before bad light intervened to bring play to a head at six o’clock. Yorkshire desperately need these two to stay together tomorrow if they are to get themselves back into the game, they closed on 55-1, trailing by 360. 



DAY ONE REPORT 


A great batting deck made the toss crucial at New Road but Anthony McGrath was left frustrated, and not for the first time this season, as Worcestershire won it and reached 319-5 at the close.



The pitch offered the bowlers little on day one as openers Stephen Moore and Daryl Mitchell carved out an opening stand of 104 although Mitchell was dropped twice.


Vikram Solanki was caught behind off Ajmal Shahzad for just one in the afternoon and Ben Smith went cheaply to Jacques Rudolph at point off Deon Kruis for 15 before Mitchell was finally removed mid way through the afternoon by teenage off spinner Azeem Rafiq to get Yorkshire back on track before tea.


The youngster had been hit out of the attack in the morning session after seeing his four overs go for 26 but he came back firing. Moeen Ali made a century at Headingley Carnegie last month and frustrated the tykes attack once more to take Worcestershire from a precarious 173-4 to a much more secure score of 265.


Steve Davies became the hosts fourth half centurion but he too was let off when Gale put him down on 62. Ali went for 55 before the close but Worcestershire are in the ascendancy overnight and Davies must be stopped quickly in the morning.



MATCH PREVIEW


Anthony McGrath leads his side to New Road, Worcester looking to put the disappointment of a defeat to Somerset behind him. Four draws and this weeks defeat leave Yorkshire in 8th place in the LV County Championship Division One. Worcestershire however, are also without a win this summer and are in 9th so this Championship fixture is a chance for either county to move away from the lower reaches of the table. 


YORKSHIRE SQUAD


Jacques Rudolph, Joe Sayers, Michael Vaughan, Anthony McGrath (capt), Andrew Gale, Jonathan Bairstow (wk), Tim Bresnan, Ajmal Shahzad, Azeem Rafiq, Matthew Hoggard, Deon Kruis, Steve Patterson and Ben Sanderson.


Jonathan Bairstow keeps his place after a great debut and will keep wicket after Gerard Brophy took a knock to his hands in the Somerset match. David Wainwright misses out after splitting the webbing on his bowling hand and will be replaced by Azeem Rafiq. Michael Vaughan returns to the fold after resting against Somerset after experience soreness in his knee.


Rana Naved is rested ahead of a hectic schedule and Steve Patterson and Ben Sanderson are added to the squad. 


WORCESTERSHIRE SQUAD



SC Moore, DKH Mitchell, VS Solanki (capt), BF Smith, MM Ali, SM Davies (wk), GJ Batty, AA Noffke, MS Mason, CD Whelan, K Ali and GM Andrew.


MATCH INFORMATION



Hours of Play 


Morning session: 11am to 1pm
Afternoon session: 1.40pm to 3.40pm
Evening session: 4pm to 6pm


In the event of more than 32 overs remaining to be bowled at 3.40pm (3.10pm in matches scheduled to start in September) the tea interval will be delayed and play will continue until 32 overs remain to be bowled at which time the tea interval will commence.


(Timings are brought forward 30 minutes for matches where the first day of the match is scheduled to start in September). On each of the first three days there is provision for playing time to be extended by the amount of time lost in that day up to a maximum of 30 minutes.


Overs in a day 


Play shall continue on each day until the completion of a minimum number of overs or until the scheduled cessation time, whichever is the later. The minimum number of overs to be completed, unless an innings ends or an interruption occurs, shall be:



  • 96 overs minimum on days other than the last day



  • 80 overs minimum on the last day plus 16 overs in the last hour unless captains agree there is no prospects of a positive result.



Points System 





  • 14 points for a win plus bonus points in the first innings



  • In a tie, each side to score seven points, plus any bonus points in the first innings



  • In a drawn match, each side to score four points, plus any bonus points scored in the first innings. If a match is abandoned without a ball being bowled, each side to score four points



  • Batting bonus points, awarded only for performances in the first 120 overs of each first innings and retained whatever the result of the match:
    200 to 249 runs – 1 point
    250 to 299 runs – 2 points
    300 to 349 runs – 3 points
    350 to 399 runs – 4 points
    400 runs or over – 5 points



  • Bowling bonus points, awarded only for performances in the first 120 overs of each first innings and retained whatever the result of the match:
    3 to 5 wickets taken – 1 point
    6 to 8 wickets taken – 2 points
    9 to 10 wickets taken – 3 points



The side which has the highest aggregate of points gained at the end of the season shall be the Champion County.

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