Evans ton puts Seconds in command

SECOND XI CHAMPIONSHIP | Leicestershire CCC v Yorkshire CCC

SCORE | Leicestershire CCC 215 for three v Yorkshire CCC 72


REPORT | By Pete Johnson

After Monday’s SET game at Lutterworth, Leicestershire travelled some 12 miles east for a SEC game against Yorkshire. This being the second game of Leicestershire’s 2019 SEC campaign, and also the first of our four visits to Kibworth CC this season.

Upon arrival at Kibworth CC, I went into the scorers’ room to set up my equipment, and there strategically placed on the table was a bag of Werther’s Original. This could only mean thing, that one of the Umpires was Ray Medland. Sincere thanks Raymondo, I shall gratefully consume them over the next three days, whilst watching you from my air-conditioned haven, gliding across the greensward, hopefully beneath a hot beating sun.

Leicestershire CCC had an absolutely excellent day. They dismissed Yorkshire CCC in the pre-lunch session for just 72, and at stumps were handily placed on 215-3. Bowling honours for Leicestershire were shared by Will Davis and Dieter Klein, who both picked up four wickets. Neil Dexter also picked up two wickets with an extremely frugal spell. In the Leicestershire CCC reply, Sam Evans made a magnificent 101 not out, Callum Parkinson giving valuable support with 59 not out.

Arron Lilley skippered Leicestershire for the third game running, two wins so far under the Stewardship of the likeable Lancastrian. His opposite number Josh Poysden called correctly, and chose to bat. It turns out it was not a bad toss to lose. Academy seamer Andrew Jones was making his debut for Leicestershire 2s.

The players took to the field on a lovely sunny mid-May morning, there was a cluster of diehard spectators scattered around the boundary, and on the Pavilion Balcony. I also noticed a few of the top brass from the FCG were in attendance.

Will Fraine and Bilal Anjam opened up for Yorkshire CCC against an opening attack of Gavin Griffiths and Dieter Klein. There were just 15 runs on the Board when Klein operating from the Field End, rattled one into Fraine’s pads, trapping him lbw in the sixth over of the morning.

Yorkshire CCC seamer Matthew Taylor hit the ground running by delivering two coffees to the scorers before half an hour’s play had elapsed. Yorkshire then compiled their highest partnership of the innings - 33 - between Anjam and triallist Oliver Batchelor, who has appeared for Surrey 2s.

Davis had replaced Klein at the Field End, and soon had Anjam (29, 52b) caught behind by keeper Harry Swindells. Yorkshire 48-2 from 15.4 overs. This led to a complete capitulation as they lost their next eight wickets for just 24 runs, inspired bowling by the Leicestershire attack, ably marshalled by skipper Lilley, who played the role of a Foreman in charge of a Demolition Gang, in control of his men at all times.

Dexter replaced Griffiths at the Pavilion End, and 48-2 after 15.4 became 62-6 from 26, with Davis and Dexter in tandem. Jordan Thompson (2, 17b) went expertly caught by Sam Bates, diving forward at short mid-on, off the bowling of Dexter. Academy Member Bates plies his trade as a gloveman in club cricket, but showed he can deliver the goods when the gloves are off.

Next to goes was Batchelor, boy (where’s Cliff Richard when you need him?) what a good delivery from Davis that bowled him. Matthew Fisher was pinned in front by Davis who was now on a hat-trick. Only one run had been added when Arjum Ramkumar (2, 17b) was caught behind by Swindells off Davis. Yorkshire in all sorts of trouble.

Davis ‘the Stafford Stingray’ picking up four wickets for just 12 runs at this stage from seven overs. Let’s not forget Dexter who was plugging away from the Pavilion End. Skipper Lilley replaced Davis with Klein, and the left arm paceman proceeded to bowl a double wicket maiden in his first over back.

With his first ball he had Ben Birkhead (1, 18b) lbw, and with the final ball of the same over bowled former Fox Mathew Pillans (0, 5b) with Yorkshire CCC 71-8 from 30. In Klein’s next over he clean bowled Matthew Taylor (0, 5b). Taylor swift to depart the crease.

Lunch was put on a low light as it was approaching the scheduled 1.15pm interval with Yorkshire nine down. It was fitting that the last wicket should go to Dexter when he had Poysden (1, 6b) caught behind by Swindells. Ed Barnes (5*, 16b). Dexter returning figures of 10.5-5-13-2. Of the 13 runs he conceded 2 were as a result of a no-ball, and a further four runs came from overthrows.

