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Page last updated at 18:19 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 19:19 UK

McGrath and Sayers break records

COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE, Edgbaston:
CLOSE OF PLAY DAY TWO: Yorkshire 600-8dec, Warwicks 81-1
(Warwicks 0pts, Yorks 4pts)
6-9 May 2009 (Play begins 1100 BST)


Anthony McGrath
Anthony McGrath celebrates reaching his maiden first-class double century

Anthony McGrath and Joe Sayers claimed an 81-year-old Yorkshire record on a run-filled second day at Edgbaston.

Their stand of 346, including McGrath's career-best 211, surpassed the 323 county third wicket record set by Herbert Sutcliffe and Maurice Leyland.

The mauling of the Bears attack allowed McGrath, who had hit his first career double century, to declare at 600-8 in time for 18 overs before the close.

Warwickshire lost Tony Frost, edging to first slip, to reach 81-1 at the close.

Opener Sayers once again proved the seemingly immovable rock in Yorkshire's innings.

The left-hander was clearly in no mood to vacate the crease after going through 26 innings without a first-class half-century.

Adding only one run in the first 35 minutes on the second morning, he eventually faced 441 balls for his 173 in not far short of 10 hours.

In contrast, on the clearly favoured ground where he had already hit his career-best score two years ago, McGrath was the destructive force, hitting 26 fours and three sixes in an impressive 211 from 324 deliveries.

Anthony McGrath's previous career best was 188no, also against Warwickshire on his last visit to Edgbaston in July 2007
Joe Sayers was out just 14 short of his career best, 187 against Kent at Tunbridge Wells, also in partnership with Anthony McGrath, in June 2007
Sayers' dismissal was the first wicket in English cricket for Warwickshire's New Zealand all-rounder Jeetan Patel

Resuming at 258-2, with their stand already up to 134, they eventually kept Warwickshire waiting the equivalent of a full day for their next wicket.

By then they had removed the names of two Yorkshire legends from one section of their records surpassing the unbroken 323 shared by Sutcliffe and Leyland on the first day against Glamorgan at Fartown, Huddersfield in June 1928.

The Bears failed to take even a single bowling bonus point when Yorkshire reached the 120-over cut-off at 374-2. But they are not the only attack to have had a rough time in the first two Championship fixtures in Birmingham this season.

When McGrath called his batsmen in, four innings had produced 1,906 runs, two double hundreds and four centuries.

Not to mention two county record partnerships, Jim Troughton and Tim Ambrose having broken Warwickshire's fifth-wicket best in the previous drawn game with Hampshire.

Yet for all Yorkshire's dominance - McGrath advancing from 50 to 150 at exactly a run a ball - they should have been reined back for a lesser total.

In all Warwickshire put down five chances and, when Neil Carter hit the right spot, with the score now past 500, he took three wickets in eight balls.

But, after the loss of Frost, England reject Ian Bell (33) and home skipper Ian Westwood (24) saw the Bears safely to the close.



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