London: Australia batsman and Yorkshire captain Darren Lehmann had no excuses after the defending county champion was thrashed inside three days by First Division title favourites Surrey at Headingley on Friday.
Mark Butcher's men, fresh from a 10 wicket mauling of Sussex, made sure spectators would have to do something else on Saturday - the scheduled fourth day - after pulverising Yorkshire by an innings and 163 runs. "We were totally outplayed in all departments - they batted, bowled and fielded very well and certainly better than we did," admitted Lehmann as Yorkshire got its title defence off to the worst possible start. The champion was without England quartet Darren Gough, Craig White, Matthew Hoggard and Michael Vaughan. But Lehmann refused to use their absence as an excuse. "That has happened a lot in the past and will happen again - but we have still won games and will win again, I hope," he said. Meanwhile England batsman Butcher said, "It was a fantastic performance. I could not be happier. We played brilliantly. The season is seven days old, and we have played as well as it is possible to play on all seven." Only Chris Taylor's unbeaten 52 gave the home supporters something to cheer with Yorkshire bowled out for 202. Rubbing salt into Yorkshire's wounds was the performance of former captain David Byas. After announcing his retirement at the end of last season, the left-hander stunned Yorkshire by joining archrivals Lancashire. And it looked a good signing as Byas' 83 not out steered the 'Red Rose' county to a six-wicket win over Warwickshire at Edgbaston. England One-day International and Sussex paceman James Kirtley, whose action has been the subject of repeated official scrutiny, took five for 90 as Somerset was bowled out for 401 at Hove. On a rain-marred day Sussex reached 178 for three in its second innings at the close with captain and former England batsman Chris Adams 68 not out. At the Rose Bowl, Leicestershire was well on top, Hampshire 81 for two at stumps - still 74 behind after following on with one day left. In the Second Division, Northamptonshire's Australian captain Mike Hussey led from the front with 170 while fellow opener Mal Loye made 139 out of a total of 380 for two against Worcestershire in what looks like a high scoring draw. Another Australian, fast bowler Ashley Noffke, took three quick wickets for innings figure so far of four for 74 to reduce Nottinghamshire to 156 for four in its second innings. Only 20 overs were possible at Lord's because of rain and Nottinghamshire, 147 runs behind and facing an innings defeat, may need more bad weather on Saturday. Rain meant there was no play on Friday in the other Second Division matches between Derbyshire and Durham and Essex and Gloucestershire.
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