Bradford-born seamer Alex Wharf recorded the best bowling figures of his career as Yorkshire were dismissed for 280 by Glamorgan at the St Helen's ground yesterday.

The former Yorkshire paceman claimed five for 63, beating his previous best return of five for 68 against Sussex at Colwyn Bay last year, and he would have had an even bigger haul with a bit more luck.

He should have included Darren Lehmann among his victims but the Australian was put down at second slip off an easy chance to Matthew Maynard when 40 and he went on to become Yorkshire's top-scorer with a freely struck 75.

Wharf, 24 next Monday, was sacked by Yorkshire at the end of the 1997 season when Peter Hartley was also released because of financial restraints.

This latest effort, however, suggests that Wharf could still have been an asset for his native county, despite the high number of quality fast bowlers currently on their staff.

He spent two uneasy seasons with Nottinghamshire before moving on to Glamorgan where he has established himself as a key member of their attack as well as being a more than useful batsman.

"I am really enjoying my cricket down here and it was great to do well against some of my former team-mates," said a delighted Wharf.

With the tide up and conditions overcast, Wharf and Watkin created early havoc after Yorkshire had won the toss and both openers were back in the pavilion with only three scored, Scott Richardson falling lbw to Watkin and Matthew Wood being caught at second slip by Dean Cosker off Wharf.

But Yorkshire's situation was rapidly improved by brothers-in-law Craig White and Lehmann in their contrasting styles, White getting his head down in a bid to improve his form and Lehmann launching himself into his usual range of blistering strokes.stand was worth 61 when Wharf had Lehmann dropped by Maynard and a couple of boundaries for the left-hander in the next over from Darren Thomas hurried him to his half-century off 71 balls with eight fours.

Lehmann added five more boundaries as the partnership jumped to 107 from 31 overs but in the first over after lunch he fell lbw to one which nipped back from Watkin.

White departed for 39 to the second ball of Wharf's new spell, touching one to the wicketkeeper, and it was left to David Byas to stop Yorkshire crumbling with a stubborn 63 which took him two-and-a-half hours and contained seven boundaries.

Byas was out lbw hitting across the line at the left-arm spin of Cosker while Wharf returned yet again to get an immediate wicket, this time Gavin Hamilton mistiming a hook at his first ball which he nicked to the wicketkeeper.

Wharf went on to have Richard Blakey, playing in his 300th match for Yorkshire, caught at the fourth attempt by Jimmy Maher at first slip and he scooped his fifth and final wicket when Watkin held Chris Silverwood at mid-off at the second time of asking.

James Middlebrook's aggressive 35 ended when Watkin had him caught behind and Wharf was given a guard of honour by his grateful colleagues as he led them off the field.

Glamorgan safely negotiated two overs to the close with neither Silverwood nor Ryan Sidebottom giving away a run.

Updated: 09:30 Thursday, May 31, 2001