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Magical McGrath rolls back the years


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Anthony McGrath played a major role as Yorkshire took total control on the second day of their LV= County Championship Division Two match against Leicestershire at Scarborough.

The 36-year-old all-rounder - recalled in place of Ajmal Shahzad - scored a valuable 90 as the White Rose reached 447 and then picked up 4-21 to undermine the visitors reply.

After being skittled for just 116, Leicestershire followed on 331 runs in arrears and lost Greg Smith lbw to Steven Patterson for three off the final ball of the day.

Yorkshire were already well placed when they began another bitterly cold day on 329 for five with Jonny Bairstow on 141 and McGrath one short of 50.

McGrath soon completed a faultless fifty, yet it was Bairstow who called the shots, taking three boundaries in an over off Nadeem Malik with stunning drives.

Progress was not sufficiently swift, however, to gain a fifth batting bonus point and Yorkshire were 375 for five after 110 overs.

A stand of 159 ended soon after as Bairstow slapped Wayne White to Jacques du Toit at cover to depart for a dazzling 182 off 259 balls with 19 fours and four sixes.

Anthony McGrath

Anthony McGrath is congratulated by his Yorkshire team-mates after dismissing Josh Cobb to claim his third wicket at Scarborough today

Tim Bresnan was soon run out by a direct hit from White on the third-man boundary but McGrath suddenly opened up by straight driving Claude Henderson for six.

Adil Rashid was bowled by White just before lunch and McGrath's bid for a century ended shortly after the interval when he pushed forward at Henderson and was caught behind, his runs coming off 194 deliveries with 10 fours and a six.

Ryan Sidebottom contributed a useful 20 before falling to White, who was easily Leicestershire's most successful bowler with 5-90.

It was Sidebottom who was responsible for starting the Leicestershire slide by picking up the first two wickets as three went down in the space of 30 balls with the score on 12.

Matthew Boyce had still not got off the mark when he fell lbw to the left-armer, who then had du Toit caught behind, also without scoring.

Patterson accounted for Smith, his edge being taken in front of first slip by Bairstow.

McGrath was introduced at 33 for three and trapped Ramnaresh Sarwan lbw with his second ball, having also hit the West Indian’s pads with the previous delivery.

The same bowler struck further blows either side of tea; Ned Eckersley fell leg before to one which nipped back and Josh Cobb edged to Bairstow attempting to drive one back over McGrath's head.

Two further wickets for Patterson reduced Leicestershire to 68 for eight, but Henderson and Malik survived a few anxious moments to steer the score beyond three figures.

Henderson's edge to Phil Jaques at third slip brought Bresnan his first wicket and then McGrath was recalled to wrap things up by dismissing Alex Wyatt with his second delivery.

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