Dominant 2s put Yorkshire under pressure

SECOND XI CHAMPIONSHIP | Leicestershire CCC v Yorkshire CCC

SCORE | Leicestershire CCC 389 v Yorkshire CCC 72 and 128 for six

SCORECARD | Available HERE

REPORT | By Pete Johnson

As I entered my room in preparation for day two of the SEC game between Leicestershire CCC and Yorkshire CCC, I noticed that yet another bag of Werther’s Originals had been left on my desk. Sincere thanks Ray.

Before play started I was having a stroll around the ground, and noticed the silhouette of Dan Nice at the front of the Pavilion. I immediately put a sense of urgency into my stride, to return to my work station, as Dan is a somewhat Big Cheese (Editor’s note – I’m not sure about that, more a Babybel mini!) on the cricket side of things at the FCG. I can ill-afford to let Dan know that I am not always feverishly beavering away at all hours of the day whilst at the cricket (Editor’s note – I know cricket gets in the way of eating, Pete, but flattery will get you everywhere!).

Also, you may recall that in yesterday’s Report we were graced with the legend that is The Cheeseman. I was reliably informed that before play started said The Cheeseman was only at the ground for 40 minutes yesterday before taking public transport back to Leeds.

Leicestershire CCC had another superb day, being totally dominant over their visitors from Yorkshire. Leicestershire CCC continued their innings, were dismissed for 389, and reduced Yorkshire to 128-6 at stumps, a lead of 189 runs. Sam Evans posted a career-best score for the 2s making 146. This eclipsed his previous Second XI highest score of 135 made against Derbyshire at Chesterfield last season. Lovely to see homegrown talent blossoming.

It was another warm mid-May morning when the players took to the field. There was a good gathering of spectators present, the Yorkshire supporting gentleman from Doncaster having made the journey down the A1/M18/M1 for the third day running (Editor’s note: it’s a well-travelled path).

Leicestershire CCC resumed on 215-3 from 71 overs, Evans 101*, Callum Parkinson 59*. In the second over of the morning Parkinson (61, 111b) was on his way, caught at first slip by Jordan Thompson off the bowling of off-spinner Jack Shutt. Arron Lilley joined Evans, and the pair posted a half-century partnership from 84 balls.

Lilley took the dominant role in the alliance by contributing 41 of the 50 runs. Even in red ball cricket Lilley generally ticks over at around a-run-a-ball. Yorkshire took the new ball as soon as it was due, but it took them nine overs to make a breakthrough. The immediate introduction of the new cherry holding no fears for Evans or Lilley.

Skipper Lilley (47, 52b) went caught behind by keeper Ben Birkhead off seamer Matthew Fisher. Leicestershire 286-5 from 89 overs. Sam Bates joined Evans, and had an opportunity at last to be in a position to build an innings. All of Bates’ previous visits to the crease for the Second XI have been in 50-over games when only a few overs or balls remained.

Bates stood up to the plate admirably, taking five boundaries before lunch, four of them off seamer Ed Barnes, who had accounted for three of the top four of Leicestershire’s batsman. A cover drive to the ropes by Bates off Barnes was textbook perfection.

Opener Evans, meanwhile, was still there dealing mainly in singles. Evans again playing a proper openers innings. Geoffrey Boycott would have been purring in admiration at watching Evans digging in, and being entirely comfortable playing dot balls. Sam ‘Duracell’ Evans’ marathon innings came to an end in the penultimate over before lunch when he was caught at mid-on by Fisher off seamer Jordan Thompson.

Evans (146, 296b), Evans hit 10 boundaries in his innings, played out 209 dot balls, and took 55 singles. Whilst in the field Yorkshire’s Batchelor’s eyes were everywhere, he did not know which way to turn, seeing so many singles. Evans walking tall on his return to the Pavilion, getting generous applause from all the spectators, and from his colleagues on the balcony. I even put the old mitts together in appreciation myself.

Leicestershire CCC went into lunch on 353 for six from 105. Bates 28*, Dieter Klein 10*. Klein facing five ball before lunch in harvesting those runs. Bates’ (35, 71b) innings came to an end in the seventh over after lunch when he attempted a reverse-sweep off leg spinner Josh Poysden, and was caught at slip by Thompson.

A couple of overs later, Klein (36, 38b) was on his way, bowled by Poysden. A good contribution from Klein whose knock gave some late impetus to the innings. The end was nigh however as Will Davis (2,10b) went lbw to Thompson, and Nat Bowley (0, 2b) was bowled in the same over by Thompson. Gavin Griffiths (1* 11b).

Leicestershire CCC all out for 389 from 117 overs at 2.41pm. Wicket-takers for Yorkshire were: Thompson 3-43 from 17, Barnes 3-50 from 16, Poysden 2-60 from 22, Shutt 1-51 from 15 and Fisher 1-66 from 20.  Leicestershire taking a first innings lead of 317 runs.

Will Fraine and Bilal Anjam opened up for the White Rose County, Klein and Griffiths taking the new ball. Skipper Lilley made a double bowling change after 10 overs, and it soon paid dividends. Fraine (12, 39b) went caught at short extra cover by Evans off the bowling of Neil Dexter. Yorkshire 27-1 off 14.

Fraine’s opening partner Anjam (17, 69b) went eight overs later, bowled by an absolute jaffa from Dexter. Yorkshire 40 for two from 22. Dexter and Davis then proceeded to bowl five maidens on the trot, three from Davis and two from Dexter. Yorkshire number three Batchelor was having a good close look at the maidens! His partner Thompson was by no means a wallflower either.

Yorkshire CCC went into tea on 45 for two from 24 overs. In the fifth over after tea, Batchelor (23 51b) was pinned lbw by Klein. The score on 58-3 from 28.1 overs. A partnership of 44 then ensued between Thompson and Arjun Rankumar.

Thompson, when on 8, was spilled at second slip off the bowling of Klein. The fielder admonished himself by banging his hands down repeatedly on the ground in frustration with himself. I won’t name names but it was a somewhat difficult chance, low down, for a gentleman who has a beard, but his Christian name and surname do not have the same initials. Good to see that commitment.

Thompson (27, 49b) eventually went caught behind by Harry Swindells off the bowling of Davis. In the next but one over Fisher (0, 8b) was bowled by Davis. Yorkshire 104-5 from 44.5. In the final over of the day, from the fourth ball, Ramkumar (29, 84b) was caught behind by Swindells off Griffiths.

Birkhead (10*, 35b). Yorkshire into stumps on 128-6 from 55.4, overs trailing by 189 runs. Wicket-takers for Leicestershire: Dexter 2-19 off 11, Davis 2-29 off 13, Griffiths 1-23 off 10.4 and Klein 1-43 off 15.

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