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Shah class from Yorkshrie stand-in McGrath
Cricket’s a funny old game as Yorkshire found out to their benefit against Leicestershire at Scarborough yesterday.
Shortly after Colin Graves and Martyn Moxon had explained Ajmal Shahzad’s departure from the county, the man who replaced him in the side helped to put them on course for a first County Championship win of 2012.
Anthony McGrath wheeled away from the Trafalgar Square End to return impressive figures of 4-21 from 12.2 overs as the visitors, replying to 447, were bowled out for 116.
McGrath’s haul not only allowed Andrew Gale to enforce the follow-on, it also meant the former England international took the new ball before close with his accurate medium pace.
He did not strike again, but saw Steve Patterson trap Greg Smith lbw with the day’s last delivery.
Leicester closed day two on 3-1 after two overs of their second innings, and they will resume this morning staring down the barrel of a three-day defeat.
York’s Jonny Bairstow had finished with 182 and McGrath posted 90 as the hosts fell just short of 450 in their first innings.
It is widely accepted Shahzad is not the type of bowler you would throw the ball to when you want a disciplined spell. He wants to produce magic ball after ball.
But discipline was Yorkshire’s buzz-word yesterday, highlighted at the start of Leicester’s first innings when Ryan Sidebottom bowled five maidens in his opening seven-over spell.
McGrath had Ramnaresh Sarwan and Ned Eckersley lbw, Josh Cobb caught behind and Alex Wyatt caught in the slips, while Patterson chipped in with 3-17, including the 100th first-class wicket of his career when Robbie Joseph edged behind.
There will be days throughout 2012 and beyond when Yorkshire are crying out for a bowler in the Shahzad mould – that is inevitable. This, however, was not one of them.