Yorkshire slump to defeat against Holland

FORTY Easter eggs were hidden around the ground yesterday as part of a special promotion by Clydesdale Bank, two of which contained golden tickets that entitled the recipients to a coaching session with Alastair Cook.

After the way Yorkshire batted, one can only hope it was their own batsmen who found them and won the chance to receive tuition from the Essex and England left-hander.

Two days after tossing away their County Championship match against Nottinghamshire, who won by 58 runs despite effectively being minus 26-6 in their second innings, Yorkshire suffered an even more humiliating defeat.

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The Netherlands – a country more associated with windmills, tulips and pointed roofs than cricket – beat them by two runs in a disastrous start to Yorkshire’s one-day season.

It was an unacceptable display by the home side, who will look back with horror on this Easter period.

If the Nottinghamshire defeat was bad enough, this was scarcely believable.

Although the Netherlands took part in the recent World Cup, running England close in their opening game, they lost all six of their matches and were only there to make up the numbers.

Ditto their function in a CB40 tournament in which they lost 10 of their 12 fixtures last summer, with only a victory at lowly Derbyshire to show for their efforts, with the Dutchmen no better than Minor Counties standard.

But after they scored 190-8 from their 40 overs yesterday, a total that looked well below-par, they restricted Yorkshire to 188-9.

Rich Pyrah managed 69 from 82 balls with six fours, eclipsing his previous one-day best of 67 against Gloucestershire at Bristol in 2009.

But Adil Rashid (42 not out), Ryan Sidebottom (29) and Ajmal Shahzad (11) were the only other players to reach double figures, with the top-six managing only 30 runs between them.

At one stage, Yorkshire were 27-5 as a stunned crowd struggled to comprehend what was happening.

Yorkshire’s defeat should have been more emphatic; they were 79-7 before Pyrah and Rashid added 68 for the eighth wicket in 13 overs.

Some lusty hitting from Sidebottom towards the end – including a straight six on to the roof of the Rugby Stand from the penultimate ball of the match – kept Yorkshire in touch until the final delivery, from which they needed four for victory.

But Sidebottom was run-out going for a second run to long-on as the Dutch completed an improbable triumph.

Mudassar Bukhari (3-26) and Peter Borren (2-39) led the way with some disciplined seam bowling, well backed-up by Peter Seelaar and Shane Mott, the latter once of Scholes in the Huddersfield League.

Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale admitted defeat was another bitter pill to swallow.

“The last three days have been the worst of my captaincy career and haven’t seen the sort of cricket we want to be playing,” he conceded.

“The Dutch probably got 20 more runs than they should have done, but the bottom line is we’re not batting well enough and there were too many loose shots,” he said.

“You’ve got very little chance when you slump to 27-5, and we look like we’re in too much of a rush at the crease.

“We’re playing the ball too far in front of our bodies and need to be playing tighter – particularly at this time of year, when the pitches assist the bowlers.”

Gale left his players in no doubt what he thought of this capitulation but said he believed in their ability to turn things around.

So far this season, Yorkshire have played some very good cricket and some very poor cricket, with precious little in between.

“We haven’t become a bad side in three days,” he added.

“Last week there were a hell of a lot of positives to come out of the Nottinghamshire match, and there were even positives to come out of this game, such as the batting of Rich Pyrah.

“I honestly believe with the talent we’ve got, there’s no way we can continue playing like this.

“But we’ve got to start stringing the performances together.”

Yorkshire took an early grip yesterday after Gale won the toss in glorious sunshine.

Sidebottom had Wesley Barresi lbw from the final ball of the second over before Shahzad marked his return to action followed a hamstring injury with the wicket of Eric Szwarczynski, caught behind by Gerard Brophy – preferred behind the stumps to Jonathan Bairstow.

The visitors ticked along well at four runs an over but surrendered wickets at regular intervals.

They soon fell to 72-5 and had little idea against Rashid, who bowled star batsman Tom Cooper with his first ball and later had Borren lbw on his way to 2-20 from eight overs.

The innings was in tatters at 112-7, but Mott and Bukhari added 61 in eight overs before Sidebottom had Bukhari caught at point. Mott finished unbeaten on 50, the highlight a pulled six off Shahzad, who understandably looked a little rusty.

Yorkshire’s reply was inexplicably poor.

Adam Lyth was caught-and-bowled, Gale held at point, Anthony McGrath lbw second ball, Jonathan Bairstow caught at cover and Joe Root pouched at point.

When Brophy clipped to mid-wicket and Shahzad holed out to deep square-leg, Yorkshire seemed unlikely to reach 100.

But Pyrah played a fine hand before being caught at short third-man, while Rashid and Sidebottom almost carried Yorkshire to a victory they would not have deserved.

DISPLAY OF THE DAY