ON A DAY when two Yorkshire players were named among the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year, no clear candidate to replace them in next year’s edition of the cricket bible emerged from the White Rose ranks on day two of their warm-up fixture against the students of Leeds and Bradford Universities.
Yorkshire bowled the students out for 202 just before the tea break, and reached 126-6 by stumps to set up an intriguing final day.
With Leeds/Bradford resuming on 46-0 overnight, Tim Bresnan broke a strong opening partnership when he trapped Henry Thompson lbw without adding to his score from yesterday.
Jack Brooks claimed two quick wickets with full-pitched deliveries to put Yorkshire in a dominant position after the first hour.
Billy Root, brother of the England and Yorkshire star, batted well in partnership with all-rounder George Scott, but they were tied down well by a rejuvenated Yorkshire pace attack, and Root was bowled by Patterson, whose flawless line and length manufactured the breakthrough.
The late order of the Leeds/Bradford team did their best to build a partnership that would recover the situation, but Yorkshire’s bowlers struck at regular intervals to keep their studious opposition in their place.
Karl Carver bowled with discipline and control, and Brooks and Patterson gave the batsmen very little width to work with. Brooks also delivered for Yorkshire in the field, producing a deadly direct hit to remove the Leeds/Bradford captain Alex Lilley, who was trying to sneak a single off a drive to mid-on.
With the score at 141-8, the University side were in danger of not reaching the follow-on target of 179 (for a three-day match). However, the superbly-named Joe Sukhdev Edwin Ellis-Grewal, who was down to bat at number eleven on the original scorecard, top-scored with 42 off 65 balls to take his side to a highly respectable 202 all out.
In partnership with Liam Watkinson and then Doug Pratt, Ellis-Grewal showed enterprise and daring with the bat, and offered a few chances early on in his innings. After Watkinson was hit in front of his stumps by Steve Patterson, the slow left-armer decided that it was time to cast off the shackles that had tied down the recognised batsmen in his side.
Impatient with the controlled bowling of Karl Carver, Ellis-Grewal struck two punchy fours off the opening deliveries of the 74th over, and then lofted Carver over his head for the first six of the match. He kept out two quicker deliveries, before perishing to an audacious attempt at a reverse-sweep. It was the most exciting over of the match, and the final one of the Leeds/Bradford first innings.
Alex Lees was given out lbw before the tea break, despite being struck high on the pad and being well down the pitch; he was visibly disappointed with the decision. After tea, Rhodes went on a campaign of steady accumulation in a bid to secure his spot for Yorkshire’s first County Championship game against Worcestershire on Sunday. However, Joe Ellis-Grewal deceived him in flight and he was bowled for just 18.
He then added Dan Hodgson to his list of victims when the right-hander missed a swipe and was pinned lbw.
Jack Leaning and Andrew Gale rebuild comfortably for Yorkshire, and looked to be set for the close until Gale drove loosely outside off stump and was pouched at second slip by Logan Weston. A flurry of wickets followed as the hosts searched for quick runs, with Leaning and Hodd perishing before the close. With Yorkshire already 253 in front, an early declaration tomorrow could lead to an exciting final day.