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McGrath century puts Yorkshire in box seat
If Yorkshire end up winning promotion this season in the LV=County Championship then Bradford-born Anthony McGrath’s contribution to the cause shouldn’t be underestimated.
Whilst other players in the county’s colours might have stolen the limelight so far in 2012, the 36 year-old has gone about his business in an equally effective manner.
Back in May, he was pivotal in Yorkshire’s victory over Leicestershire in the four day game with five wickets and a well-crafted 90 at Scarborough.
Later that month, he hit a century to help the Tykes draw against title rivals Hampshire in Division Two.
Today, he was at it again at Headingley to help Yorkshire into a dominant position in their vital clash with leaders Derbyshire.
McGrath made 104 to underpin the county’s first-innings total of 420 all out.
By the close, Derbyshire had then reached 28-1 in reply to trail by 392 runs.
It was a vital innings from McGrath, although the Tykes final total was also inflated by Adam Lyth and Gary Ballance.
The former added 33 runs to his overnight total before being dismissed for 93, with Ballance departing for 79.
By this stage Yorkshire had reached 256-4.
With McGrath well set at the crease, the county’s domination would continue with the help of debutant Andrew Hodd who made 58.
Diligent at first, the on-loan wicket-keeper would eventually play a full part in a partnership of 131 runs for the sixth wicket after Bradfordian Adil Rashid had departed for only 12.
It helped Yorkshire reach maximum batting bonus points with only three balls to spare, with McGrath achieving the feat with a straight drive that also brought up his second ton of the campaign.
With the game already shortened because of the weather the Tykes then rather curiously didn’t declare, instead choosing to hit out to build as big a total as possible.
The plan rather backfired though.
Less than four overs later they were all out for 420, as five wickets fell in the space of 15 balls for only nine runs.
Wes Durston was the main beneficiary to finish with career-best figures of 5-34, before Yorkshire made a breakthrough themselves with the ball before the close.
Tim Bresnan was the man to do it following a dash up the M1 after being overlooked by England, removing Wayne Madsen with the final ball of the day for 14.