Posted by Tony Hutton
A bad week for Yorkshire cricket. Not only were the first team well beaten by championship leaders Essex in just two days at Scarborough, but the second XI travelled all the way down to Arundel in Sussex for T20 finals day only to be beaten in the first semi final by Hampshire in no time at all.
The only small ray of sunshine on the horizon was provided by the under 17s who scraped through to the semi final of their county championship by the skin of the their teeth (or to be more precise by just one bonus point).
An excellent crowd was in attendance early at North Marine Road on Sunday 6th August, despite many league cup finals taking place all around the county. Little could they have anticipated the events about to unfold before lunch on day one of a scheduled four day match. With the exception of opener Adam Lyth, all the leading batsmen were out for single figure scores, only Rashid with twelve got a double figure score and unbelievably Yorkshire were at 79-9 well before lunch. The interval was delayed as the last pair were together and further confusion when the extra half hour ended, until it was realised that eight overs had to be bowled before lunch could be taken. Sidebottom had given Lyth good support and the last wicket had put on 39 before Lyth's brave effort ended when he was caught at slip for 68. An all out score of 113 was hardly credible.
Villain of the piece as far as Yorkshire were concerned was Pakistan left arm paceman Mohammad Aamer, the man famously banned for the no ball incident at Lord's some years ago. His figures were 11.2-4-18-5 with bowling of real pace and accuracy, well supported by Porter and Bopara.
The Scarborough crowd are bemused by events before lunch.
When Essex batted, with Cook and Westley on England duty as of course were Root and Bairstow,
they gave the Yorkshire faithful some hope when stuggling early on to 48-3. However Bopara, Wheater and skipper Ten Doeschate got them out of trouble. The captain played the innings of the day, if not of the match, with a splendid 88 in almost three hours, with twelve fours. Aamer also scored vital runs (22 in fact) towards the end of the innings to produce an all out total of 231.
On day two even worse was to follow and Yorkshire gave another abject display with again six of the top eight batsmen failing to make double figures. Lees and Bresnan both got a pair (ducks in each innings). This time Leaning played the stand out innings of 70 in around three hours and got most support from number 10 Ben Coad who hit out at the end with a quick 28, which included six fours.
So this time Yorkshire all out 150 and Essex only required 33 to win, which they got for the loss of two wickets. Essex won by eight wickets well inside two days. A huge disappointment both for the Scarborough club financially and for the large band of travelling supporters from all over the county and from further afield, many of whom had booked hotels for the four days of the game.
Joy unconstrained for the travelling Essex fans who will have high hopes of their team winning the county championship when proper cricket resumes again in September.
Another humiliation was to follow later in the week, when the second eleven travelled all the way to Arundel in Sussex to play in the second eleven T20 finals day on Thursday. They faced Hampshire in the first morning semi-final only to be bowled out for exactly 100 runs in 18.2 overs. Hampshire needless to say knocked them off for the loss of only one wicket in just 11.4 overs. One can only hope that their coach driver had not parked up for the day before having to set off on the long journey home. Read the next instalment for some slightly happier news.