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Page last updated at 18:38 GMT, Tuesday, 4 May 2010 19:38 UK

McGrath puts Yorkshire on top with unbeaten century

CLOSE OF PLAY, DAY ONE: Yorkshire 313-3 v Essex
Yorkshire 3pts Essex 1pt
Match scorecard

Anthony McGrath
Former Yorkshire captain McGrath hit 15 boundaries in his unbeaten 112

Former captain Anthony McGrath's unbeaten century put Yorkshire on their way to a big first innings score against Essex at Scarborough.

McGrath's 30th first-class century for the White Rose county was his first against Essex.

McGrath, with 112 not out, and current captain Andrew Gale, 89 not out, had put on 163 for the fourth wicket when Yorkshire closed on 313-3.

Adam Lyth and Jacques Rudolph both fell just short of their half-centuries.

New Zealand paceman Chris Martin, making his Championship debut for Essex, shared the new ball with David Masters, and although there was some movement through the air and off the seam it could not prevent Lyth getting off to a cracking start.

Joe Sayers also hit a fine cover boundary off Masters, but soon afterwards edged Martin to Alastair Cook at first slip.

Lyth continued to look a class act and it came as something of a surprise when the young left-hander was out for 47, an intended drive at Ryan ten Doeschate deflecting into his stumps.

But Rudolph continued his recent fine form and Essex were left to rue a glaring miss when McGrath, on 33, edged Martin straight into and out of Cook's hands at first slip.

Having scored an unbeaten 228 against Durham last week, Rudolph appeared to have laid the foundations for another big score, but in trying to drive a swinging delivery from ten Doeschate he gave the bowler a return catch for 45.

It took McGrath a little over three hours to complete his 50 off 133 balls with seven fours. Gale's half-century was a much speedier affair, coming off only 47 balls with seven fours and a six.

Essex took the new ball at 288-3 off 86 overs and McGrath immediately scampered the single that brought up his five-hour century from 244 deliveries, with 14 boundaries.

Now only four counties remain to be added to his list: Surrey, Nottinghamshire, Northants and Sussex.

A tough day for the visitors got even worse when McGrath, on 106, was put down for a second time, John Maunders at second slip dropping him off Masters.

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