In First-Class cricket


Yorkshire have played against Somerset at Scarborough on only ten occasions in the longest form of the county game and Paul Dyson looks back at match there which had an exciting conclusion.

July 25, 26, 27, 1990 at Scarborough: Somerset 401-7dec (AN Hayhurst 170, RJ Harden 101) & 221-7dec (ND Burns 72, SJ Cook 53); Yorkshire 303-6dec (AA Metcalfe 102) & 316-7 (RJ Blakey 111, SA Kellett 57). Match drawn.

The 1990 season was one of those ‘in-between’ years when there were 17 counties and each team played 22 games, i.e. two games against some counties and only once against others. To add to the confusion the eight games which were played at the start and end of the season were over four days rather than the usual three.

The two counites involved in this match had both finished in the bottom half of the table for each of the last three seasons and their starts to the 1990 season reflected their recent history. Yorkshire had begun its campaign disastrously with four defeats but had made some progress since and coming into this match had won two and lost six of its 13 games. Somerset, however, had won only one of its first 14 matches but lost only three, its ten drawn games including a run of seven in a row.

Chris Tavare won the toss for Somerset, decided to bat and found himself batting earlier than expected at number four and losing his wicket to make his side 77 for three – all three to different pace bowlers. There then followed a stand of 174 between Andy Hayhurst and Richard Harden, the runs being made in 48 overs. Harden fell first, just after reaching the century-mark, to the off-spin of Jeremy Batty for 101 but Hayhurst continued to dominate the innings and eventually fell to the persevering Darren Gough for 170, him having struck one six and 29 fours. His innings remains the highest by a Somerset player at Scarborough. The visitors declared shortly after passing the 400-mark and Gough had the best bowling figures of three for 77. Yorkshire had reached 25 for no wicket when stumps were drawn for the day.

The second day’s play saw ‘only’ 327 runs compared with the 426 of the first day, Wisden describing Yorkshire’s reply as ‘solid’. Opener Ashley Metcalfe dominated the innings with 102 but there was not a great deal of support; he shared half-century stands with wicket-keeper Richard Blakey and all-rounder Paul Grayson. Martyn Moxon declared 98 runs in arrears in the hope that Somerset would endeavour to make a game of it on a very good pitch for batting. Ian Swallow, bowling against his former county, took two wickets with his off-spin but no one else took more than one. Somerset had reached 49 for one by close of play.

Opener Jimmy Cook, a South African, and Hayhurst took their second-wicket stand to 64 when three wickets suddenly fell for the addition of no runs, two of these to Gough, and the visitors had stumbled to 85 for four. Wicket-keeper Neil Burns then indulged in some ‘robust hitting’ as Somerset were fed runs and he duly shared an 80-run stand with Dutchman Roland Lefebve before Burns fell for 72 and the game’s third declaration, after Yorkshire had used nine bowlers, left the hosts needing 320 to win in 65 overs.

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