Durham v Yorkshire (Friendly)

WITH fellow dancer Mark Ramprakash in the opposition when Yorkshire visit The Oval on Wednesday, Darren Gough might be uncertain whether to start his reign as captain with a toss or a tango.

In yesterday's 50-over friendly against Durham at Riverside, Gough spearheaded what was initially little more than a slow foxtrot by Yorkshire, who looked under-prepared in a 14-run defeat.

After two weeks in Cape Town, Durham were sharper all round, Will Smith leading the way with 93 as they amassed 287 for six after being put in on a murky morning.

Mark Davies then pushed his claim for a swift return to Durham's four-day side as he took two of the first three wickets before Yorkshire rallied to close on 273 for nine.

After leaving Durham to take charge of his native county, Martyn Moxon would not have been impressed by his new charges' performance in the field.

Gough, looking less than nimble, was one of several guilty of fumbles, and while he doubtless wanted to take a look at fringe bowlers, it seemed bizarre to have Scarborough-born Chris Gilbert and Richard Pyrah bowling in tandem in the last ten overs of Durham's innings.

Both are noted more for their batting than their medium pace and they had combined figures of one for 85 in ten overs.

Both sides were without their overseas batsman and three leading bowlers who can expect to be on duty when they meet in the second championship match at Headingley in two weeks.

As well as Steve Harmison, Graham Onions and Ottis Gibson, Durham might even be able to call on Liam Plunkett by then.

That would be tough on Davies, who looked a little rusty but extracted more from a good pitch than any other seamer on view yesterday.

His gradual build-up towards match fitness following his back problems was delayed by illness earlier in the week and the chances are that he will be considered not quite ready for championship action when Durham start at Worcester on Wednesday.

Apart from the two wickets in his first spell, Davies was twice unlucky not to snare Anthony McGrath, particularly when he edged between wicketkeeper and slip with his score on five.

After Yorkshire slipped to 121 for five, Gilbert and Pyrah began to plunder runs off Ben Harmison and off-spinner Paul Wiseman, and when Davies returned for the 39th over Pyrah pulled him for six.

But off the next ball he played on for 44, ending a stand of 80 in eight overs, then Gilbert holed out for 39 off Gareth Breese.

Gough and left-arm spinner David Wainwright gamely kept up the chase, adding 58 before Wainwright was run out in the penultimate over.

Yorkshire will be able to bring Matthew Hoggard, Tim Bresnan and Jason Gillespie into their attack at The Oval, although with Gough leading the side Bresnan will be competing with Deon Kruis for a place.

The pick of the Tykes' attack yesterday, however, was Steve Patterson, who resembles Davies in looks and action and conceded only 24 from his eight overs.

Kruis was more expensive after intially coming under fire from Phil Mustard, who cracked him for two fours through the off-side in the day's second over.

The left-hander dominated an opening stand of 82 with Smith, hitting nine fours in his 48 off 52 balls before being bowled when hitting across a ball from Ajmal Shahzad.

Smith and Breese then put on 122 before the opener, looking to step up his impressive acceleration, was run out.

When Gough returned for a second spell Breese casually picked him up over square leg for six on his way to 54 off 71 balls.

Gordon Muchall made a sprightly 33 against some fairly undemanding bowling and Scotsman Kyle Coetzer contributed an unbeaten 19 off 14 balls.

South African Jacques Rudolph got off the mark rather fortuitously in his first innings for Yorkshire, skying an attempted pull off Mitch Claydon over the wicketkeeper. But he had made only four when he sliced the same bowler to backward point.

Wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy, given a chance at three, did nothing to suggest he can be any more successful with the bat than he was last season.

Craig White and McGrath surrendered tamely when well set, and when left-hander Andrew Gale edged Wiseman to Mustard it looked all over.

Had Durham hit the stumps with any of several run-out chances it would have been, but Yorkshire's lower middle order made a game of it as they got the target down to 53 off five overs.

Durham had to recall the impressive Callum Thorp to ensure victory, but even then Gough drove Claydon for six in the final over to remain unbeaten on 37.



W R Smith run out 93
P Mustard b Shahzad 48
G R Breese c Brophy b Kruis 54
G J Muchall run out 33
G T Park c Brophy b Shahzad 11
B W Harmison b Pyrah 4
K J Coetzer not out 19
C D Thorp not out 1.
Extras 24 (9b, 14lb, 1w)
Total (6 wkts, 50 overs) 287
Fall: 1-82, 2-204, 3-217, 4-243, 5-248,
Bowling: Gough 8-2-28-0, Kruis 8-0-42-
1, Patterson 8-2-24-0, Shahzad 10-0-51-2,
Wainwright 6-0-34-0, Gilbert 5-0-42-0,
Pyrah 5-0-43-1

C White c Thorp b Davies 29
J A Rudolph c Park b Claydon 4
G R Brophy c Mustard b Davies 14
A McGrath c Smith b Harmison 35
A W Gale c Mustard b Wiseman 19
R M Pyrah b Davies 44
D Gough not out 38
D J Wainwright run out 27
A Shahzad b Thorp 0
G J Kruis not out 3
Total (9 wkts, 50 overs) 273
Fall: 1-7, 2-43, 3-74, 4-110, 5-121, 6-
201, 7-201, 8-259, 9-260
Bowling: Claydon 10-0-56-1, Thorp 7-2-
16-1, Davies 10-0-59-3, Killeen 7-1-17-0,
Wiseman 7-0-51-1, Harmison 4-0-31-1,
Breese 5-0-35-1.

Durham won by 14 runs