A wonderful performance by the Leicestershire attack, Yorkshire all out in the first session. Superb bowling from Davis 8-3-13-4 and Klein 8-3-20-4. Dexter’s figures as detailed previously. No wickets for Griffiths today, but he has had his fair share of them over the last two matches!

A few of nuggets of information that I picked up/noticed during the morning session. After an hour’s play it was brought to my attention by my colleague John that staunch Yorkshire supporter, and White Rose Legend, affectionately known as The Cheeseman had entered the ground, having made his way down from Leeds via public transport.

The Cheeseman gracing us with his presence as Yorkshire 1st XI had no match on. I am reliably told that The Cheeseman is called as such because of his intriguing digestive ability with regard to the dairy based product. Also, during the morning session I got into detailed conversation with John about his beloved Leeds United. John informed me that he has only missed 49 Leeds United home games since 1963. Great effort, I am in similar territory myself with LCFC.

In our conversation on Leeds United I showed upmost discretion as John is still coming to terms with their recent traumatic play-off defeat to Derby County. My approach was akin to a visiting a good friend in hospital, when you sit at the side of their bed attempting to comfort them (whilst trying not to eat most of the fruit and confectionary that they have been brought!).

Finally, thanks to Clive who presented me with a bag of Sugar Free Werther’s Originals. Mr Medland you have competition on your hands. You don’t have to wear a white coat, and spend half your day standing behind three sticks of wood to get into my good books!

I digress, back to the cricket. Evans and Swindells opened up for Leicestershire, Fisher and Pillans taking the new ball. Evans and Swindells were building a solid foundation, Evans taking five boundaries to Swindells’ one in a partnership of 45. Barnes, storming in from the Pavilion End, bowled Swindells (12, 37b). Dexter (2, 9b) was another victim for Barnes when he was given lbw. Leicestershire 55-2 from 18.3.

Aadil Ali joined Evans, and the pair prospered against the Yorkshire bowling. Evans was playing a terrific opener’s innings including some lovely cover drives and other shots through the off-side, with the occasional pull to leg. Evans was getting his fair share of short stuff especially from Pillans. You have Pillans at 6 foot something, and the diminutive slight frame of Evans. If it were a boxing match it would be akin to a Heavyweight against a Bantamweight. Evans making up in grit, determination, and application what he lacked in height.

Opener Evans went to his half-century (9x4, 112b) when he drove seamer Taylor through the covers for four. Aadil was applying himself well at the other end, not hitting a boundary until the 37th ball he received. Quite unusual for Aadil because if a ball is there to be hit, it will certainly get hit, and a considerable distance too. Leicestershire went into tea at 102 for two from 39 overs, Evans 69*, Aadil 16*. 

The first ball after tea brought up the 50 alliance when Evans clipped Pillans for three. A couple of overs later, Aadil received a blow on the hand from a delivery from Pillans the final ball of an over, took a single, but required on-field treatment. Aadil (23, 66b) was bowled next ball by Barnes.

Evans and Parkinson then shared an unbroken partnership of 101. Evans having taken three from the first ball after tea, then took 19 singles across 19 overs (facing 42 balls) before registering a shot of more than one run. Evans was wearing down the opposition admirably, he was like a role model citizen, never in any trouble whatsoever.

Meanwhile Parkinson was feasting on boundaries going to 46 at a-run-a-ball. Parkinson took boundaries off all the Yorkshire seamers; three off Thompson, and two each off Pillans, Barnes and Taylor.

Milestones in the Evans/Parkinson partnership: 50 partnership from 66b, Parkinson 50 (67b, 9x4). Parkinson faced 21 balls to go from 46 to 50. Probably best known as a left arm spinner, he is aspiring to the role of Middle Order Maestro.

Evans went to a superlative century when he pushed leg-spinner Poysden to the cover area for a single. Evans moved from 50 to 100 (203b, 9x4) without hitting a further boundary. A proper opener’s innings, treating every ball on its merits. Loud prolonged applause rang around the ground in appreciation of a great innings from Evans the Runs.

Five balls later Evans and Parkinson brought up their 100 partnership from 168 balls, the score on 214-3 from 70.1 overs. Only five further balls remained, and at stumps Leicestershire CCC were 215-3 from 71. Evans 101* Parkinson 59*. Leicestershire CCC having a lead of 143 runs with seven wickets in hand. Barnes took all 3 wickets to fall, returning figures of 3-26 from 11.

However, Leicestershire CCC did not take all the honours on the day. The Yorkshire CCC players and coaching staff left them standing when it came to enquiring if the scorers required refreshment. Going forward it remains to be seen if the Foxes can up their game in this department.