Cricket

Recent Match Report – Sussex vs Yorkshire Group 3 2021

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Home side post first-innings 558 and lead Sussex by 201 heading into last day

Sussex 313 and 38 for 0 (Orr 23*, Haines 12*) trail Yorkshire 558 (Malan 199, Ballance 77, Duke 54, Atkins 5-98) by 201 runs

To understand why most of the spectators at Headingley enjoyed today’s cricket in all its gourmet and gourmandising glory you probably need to have paid close attention to Yorkshire’s batting performances this season. They have often been bloody awful. Before this match Steve Patterson’s side had been bowled out for 230 or fewer in five of their seven first innings and the skipper acknowledged that last week’s defeat had been on its way for a while. The fact that it was inflicted by Lancashire merely gave the gladius an extra twist. A side rarely prospers if the average score at which its third wicket falls is 85. Watching roobish like that on the live stream may have prompted a few domestic traumas.

Now it is three o’clock on this warm Saturday in early June. It is an afternoon out of J L Carr, an afternoon of long moments and great stillness, an afternoon for which to be newly grateful. And Yorkshire are 465 for 6. This is abundance without recent precedent. Having taken nine batting bonus points from their previous seven games – the lowest in the land – the home side have collected a maximum five from this innings. Their effort has been held together by Dawid Malan, who has filled his boots, wellies and slippers with runs. Ten of his 22 fours have been cut or worked backward of square on the off side.
Not since Harry Lime had his clogs popped by Holly Martins in a Vienna sewer has the absence of a third man been so noticeable. The only severe disappointment of the day was suffered ten minutes ago: Malan was bowled by Jack Carson for 199 when his attempted angled deflection merely allowed a fine ball, bowled from over the wicket, to turn past the blade and hit the left-hander’s off stump. He needed that single to become the first batsman to score double hundreds in consecutive innings for Yorkshire.

Malan’s innings was a triumph of technique, a near-perfect example of a batsman with discriminating knowledge of his particular game and in perfect command of its wristy cuts and gentle glides. Few people this dream-laden hour will recall that he was dropped on only 27 yesterday afternoon when Travis Head spilled a slip catch off Henry Crocombe.

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