Yorkshire v Leicestershire at Headingley April 5th-8th County Championship Div 2

Neil Whitaker reports

Day 1

GEORGE Hill  took three wickets in 33 minutes as Leicestershire went 89 for two to 115 for four in eight overs to give Yorkshire the edge on the first day of the Vitality County Championship.

The 23 year old’s first  victim was Louis Kimber.  After adding 46 for the second wicket with Marcus  Harris,Hill found the edge of his bat and Finlay Bean at third slip took a good low catch diving to his left with the ball dying on him.

 Marcus Harris drove straight brilliantly throughout his knock and  reached his fifty from 93 balls with an on drive to the long boundary off Ben Coad. That  four was one of 11 in his fifty.  But he was soon on his way back to the hutch when Hill angled one across the Aussie and Harry  Brook at first slip took a comfortable catch at knee height.

Hill got his third wicket when he drew Lewis Hill forward, the Leicestershire captain got a thick outside edge and Adam Lyth at third slip took the catch at second slip.

He said: “Before I bowled I felt  nervous but as I bowled I felt in a good rhythm and the boys in the slip cordon took some good catches.  The feeling in the dressing room is that it’s been a good day  for us.  It’s a good wicket and we’ve got  to be patient.  I think that Peter Handscomb is the key for thim tomorrow.”

Leicestershire’s Aussie Handscomb said: “The wicket has got a bit in it but it got slower towards the end.  I hope I can replicate the ton I scored here last year.  I thought Harris batted beautifully.”

Rehan Ahmed could have been run out before he had scored. Handscomb drove Hill to Yorkshire captain Shan Masood at mid off. Rehan Ahmed sent off for a single but was sent back by Handscomb and just beating Shan Masood’s direct hit.

He went on to make 28 before he was the fifth out when he missed a straight one from Dan Moriarty and was plumb leg  before.

Play didn’t get underway on the first day of the new Vitality County Championship season until 3.40 losing 46 overs due to  heavy rain on  Thursday night and intermittent showers through the morning and early afternoon.  Play ended under sunshine.

After been asked to bat the  Foxes openers  Rishi Patel and  Harris looked to be taking control  when out of the blue Patel was beaten by one that swung in from   Matt Milnes who sent Patel’s  off stump cartwheeling out of the ground.

After the frustration of the no play until the middle of the afternoon the Yorkshire bowlers then  had to battle the howling wind which made bowling difficult.

Day 2

EX YORKSHIRE player Ben Mike became the latest player to come back to Headingley and haunt his former teammates with the bat he  hit 90 before he was last man out and with the ball he took two Yorkshire wickets.

Mike, who left Yorkshire in the winter to rejoin Leicestershire also shared in a Leicestershire record ninth wicket partnership against Yorkshire of 119 in 26 overs with Tom Scriven.  They beat the 100 made by CS Dempster and HA Smith at the Circle Hull in 1939.

He said:” I am very happy with that.  I wanted to do well but it wasn't a case that I wanted to prove people wrong.  We said that we bat deep,  numbers eight, nine and ten are all capable of scoring hundreds.”

The former Tyke  bottom edged a pull off Matt Milnes to the long on boundary to get off the mark.  Later he swept Dan Moriarty over the square leg boundary for a six.  In the next over he drove Matt Fisher straight for another boundary and then pulled the next ball to the square leg boundary.  He took aliking to Moriarty because later he hooked him over the mid wicket boundary for not only a six but to bring up the Leicestershire 250.

On 38  Mike had a life when he tried to drill Moriarty over the long on boundary but didn’t get enough power into his shot but luckily for Moriarty, Jordan Thompson 10 yards in from the long on boundary couldn’t take the chance.

He had another slice of luck when he top edged a pull off Hill and looked to be a sitter for Thompson  at mid wicket but the wind blew the ball away from  Thompson.  Mike hit his third six when he pulled George Hill over the mid wicket boundary to take him three short off his 50.

Mike reached his 11th First class 50 when he slashed  Thompson through gully  to the third man boundary.  His 50 came from 56 balls in 91 minutes and included five fours and three sixes. He flat  batted Milnes straight for another four but the bowler had his revenge when Mike scooped a widish ball and Fisher coming from the extra cover boundary took the catch.   Milnes finished with four for 73.

Milnes said: “I am pleased with my performance, we didn't bowl too many bad balls.  I think that if we bat all day we’ll be in a healthy position because its a fast scoring ground and hard to stop the boundaries.”

