Jack Leaning, above, top-scored with 47 and chipped in with two wickets but Yorkshire were unable to clear the last hurdle for a place in the Second Eleven Trophy semi-final as they lost to Lancashire by five wickets in front of packed house at Todmorden today.
Yorkshire won the toss and elected to bat, but they were soon in trouble at 10-3 after five overs. Eliot Callis and Jonathan Tattersall went cheaply, and Oliver Robinson followed first ball to leave the White Rose reeling.
Leaning, skipper Dan Hodgson, 43, and Will Rhodes, 42, stitched together a recovery to help the total to 180-7 at the end of the 40 overs. James Wainman contributed a 20-ball cameo, hitting 22 including four boundaries in one Oliver Newby over.
The White Rose made a sensational start after lunch by reducing Lancashire to 16-2. Tattersall took a stunning catch, horizontally at point, to despatch the dangerous Alex Davies for nought, and Lancashire captain Luis Reece followed soon afterwards, caught behind. Both wickets to Moin Ashraf.
Robinson then struck with his second direct-hit run-out in two days as Andrea Agathangelou failed to complete a single, and at 45-3 with three top batsmen gone Yorkshire dared to hope.
This merely brought to the crease Liam Livingstone, who took the game away with the most supreme example of sustained clean hitting and clever batsmanship I have seen. He returned to the pavilion with 121 not out, made from 92 balls with six sixes and 16 fours.
Livingstone did not give a chance during his 94 minutes in the middle, and he hit the ball where the fielders were not. His innings represented 66.48 per cent of the Lancashire total, a remarkable proportion.
Leaning, 2-26, won two late lbw decisions, but it was too little too late and Lancashire had 9.4 overs remaining when Livingstone (who else ?) struck the winning boundary.
The Seconds’ one-day season has finished as it began – with a defeat, but with four wins and a tie in between and with the other two games the victims of weather. The main facet of the season has been the tremendous improvement shown by the team on the field, compared to the last two years.
To be in a position where Yorkshire could have qualified for a semi-final would have been unthinkable in 2011 and 2012. In that improvement the coaches, players and supporters of the White Rose can take enormous pleasure and pride.
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: