Inzamam upstaged by Rudolph
Jacques Rudolph made light of Pakistan legend Inzamam-ul-Haq’s debut failure for Yorkshire with a thrilling, unbeaten double century as his side took firm control of their LV County Championship clash with Warwickshire.
The Scarborough faithful saw James Anyon remove England captain Michael Vaughan without adding to his overnight score of five and then strike to send Inzamam back to the pavilion for just eight runs.
But Rudolph endured no such struggles, closing on 208 not out in 293 balls to leave his side 401 ahead at the end of the second day on 530 for six following the Bears’ first-innings 129.
Anthony McGrath (58), Adil Rashid (67) and Tim Bresnan (87 not out) all made valuable contributions as the hosts sought to close out the win they need to keep alive genuine title aspirations, but the South African Kolpak signing dominated the day’s events.
Anyon conceded 128 runs for his three wickets, while Alfonso Thomas took 3-98.
Roses rivals Lancashire, also harbouring designs on the title, look to be heading for a draw with Hampshire at Old Trafford.
They resume will the final day, with an early 10.30am start on the cards, 97 first-innings runs behind the visitors following the loss of an entire day’s play due to poor playing conditions in the outfield.
Zimbabwean all-rounder Sean Ervine delivered a master-class in how to bat with the tail to carve out a fine unbeaten 103 as Hampshire closed on 393 all out, before Paul Horton hit back with a ton of his own for Lancashire.
West Indies paceman Darren Powell and James Bruce each took two wickets to apply early pressure on the hosts but Horton built an undefeated 135, while Stuart Law (53) and Luke Sutton (69no) chipped in with half-centuries in an overnight score of 296 for four.
Fellow Division One championship hopefuls Sussex saw the third consecutive day of their match with Surrey washed out - a fate which also befell Kent and Worcestershire.
Both games will now revert to a one-innings match tomorrow.
Nottinghamshire still have a chance of keeping the pressure on Division Two table-toppers Somerset with a win against Northamptonshire at Trent Bridge.
They took three quick wickets in the visitors’ stuttering second innings after their own first knock had ended on 283 all out - a two-run lead for their opponents.
A valuable half-century from Graeme Swann (51) and important contributions from tail-end duo Andre Adams (32) and Mark Davies (35no) helped the home side to stay in touch after David Wigley and Richard Logan had each taken three scalps.
Adams, Swann and Davies - who now has eight wickets in the match - then added to their earlier efforts with a wicket apiece as Northamptonshire slumped to 90 for three and in need of some gutsy batting in the morning session.
At Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens, Derbyshire are looking to post a winning total in their second innings and went to stumps on 261 for six - 242 ahead of opponents Glamorgan.
The final five Glamorgan wickets tumbled for just 46 in the morning session as Ant Botha and Graham Wagg mopped up the tail.
Then opener Travis Birt (84) and Michael Dighton (60) put the runs on the board for Derbyshire before the hosts responded with a handful of wickets, including away skipper Simon Katich for a duck.
Just 8.2 overs were managed at Lord’s, where there was no play yesterday, but it was enough time for Gloucestershire’s Steve Kirby to remove Nick Compton for 11 as Middlesex moved to 20 for one.
There was no play at Colchester as bad weather ensured Essex and Leicestershire could not add to the two overs that were possible on Wednesday.