Ahmed & Hill in form for Seconds

SCORE | Day 2, Second XI Friendly (4 days): Leicestershire Second XI 205-3 v Yorkshire Second XI 401


REPORT | By Pete Johnson

Another cloudy but warm day greeted us when we arrived at Kibworth CC for day two of the SEF4 between Leicestershire CCC and Yorkshire CCC. The Kibworth groundsman, his helpers, and Catering Volunteers were all hard at work well before 9.00am in the morning.

After struggling a little on day one, Leicestershire CCC came out fighting on day two, having much the better of the day’s play. County snapped up the remaining six wickets of Yorkshire CCC innings, in the morning session, for the addition of just 89 runs.

Yorkshire CCC all out for 401 with Mo Ahmed weighed in with figures of four for 77 from 24 overs. In reply Leicestershire CCC were 205-3 at close of play. This was thanks to a good performance from the middle order, with Lewis Hill finishing on 81 not out, ably supported by Hassan Azad on 29 not out. Aadil Ali had earlier weighed in with a valuable 46.

There were a good number of spectators present, many more than yesterday, when the players took to the field. Yorkshire CCC resuming from their overnight 312-4 with James Wharton 155* and Jordan Thompson 49*.

Hishaam Khan and Aristides Karvelas opened the attack for County. Thompson went to his half century (61b, 9x4) in the second over of the morning. However, two balls later Thompson (53) went caught in the square-leg area by Mo Ahmed off Karvelas. The big lad’s first wicket for Leicestershire 2s.

At this juncture, you can now take it somewhat for granted, I took delivery of an offering of a bag of vanilla fudge, and a bag of jelly babies from an esteemed spectator. No names mentioned, but Roger the Dodger strikes again! He always has a joke to tell you as well. Thinking the day could not get any better Jordan Thompson, who had only been dismissed a few minutes earlier, immediately provided two morning coffees for John (YCCC Scorer) and myself. Great effort Thommo…

Josh Shaw joined Wharton, and Karvelas struck again when he had Shaw (7, 30b) caught behind by keeper Harry Swindells. Yorkshire CCC 330-6 from 107.5 overs. In the next over James Wharton’s superb innings came to an end when he was caught in the gully/backward point area by Aadil Ali off Khan.

Wharton’s 162 (346b, 25x4) was an innings of application and concentration, extremely commendable for a player of just 17 years of age. Ben Coad and Ed Barnes were now together, and added a partnership of 56 for the eighth wicket. Their 50 alliance came up from 62 balls. During the partnership Barnes when on 8, had somewhat of a let off.

A throw from Sam Evans at mid off made a direct hit on the stumps, at the bowler’s end, when a quick single was being taken. The decision not out was given despite a confident appeal from Evans and other fielders in the immediate vicinity. An Umpire has to be 100% correct in his mind when making a decision. Difficult with the naked eye - but very easy when on screen replays are available.

The Coad/Barnes partnership was broken when Barnes (22, 40b) was bowled by Ahmed. Yorkshire CCC 392-8 from 122.2 overs. Three balls later ‘Merlin’ Mo struck again when he had Yorkshire CCC Skipper Jared Warner (0) 3b caught at short-leg by Azad. The Luncheon Interval due, nine down, so put the grub on a low light. Three minutes after Lunch was due to be taken at 12.30pm, County wrapped up the innings when Nat Bowley trapped Karl Carver (3) 19b in front. Yorkshire CCC 401 all out from 127.3 overs.

BO ‘Stinker’ Coad 42 not out from 55 balls. A resolute innings from Coad, who I will respectfully refer to as ‘Morse’ from now on, rather than ‘Stinker’. Great effort from the Leicestershire bowlers this morning capturing the final six Yorkshire CCC wickets for 89 runs. Excellent spells today from Kavelas 7-1-17-2, Khan 8-4-15-1, Ahmed 8-2-24-2, and Bowley 4.3-2-3-1. Ahmed the leading wicket taker in the innings picking up 4-77 from 24 overs. Figures for other wicket-takers in the innings: Khan 2-46 from 17, Karvelas 2-81 from 27, Bowley 1-33 from 22.3, and Butchart 1-20 from 5.

Swindells and Evans opened up for Leicestershire against a strong opening pace attack of Coad and Shaw. The pair did very well to see off the experienced Yorkshire opening bowlers. Left arm spinner James Logan replaced Shaw at the Field End, and with his third ball trapped Swindells (15, 38b) in front. County 29-1 from 11.3 overs.

Harry Josephs, much respected Wingman of Communication & Media Mogul Dan Nice, had made an appearance at the ground, and demonstrated there was much more to his game than posting LCCC news on Twitter, taking a photograph here and there, and knocking up the odd century for Leicester Ivanhoe. The man found time in his demanding schedule to furnish the Scorers with a cup of tea. He will go far. No, I didn’t say the further the better (just thought it) #smileyemoji.

Aadil Ali joined Evans, the pair adding 30 for the second wicket. Evans (22, 74b) went bowled off stump by left arm spinner Karl Carver. County 59-2 from 24.3 overs. Evans dealing confidently, and competently with the pace attack, but falling to another left arm spinner as did Swindells.

Hill joined Aadil, and the pair developed a profitable partnership. Aadil, after a cautious start, started to take on the bowling, the Master Blaster depositing his regulation maximum in the process, launching off-spinner Jack Leaning over long on.

The duo took Leicestershire into tea on 85-2 from 32. Aadil 30*, Hill 14*.  In the tenth over after tea, Aadil (46, 96b) was caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary by Barnes off Leaning. An excellent catch by Barnes taken above his head whilst on the move. If a fielder is going to take a worldie there is an even money chance that Aadil will be on the receiving end. Leicestershire CCC now 117-3 from 41.4 overs.

Azad joined Hill, and the pair forged a partnership that put County on the launch pad to close in on the Yorkshire CCC total. Hill went to his 50 (71b, 5x4) with the score on 156-3 from 56.3 overs, playing a superb cut shot to the ropes off paceman Warner to go to his half-century.

When the Lutterworth Legend calls time on his cricketing career, the role of a pro golfer surely awaits as, I have observed many times, he never misses the cut. Hill and Azad brought up their 50 partnership from 105 deliveries. Both Hill and Azad being subject to their fare share of ‘chin music’ late in the day from the deceptively quick Warner.

Both batsman looked untroubled, and unnerved by the hostility of Warner. Hill and Azad brought up their 50 partnership from 105 balls, when the score reached 168-3 from 59.1. When Azad is at the crease, early in his innings, there is no danger of any Flying Pickets appearing at the ground as his strike rate is always very low. His bat is like blotting paper eagerly soaking up the balls. You may have heard of Rahul ‘The Wall’ Dravid, well Azad would make a fine understudy for the role.

We also had the unusual sight of a short gully kneeling when the left-handed Azad was facing left arm spinner Carver. A regular occurrence I was told, but the first time I had witnessed a fielder adopt this practice. From the third ball of the last over of the day Hill had the audacity to launch a no-ball from Leaning over mid wicket for a maximum, the ball disappearing out of the ground.

Hill taking Leaning for a towering maximum, and getting a pisa the action. Leicestershire CCC closed on 205-3, from 66 overs. Hill 81* (102b), Azad 29* (88b). Leicestershire CCC trailing by 196 runs. Hill racking up a score of 80 plus to go with the 80 he got up at Chesterfield in the second innings of the SEC game a couple of weeks ago.

* The third day’s play is due to start at 10.30am at Kibworth CC. Admission is free for all four days.