Seconds enjoy superb opening day at York

SCORE | Day 1, Second XI Championship (3 days): Yorkshire Second XI 11 for 2 v Leicestershire Second XI 375 for 9 dec


REPORT | By Pete Johnson

We arrived at York Sports Club, home to York CC for our three-day SEC match against Yorkshire, this being the third of the nine matches in Leicestershire’s 2018 red ball campaign. Of our previous two SEC matches, one was drawn and the other was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

I am told that York Sports Club boasts some of the finest sporting facilities in Yorkshire. It was established in 1966, and the Clifton Park site is home to 4 of York’s Premier Sports Clubs, Cricket, Rugby, Tennis, and Squash.

York CC play in the recently formed Yorkshire Premier League North, and were Champions in 2017. Prior to the Premier League North being formed in Yorkshire, York CC hold the record of being Champions of the Yorkshire Cricket League on 15 occasions.

Their current Coach is Jim Love, ex Yorkshire CCC, and England. There are now 4 Club Cricket Leagues within Yorkshire, each having their own Premier League. The sides that finish top in each of the 4 Leagues go into a Semi Final. One of which is played at Headingley, and the other at Scarborough. The winners of each Semi Final meet in the final at Headingley.

The Scorers are situated on the far side of the ground, some 250 yards from the Pavilion as the crow flies. A York half marathon beckons as the Scorers traverse the outfield at Lunch & Tea in search of much needed, and welcome refreshment.

Leicestershire had an excellent day, racking up 375 for 9 declared with Aadil Ali posting his first Second XI century of the season, finally being dismissed for 114. The middle order gave him excellent support, in the form of Zak Chappell (74), Ben Mike (71*), Tom Wells (41), and Ateeq Javid (41).

In the 6 overs available to County’s bowlers at the end of the day, they reduced Yorkshire to 11-2. Harry Funnell claiming the wickets of both openers. 

Wells skippered Leicestershire, called correctly, and had no hesitation in electing to bat.

It was a very hot summer’s day as the players took to the field. The spectators present were either taking shelter under the trees adjacent to the Scoreboard or sitting beneath the umbrellas on the Clubhouse patio. The outfield had a brown, and scorched appearance in places. The ball would no doubt travel across it like Grease Lightning, but there was no sign of John Travolta or more unfortunately Olivia Newton-John.

Harry Swindells and Charlie Lowen opened up for County but were dismissed with Leicestershire 27-2. Swindells (9) went caught behind by keeper Andrew Hodd off left arm paceman James Wainman. Lowen (12) also went caught by Hodd off seamer Ed Barnes.

Aadil and Wells then set about rebuilding the innings. Aadil and Wells were made to contend with some lifting balls. Aadil was wrapped painfully on the knuckles by a delivery from Barnes that reared up on him. Wells got a boundary down to fine leg that came off his gloves.

Aadil and Wells posted a 50 partnership from 101 deliveries when the score reached 77-2. The first extra of the innings did not come until 29.4 overs, a leg bye. Wells (41) 48b (8x4), (the vast majority of his boundaries coming off seamers Barnes and Jordan Thompson), went bowled by left arm spinner Karl Carver, just before Lunch, County 100-3 from 31.2.

Leicestershire went into Lunch on 100-3 from 33 overs. When walking from our air conditioned Scorebox (yes really, and not air conditioning as in having the door and windows open) we appreciated how hot it was outside. In the fourth over after Lunch Aadil took a blow on the helmet from left arm seamer Wainman. After some on-field treatment he continued, and two balls later drove the same bowler through mid-off for 4.

Aadil brought up his 50 (8x4) from 99b when depositing Wainman to the ropes through mid-wicket. Foxes on 124-3 from 38.5 overs. Chappell was taking a liking to spinners Carver and Rafiq, finding the ropes regularly, taking Carver for two maximums, and Rafiq one maximum. The pair posted a 50 alliance from 77 balls. Chappell went to his 50 (5x4, 3x6) from 59 balls.

The duo brought up their 100 partnership (126b) when Chappell took Rafiq for a maximum over long-off. Aadil was on the receiving end of a considerable amount of short-pitched bowling, but retained his composure, and passed the searching examination he was receiving. Chappell (74, 94b) went bowled by Barnes before Aadil moved to his 100 in spectacular fashion. He was on 91, and took maximums off two consecutive balls from Rafiq, both in the long-on area. Aadil’s 100 (174b, 12x4, 3x6

Ateeq Javid was patiently developing his innings leading up to tea, County going in on 259-4 from 72. Aadil 103* (190b) and Javid 19* (43b). Ben Birkhead took over wicket-keeping duties from Andrew Hodd after the interval. Aadil & Javid posted another half-century partnership for the innings from 79 balls, but Aadil’s splendid innings came to an end when he was on 114, caught at mid-on, halfway back, by Matthew Taylor off Carver.

All-rounder Mike entered the fray and played a lovely innings. Yorkshire took the new ball immediately it was due. Javid (41, 85b) went pinned in front by seamer Matthew Taylor. A further 61 runs were added in the innings of which Mike contributed 49 to go with the 22 he had already accumulated. After 7 overs with the new ball, the Umpires inspected the ball, and duly changed it.

Seamer Taylor swiftly removed Harry Funnell (0) and James Dickinson (0), both caught behind by Birkhead. County 326-8 from 87.4. Mike was playing some excellent shots, through both the on, and off side, including taking Wainman for 3 fours in an over. Shaw & Taylor then operated in tandem, Mike taking them for a brace of maximums each. Anyone old enough to remember that programme on ITV, Police 5, with Shaw Taylor? His catchphrase ‘Keep ‘em Peeled’ which is exactly what yours truly has to do in his daily ‘Scoreathon’.

Mike was stoutly supported by Mo Ahmed who played a cluster of dot balls in supporting the partnership. Mike went to his 50 (45b, 11x4), the score 342-8 from 91.4 overs. Ahmed (3, 24b) went caught at third slip by Taylor off Shaw. In the 96th over both Mike and incoming batsman Jacob Bailey both took Taylor for maximums. Leicestershire declaring on 375-9 from 96. Mike 71* (56b), Bailey 7* (4b).

Between innings we learned that Yorkshire 1st XI’s game against Surrey at Scarborough had been abandoned for the day as a result of bad light. A sea fret had enveloped the ground. My scoring colleague John, whose wife was watching the match at Scarborough, informed him that she had gone back to her hotel for a bath to get warm. A stark contrast of temperatures within some 35 miles.

Yorkshire had 6 overs to negotiate before the close of play. Mike & Funnell took the new ball for County. It was Academy Ace, paceman Funnell, that had the White Rose men in a spot of bother at 11-2. With the final ball of his first over, Funnell had Azeem Rafiq (0) caught at mid-on by Javid.

Then in his third over, the last of the day, Funnell had Hodd excellently caught at cover by James Graham. Graham diving forward to pouch a catch his knuckles scorching the ground. Funnell on fire! That signaled Close of Play for the day, Saf Imtiaz 1*, Yorkshire on 11-2 from 5.3 overs, trailing by 364 runs. Funnell 2-8 from 2.3 overs. Yorkshire 4 points, Leicestershire 4 points. 

* Leicestershire Second XI is next in action at home on Monday (July 2) with two T20 games against Worcestershire Second XI at the Fischer County Ground. Admission is free and the first game gets underway at 11.30am.