After his exploits with the bat Mike turned his attention to the ball when  he struck with his third ball. He  took the edge of Finlay Bean’s bat and stumper  Ben Cox took an easy catch.  In his next over Yorkshire captain Shan Masood attempted  a drive off Mike  without moving his feet  and he edged it to Peter Handscomb at second slip. 

His partner Scriven was no sleeping partner, when he brought the hundred partnership up with a pull off Fisher to the square leg boundary he had scored 43 of them.

Scriven brought up his 50 when he steered Coad through point for one of his seven boundaries. Tried to turn Coad to leg, was hit on his front pad and was leg before.  His 56 came from 86 balls in 111 minutes with seven fours.

The whole of the morning session was lost because a wet outfield and when play did start there were  72 overs to be bowled. 

It took Yorkshire 11 minutes to get rid of the dangerman Handscomb.  Handscomb was another Leicestershire man who got himself out when he looked in, he edged an off drive off Milnes and stumper Jonny Tattersall took the simple catch. Night watchman Scott Currie followed Handscomb back to the hutch in Milnes’ next when  he cue ended and Tattersall took the edge. Cox delicately cut Coad to the point boundary and swept  Moriarty to the backward square leg boundary. But he was beaten by the pace of Fisher and was bowled.

Day 3 RAIN

Day 4

Harry Brook hit an unbeaten century in  his first Championship match for nearly two years before the rain intervened again and the match was abandoned as a draw at 4.10.

When he reached his ton Yorkshire declared their first innings 90 behind Leicestershire so they could make up for their slow over rate in the first innings.  Brook’s  ton came  when he turned Ben Mike off his legs for a single.  His century came from 69 balls just eight balls fewer than Damien Martyn reached his ton against Gloucestershire in 2005 in the final match of that season at Headingley.

Brook  looked at ease from the moment he came into bat and  looked to be going for the fastest hundred, every ball went to or over the boundary. He  got off the mark when he drove Matt Salisbury to the long off boundary.  He threw everything at Scott Currie and smashed him to the long on boundary.  Two balls later he picked Currie off his legs over square leg boundary for a six. His  fifty  came off 35  balls with seven fours and two sixes.  

He shared in a fourth wicket partnership of 128 in 15 overs with Adam Lyth. Compared with Brook, Lyth looked pedestrian but he was far from it. Lyth turned Salisbury off his legs for a couple to bring up his fifty off 59 balls and drilled the next ball to the extra cover boundary.  He finished the over by placing the next ball to the mid wicket boundary.

Yorkshire head Coach Ottis Gibson said: “Brook makes batting look easy, having him in our team  for the first few games in our batting line-up is going to make a difference.  He comes in every day and is clear and structured about his preparation he  knows what he needs to do and what areas he needs to improve on.”

He then blasted the umpires and said: “The weather has been frustrating for everybody but I feel that we could have started earlier than we did on the days we played.  It’s not going to be perfect in the first week of April but nobody wants to stay inside so I thought the game could have been better managed by the umpires. I also think that we should have played yesterday when we didn’t.”

Lyth turned Mike off his hip for a six to bring up the hundred partnership with Brook which came from 73 balls.  He pulled leg spinner for a six into the East Stand to take him two shy off his ton which he reached off the next ball with a couple.  His ton came from 98 balls with seven fours and two sixes. The partnership  was broken when Lyth give himself some room and slapped Tim Scriven to Currie on the cover boundary.

Mike  got his third wicket of the innings with his first ball after he was brought back into the attack, Jonny Tattersall played across a straight ball and was plumb leg before. After starting the over with a wicket Mike finished the over with another wicket.  Jordan Thompson tried to swing him to leg and was leg before.  Gibson added: “I am pleased for him because he’s a talented player.”

Play finally got underway at 1.35 on the final day after the third day’s play was abandoned without a ball being bowled.  Yorkshire lost their first wicket  to the third ball of the day when George  Hill tried to drive Salisbury but didn’t get any power in his shot and the ball lobbed to Marcus Harris at mid off.

Leicestershire captain Lewis Hill said: “To come here and get 13 points against the favourites for promotion means that it has been a good game for us. We’ve all had some time in the middle.  We have a few all rounders in the team so we can bat down to number nine and ten.  Mike had a fantastic game for us and he’ll have a lot of confidence for the next game.”


April 5, 2024 7:52 pm

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