Royal London Cup Yorkshire v Northamptonshire at York CC August 2nd

Neil Whitaker reports

YORKSHIRE Vikings got their 2022 Royal London  Cup campaign off to a winning start by beating Northamptonshire Steelbacks by 33 runs with 10  balls to spare at Clifton Park York.

The Steelbacks won the toss and put the Vikings in  on an overcast morning and the Vikings made 353 for five in a match reduced to 46 overs.

Their top three batters all made their highest list A score: Will Fraine top scored with 143, Harry Duke hit 111 his first list A century from 111 balls with 12 fours and Will Luxton  made 84.  Fraine’s 143 which was his first List A century as the Steelbacks bowlers found that Clifton Park was not big enough to contain him.  His knock included eight sixes and 12 fours.

Fraine said: “I saw it alright and it was a good pitch and it was one of those days and I kept finding the middle of the bat. We were going to bowl if we won the toss with the rain about  and we didn’t know what a good score would be on that pitch.  I find that the deeper I take an innings the easier it gets. Me and Duke spoke about not taking too many risks in the powerplay.   Me and Duke compliment each other well and he likes to take his time.”

Put into bat the Vikings made a brisk start by scoring 29 in five overs with Fraine toe  ending White over the point boundary for his first six and at the other end Duke guided Nathan Buck to the point boundary.  But after five overs the rain drove the players off the field for 43 minutes and the match was reduced to 46 overs.

Fraine picked up and deposited Tim  Taylor over the fine leg boundary and out of the ground.  In the next over, he top edged a pull off James Sales over the fine leg boundary.  His fifty came from 47 balls with three sixes and three fours.  For his fourth six he helped Sales off his hips over the fine leg boundary.  He slogged swept Saif Zaib over cow corner for another six.  He brought up his century with a push off Zaib to long on for a single.  

His century came from 85 balls with five sixes and nine fours.  Fraine graceful straight six off  Rob Keogh and in the next over he swept Zaib for another six. And he flat batted Keogh for another six.

With Duke they put on 209, Yorkshire Vikings highest List A opening first wicket partnership against the Steelbacks.

The way Fraine batted it would have been hard for anyone to keep up with him but Duke went about his job and rotated the strike to Fraine.  At first Duke was circumspect. On 28 he gave the first chance of the match when he edged Sales but stumper Lewis McManus could only get his fingertips to it and the ball ran to the boundary to bring up the Vikings hundred up in the 17th over but he gradually began to find some form, he cheekily  scooped Keogh for a four behind McManus.

Duke’s fifty from 62 balls included six fours.  He liked employing the scoop as he repeated it again this time off Jack White with the same result.  He tried it again in White’s next over with the same result to take him one short off his century which he reached when he dabbed  White out on the offside for a single.

As well as providing Duke with runs the scoop proved to be his downfall when  he tried the shot again this time off Buck but he top edged it to McManus, a run after the departure of Luxton.

Luxton, who made his name in last year’s competition with 68 against Northamptonshire at Scarborough, showed again that he likes the competition.  He had to reach to pull a wide ball from Alex Russell to the mid wicket boundary.  He flat batted Zaib  straight to the boundary.

He reached his fifty, which came from 35 balls, when he pulled White for a six just out of the reach off Keogh on the boundary.  On 83 he toe ended Taylor but was dropped on the point boundary but it wasn’t expensive as bottom edged Buck  to Taylor coming in from the long off boundary.  With Duke he added 134 for the second wicket, a Yorkshire record against Northamptonshire, beating the 125 made by Matthew Wood and Chris Silverwood at Northampton in 2002.

Trying to get more runs Don Bess had a swing at and was bowled, Matt Revis was run out by a mile off the last ball.

The Steelbacks lost their first wicket in the first over when Ricardo Vasconcelos tried to turn  19 year old Ben Cliff, on his list A debut, off his legs but got a leading edge to Bess at mid on.  Five overs later Emilio Gay nibbled at Ben  Coad and edged him to Fraine at first slip who took a comfortable catch.

Will Young,top scored with 91, flat batted Revis to boundary but where Fraine got sixes he got a couple of fours. He reached his fifty from 38 fours with nine fours.  He danced down the pitch to Harry Sullivan and smashed him  straight for the first six of the Steelbacks innings.  In Sullivan’s next over he repeated the shot but was a little wider with the same result. He fell nine short off his century when he miscued a pull off Coad and the ball looped to Sullivan, who got his revenge for those two sixes, at mid on.

Zaib drilled Cliff straight to the long on boundary and pulled the next ball to the square leg boundary.  After adding 82 with Young, Zaib had a rush of blood raced down the pitch to Bess missed the ball and was stumped by a mile.

Keogh murdered a drive off Revis to the long off boundary.  His fifty came from 48 balls with eight fours. As soon as  he reached 50 he  hit a straight six off Revis.  His innings ended when he gently drove Sullivan to Bess on the long off boundary who took a good catch moving to his left.  With McManus they added 79 in 10 overs for the fifth wicket.

Sullivan got his second wicket when Jame Sales backed away to cut one which was too near to and was bowled.

Without adding to the score Taylor gave a simple return catch to Bess.

After hitting a six Buck gently top edged a pull off Bess to Fraine on the fine leg boundary.

McManus tried to keep up with Keogh by drilling Tom  Loten straight to the boundary.  He kept the scoreboard ticking over while others were losing their wickets.  He reached his fifty from 49 balls and it included three fours and a six.  He pulled Coad for a six over mid wicket, drilled the next ball to the long on boundary and clipped the next ball off his legs for a six.  The fourth ball was drilled over long on for another six.  His busy innings ended when he tried to work Loten off his legs, missed the ball and was leg before.

He said: “We weren't at our best today and we wern’t on in the field and let them get 20 more runs,  but we got within touching distance. We knew that we had to take it deep. With relative short boundaries we knew that we would be in with a chance. But I think6 even after that defeat that we are on the right track.

Young showed his class and it was a brilliant start to the innings and it was a shame that he couldn’t go on and get that big score.”


August 3, 2022 4:01 pm

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