Jack Leaning, above, cracked 88 and skipper Azeem Rafiq ran amok with 5-14 as Yorkshire Academy cruised to victory by 172 runs in their Solly Sports Yorkshire ECB County Premier League clash with Castleford at Savile Park.
The rain relented, and play started on time. Rafiq won the toss, elected to bat, and enjoyed a 40 opening stand with Jonathan Tattersall before he skied one to mid-off and Castleford captain Dominic Sharpe took an easy catch.
Enter England Under-19 World Cup player Leaning, who with Tattersall built a partnership of 52. Leaning began in a patient, supportive role, and they stayed together for 26 overs until Tattersall overstretched and was stumped by Kris Ward - playing his first League fixture since joining from Methley. Ward had quite a day, and was responsible for four dismissals.
Tattersall’s 55 took 95 minutes, and was a sound performance on a green wicket. George Ross, who had a very good 2011 season, continued to bat well: he thumped 47 with four straight sixes over the bowler’s head before he, too, was stumped by Ward off Randerson’s off-spin.
210-3 was an impressive score when the home officials were thinking that 150 would be good in the conditions. There was a 10-minute break for rain; further wickets fell, but wicket-keeper Eddie Wilson hit 27 in 17 balls as the visitors pushed on. Eddie had the misfortune to be run out off the last ball of the innings, but the Academy took tea at 246.
The Academy attack gave nothing away. Ben Coad conceded only four runs in his opening six overs, and had Ward lbw with the total on nine. Shaw, Gibson and Rhodes all took wickets, and Castleford struggled to make headway.
It was the skipper’s introduction of his own off-spin which took his side to a comprehensive victory. He bowled 8.2 overs, took 5-14, and none of the last six Castleford batsmen reached double figures. Some fine catches were taken, and Rafiq led by example with three off his own bowling as Castleford’s last six wickets crashed for six runs.
This was a team effort, with five very good batting performances, tight bowling by seamers, and excellent spin bowling supplemented by some fine fielding. This combination led to eight valuable points.
Words and Statistics: HAROLD GALLEY
Solly Sports Yorkshire ECB County Premier League Castleford CC 1st XI v Yorkshire Academy CC 1st XI
Saturday, May 05 2012 (12:00) at Savile Park, Castleford
Yorkshire Academy CC 1st XI Won By 172 runs
Points: Castleford CC 1st XI: 0 Yorkshire Academy CC 1st XI: 8
Yorkshire Academy CC 1st XI won toss and decided to bat