We crossed the Pennines into Yorkshire for the next day of our tour, to see Yorkshire host Leicestershire at fortress Headingley. The home side batted first as captain Alex Lees again performed well, forming good partnerships with Hodd and Maxwell, the latter batting aggressively right from the off. Will Rhodes joined Lees as Yorkshire built a strong platform to set up a score of 198-2 with 15 overs to go.
The Yorkshire faithful were vocal and supportive, strongly partisan and yet respectful of the opposition; they had much to cheer about and hoped for another win to go towards sealing a quarter final spot.
The Foxes responded well however, with Raine, McKay and Sheikh bowling tightly, picking up wickets at regular intervals. Despite Yorkshire’s long batting line up, they failed to put together a real partnership through the death overs as the home side (missing Brooks, Ballance and Plunkett) ended on a par score of 277/9 giving Leicestershire a real chance of pulling of a big upset.
Perhaps the highlight of the day was the great unveiling of the Dickie Bird’s players balcony in the pavilion, a £125,000 investment (How Much?!). Hundreds of Yorkshire supporters crowded round the pavilion eager to see the new addition to Headingley. The ridiculously priced balcony does little to improve the image of the cumbersome pavilion, of which there are few that look worse across the country.
Leicestershire began their reply strongly through Angus Robson and Mark Cosgrove. A strong start would put pressure on a young, weakened Yorkshire bowling line up led by Steven Patterson and the out-of-form Tim Bresnan. Cosgrove fell to Mathew Fisher’s first ball to the delight of the roaring home fans but the visiting side only lost one further wicket in the next 25 overs and the home support fell silent, perhaps in shock more than anger. The frustration grew despite the required run rate climbing as Angus hung around, getting closer to a deserved century.
Ultimately he fell for a career best, composed 90 that gave his team a real chance of winning if the middle and lower order could score. Cameos from Raine and Burgess gave hope to the away team but as the rate went steadily up, Yorkshire were tight in the ascendancy. Ex-England man Bresnan was poor, drawing heavy criticism from the fans around us whilst Will Rhodes capped an excellent game bowling very well at the death. Yorkshire won by 31 runs at the end, the Foxes’ batting just letting them down.
We were treated to a big shock at Burley Park train station as we spotted Deep Extra Cover’s Nick Sharland! Nervously we delayed too long and missed our chance to thank one of DEC’s journalists for hosting our blog.
A quick reminder: the aim of this trip is to raise money for Shooting Star Chase Hospice, Middlesex CCC’s official charity partner, who do tremendous work in bettering the lives of children and their families for kids with terminal illnesses. They need £9.5 million a year to maintain their brilliant service, and we would highly appreciate it if you could help them to continue their care, by donating here:
Or texting to 70070: RLOD50, followed by either £1, £2, £5 or £10.