Monday 26 August 1996
Byas century shoots Yorkshire to the top
By Charles Randall at Headingley
Yorkshire (206-4) beat Lancashire (205-8) by six wickets
DAVID BYAS grabbed this enjoyably chaotic game by the scruff
of the neck with a 95-ball century and hauled his Yorkshire
side to the top of the AXA Equity and Law League table at
Thanks to the captain's 111 not out, his first Sunday hundred
for two seasons, Yorkshire recorded their first Roses match
win on home soil since 1983, the year they last won this
Victory, with almost eight overs to spare, was only their
third home success against Lancashire in 14 meetings since the
40-overs competition began, a much inferior record to their
efforts across the Pennines.
Lancashire, as can be imagined, were not the bristling outfit
who had tipped Yorkshire out of both knockout competitions at
the semi-final stage during the summer in Manchester.
They proved to be utterly fallible after a start that almost
defied credibility, with Mike Watkinson using his bat like a
Samurai sword to whirl 46 runs in all directions off 23 balls
as Lancashire stormed to 55 off their first five overs.
Watkinson worried Yorkshire with the ball, too, making his
off-spin bite to the discomfort of all, and Byas must have
taken grim satisfaction from two sixes off his opposing
captain, one of them a huge blow that bounced off the county
Yorkshire have two matches left, both at home, against Essex
next weekend and Nottinghamshire, who must visit Scarborough
on Sept 15 with the title quite possibly at stake.
The day started when Darren Gough, glowing from the news of
his England recall, was tanked for 37 off his first three
overs, mainly by Watkinson.
By the evening, however, everything had subsided to near
normal - even the fumble and overthrow rate had dropped to
acceptable levels - and Yorkshire could celebrate a job well
Lancashire, with that kind of start, might have fused the
electronic scoreboard if the mayhem had continued much longer,
but Watkinson launched Craig White's first delivery as the
mother of all skiers - and Byas, not far away, neatly caught
White, having bowled that delivery round the wicket, switched
back immediately and dismissed Jason Gallian off the back of
the bat three balls later.
His six-over spell cost 10 runs, Yorkshire regained control
and Lancashire relied on Graham Lloyd, another England
selection for the one-day internationals, to raise their
score. Their total was respectable, but insufficient.
Thanks :: The Electronic Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk)