So stirring is the White Rose climb to the top of the LV County Championship table that it is possible to overlook the challenging performances by Yorkshire Seconds – who have just recorded their fifth win in all formats for the season.
They overcame Nottinghamshire by four wickets in the first half of a Twenty20 double bill at Headingley, although the second half was ruined by rain.
Game 1: Yorkshire’s Azeem Rafiq won the toss and opted to field in this first game of the 2013 competition. They restricted Nottinghamshire to a decent but gettable 149-6, with Graeme Whiles to the fore, taking 2-10 in three overs. Each delivery was straight enough to bowl the batsman. Ryan Gibson also had a good return of 2-12 from his two overs; WillRhodes had 1-32, and a Ryan Gibson run-out ensured that the Outlaws never got away.
Nottinghamshire’s only partnership of note was for the third wicket – 105 between Sam Kelsall, 65, and Graeme White, 45, but they were at least restricted to an awful lot of singles as their stand progressed.
Yorkshire’s reply did not get off to the most fluid start as they found themselves reduced to 43-3, with Dan Hodgson, Gibson and Eddie Wilson all dismissed cheaply. Then the hosts found two batsmen who could stay and score – Jack Leaning made 25, and skipper Rafiq 49 as he again tested out his repaired knee. They took the total to 120-4 but, as so often this season, both went within a few runs of each other.
Yorkshire were suddenly 121-5 with Rhodes and Gurman Randhawa each still to score. Neither appeared to feel the pressure as they advanced to within seven of victory before Rhodes was caught. Randhawa finished on 19 not out from 10 deliveries, and Matthew Fisher hit the only ball he faced straight back over the bowler`s head to the boundary.
This is the third year of the Second Eleven T20 competition – and this is Yorkshire`s first win after eight defeats and eight abandonments. This team has now won five games in all formats this year – as many as the Seconds have managed in the whole of the last two seasons.
Game 2: Yorkshire again won the toss and asked Nottinghamshire to take first knock. This time they set out to build a much more defendable total, and were on course to do so at 166-4 from 19 overs. The rain arrived, and in spite of a promised restart with the match reduced to 19 overs per side and a Duckworth-Lewis target of 170 no further play was possible.
The home bowlers found life harder second time, although Karl Carver, who replaced Randhawa for this game, had 2-32 from his four overs. JoshShaw took 1-17 and Lewis Stabler 1-23, but these were the only successes. Sam Kelsall and Adam Tillcock, both 39 not out, had added 80 for the fifth wicket when the rain came, and Yorkshire would probably have had to chase nearer 180 than 170 if the innings had ended normally.
Each team pocketed one point for no result game, but Yorkshire, with three points over the two games, would have gone home the happier.
The Second Eleven scores are available via Total Cricket Live Scores. Here’s how to keep up with scorer and Yorkshire County Cricket Club website correspondent HOWARD CLAYTON: