Left-hand Yorkshire opener Alex Lees, above, finished nine short of what would have been his fourth century of the season yesterday – not because he was out, but because the Academy ran out of runs to get.
Academy continued their winning start to 2013 when they thrashed Sheffield United by 10 wickets at Weetwood in the Yorkshire ECB County Premier League with skipper Lees and fellow opener Jonathan Tattersall chasing down a target of 148 unaided.
Yorkshire picked up six points for this magnificent victory – and now have 14 after two games to put them in joint second place with York. Harrogate are two points ahead.
The morning had been wet in Leeds, but play was delayed by only 10 minutes, a remarkable effort by the lone groundsman. Lees won the toss, and had no hesitation in asking Sheffield to take first knock on a greenish-looking wicket. Sheffield opened with the Cummins brothers, both of whom had brief connections with the county. Both found the going hard against the Academy’s battery of six seamers.
Wickets fell steadily, but Mark Cummins stayed and, along with Dean Smith, added over 100 for the sixth wicket. Once that partnership had been broken the runs again were reduced to a trickle, and United closed on 1476, a total generally felt to be 80 or 90 short of being competitive.
Yorkshire spinners Karl Carver and Jonathan Tattersall were given an outing, and Carver, whose figures of 14-0-59-1 did not convey his worth on paper, did not reap the reward of the good deliveries he did send down.
Ben Coad led the way with two wickets, and Josh Shaw took one, as did Matthew Fisher and Ryan Gibson. Lees took three catches in the slips, and Barney Gibson was particularly athletic behind the stumps with his two catches.
Yorkshire needed barely 21 overs to score the 148 required – the first over gifting them 12 runs, and they never looked back. Lees walked in agonizingly on 91 not out out, Tattersall’s undefeated 41 from fewer deliveries was not to be underestimated for its fluency and grace. Jonathan looked a prospect and a half.
We regret that technical troubles have prevented us from bring you Howard Clayton’s scorecard.