McGrath ton inspires Tykes

YORKSHIRE’S 36-year-old batsman Anthony McGrath, whose future with the club will be decided next month, scored a century which brought his side maximum batting bonus points against LV= County Championship Division Two leaders Derbyshire at Headingley.

It was McGrath’s 34th century in the competition - and five of them have been taken off Derbyshire who have been a prolific source of runs for him down the years.

McGrath’s contract runs out at the end of the summer and it has already been agreed between the player and the club that all thoughts should be focused on gaining promotion before any extension is discussed.

Yorkshire paced their innings nicely and McGrath completed his second century of the season in the 110th over when the score was 406 for five with Derbyshire restricted to a solitary batting bonus point.

Surprisingly, in view of two-thirds of the previous day’s play being lost to the weather, Yorkshire chose to bat on and their last five wickets crashed for nine runs in the space of 15 balls.

Kevin Pietersen, meanwhile, remains out of sight and out of mind for England - a fact ably demonstrated by his successful deputy Jonny Bairstow at Lord’s yesterday.

Bairstow (72no) shared a determined century stand with Ian Bell (58), to dig England out of trouble on 54 for four in the must-win third Investec Test against South Africa.

The young Yorkshireman’s maiden Test 50 helped England to 208 for five by stumps on day two, in reply to 309 all out.

Of Bairstow’s display, Bell said: “I thought he was fantastic - and as the innings went on, we started to see some shots that you hear about in county cricket. It was a fantastic effort.”