With all of the interesting games against these opponents previously having been covered, Paul Dyson looks back at the first time Yorkshire played against England’s oldest university – just 20 years ago. The photo of a young Michael Vaughan comes courtesy of Mick Pope.

Early-season games against the students of Leeds and Bradford Universities are now a regular feature of Yorkshire’s fixture list. They are, however, a fairly recent innovation and the overwhelming majority of Yorkshire’s matches against universities have been against Cambridge (91) or Oxford (47) and on their own grounds rather than being in Yorkshire.

May 29, 30, 31, 1998 at The Parks, Oxford: Oxford University 260-7dec (DJ Eadie 68*, JAM Molins 51) & 233-8dec (JAG Fulton 78); Yorkshire 203-4dec (C White 80, MP Vaughan 69) & 209-7 (MP Vaughan 59). Match drawn.

This was the 47th and final – to date – match played between these two sides in a series which had started in 1895. It was the 44th time Yorkshire had played at The Parks, their first visit havng taken place in 1929. The first three games had taken place either at Christ Church College Ground (two) or New College Ground.

Oxford, who were fielding very much an international eleven with only five players born in England, won the toss and decided to bat. As soon as they started, however, the scorers complained that they could not see because of a newly-installed sight-screen. They received little sympathy and the game continued. Gavin Hamilton claimed the first two wickets to fall but, prior to the students slipping to 49 for two, Dublin-born Jason Molins had retired hurt courtesy of being hit on the wrist by a ball from Ryan Sidebottom; Matthew Hoggard took the wicket of Glasgow-born opener Dougie Lockhart for 35. With the pitch soon favouring spin Richard Stemp and Michael Vaughan were soon in the action and it was the latter’s two wickets which reduced Oxford to 116 for five. John Claughton, whose gradfather and father, who had two seasons with Warwickshire, were both Yorkshire-born, and Cape Town-born David Eadie then put together the highest stand of the innings. Their partnership of 79 was ended by Vaughan’s third wicket when Claughton was caught by Craig White for 45. Molins then returned to the wicket after having been for an X-ray and took his score past the half-century mark before being caught off the bowling of Ryan Sidebottom. Eadie’s score was 68 not out when the declaration came at 260 for seven and the day finished with Yorkshire on 19 for one, Anthony McGrath being bowled by Punjabi Salman Khan.

Skipper David Byas soon lost his wicket on the second day but Vuaghan and White then shared a century partnership before the former was caught and bowled by Eadie for 68. Matthew Wood joined White and their 53-run stand, which ended when White was dismissed in the same way as Vaughan – but by Sydney-born Byron Byrne – for 80. Byrne had conceded 18 runs from the first five balls of an over but took White’s wicket from the sixth. Byas, having felt that his batsmen had had enough practice, declared 57 runs in arrears. By close of play the hosts had slipped to 97 for five, three wickets to Hoggard who was bowling with plenty of pace.

On the final day two more wickets fell quickly but skipper James Fulton and wicket-keeper Jeremy Barnes then held the Yorkshire bowlers at bay with the highest stand of the match. Having scored only 31 runs in his previous five innings, Fulton found form with a game-changing 78; immediately following his dismissal, which gave Vaughan his third wicket of the innigns, he declared for the second time in the match to leave the visitors with a target of 291 but with only 130 minutes in which to get them. With a changed batting order Byas, Wood and Bradley Parker were all dismissed by the time the total had reached 37 but it was Vaughan and White, again, who put together the highest stand of the innings as they had done in the first knock. But aftaer a partnership of 65 White was caught for 37 and the contributions from the rest of the line-up were all useful rather than match-winning. Vaughan eased himself to his second half-century of the match (59) but at 173 for seven Yorkshire settled for a draw. They played very defensively, there was a ‘cordon of close catchers’ (Wisden) but no more wickets fell and at close of play they were 82 short of the target. Wisden also reports a further idiosyncracy which occurred during the match: three boys went onto the sqaure during one of the lunch intervals, bowled at the stumps and had to be aprehended!

Man of the Match

With two half-centuries in the match and three wickets in each innings, Michael Vaughan was Yorkshire’s stand-out performer. It was probably one of his favourite grounds as in 1994 he had compiled his maiden first-class century there. In 1993, at the age of 18, he had become the first British-born cricketer to benefit from the relaxation of the Yorkshire-born-only policy. Salford-born, Michael Vaughan played for Sheffield Collegiate and then joined the Academy. He passed 1,000 first-class runs in four of his first six full seasons, gaining his cap in 1995 but was not always consistent. However England coach Duncan Fletcher liked what he saw – just as Doug Padgett had done so at Abbeydale Park during a lunch interval several years previously – and Vaughan made his Test debut in Johannesburg in 1999/2000, famously starting his innings as Elgnand subsided to two for four. He was soon promoted to opening the batting, a role he had fulfilled with Yorkshire from his very first innings.

Related News

View all news

Yorkshire calls for grassroot cricket clubs across the region to stand together to tackle racism

Yorkshire Cricket is calling for all grassroots cricket clubs across the region to sign the Yorkshire and Humber Anti-Racism in Sports Group pledge.

Read more
Dawid Malan batting for Yorkshire in the 2023 Vitality Blast fixture against Worcestershire

Two weeks to go until the Vitality Blast early bird deadline!

Two weeks remain for you to lock in your early bird tickets for the Vitality Blast 2024. With tickets starting at just £10, enjoy unforgettable moments for an unbelievable price.

Read more

Levick: The whole game must get behind women's cricket evolution

In a blog post Northern Diamonds' Katie Levick has opened up about how the whole game must get behind the women's cricket evolution.

Read more
An image of Lauren Winfield-Hill and Adil Rashid, with the Yorkshire logo and Northern Diamonds logo in the middle

Sign up to our newsletter

For all the latest news, previews, ticket, membership and Premium Experiences information and more exciting content from Yorkshire Cricket and the Northern Diamonds straight to your inbox, subscribe now.

To view our privacy policy, click here.