Silly batting mistakes cost Yorkshire Academy victory over Rotherham Town and the chance to become leaders of the Solly Sports ECB Yorkshire County Premier League.
Jack Hughes, above, who was caught one short of his 50, and Jack Hargreaves, 46, looked to have clinched it with a fourth-wicket stand of 108 after the Academy had restricted Rotherham to 191-8 in the 55 overs.
Rotherham chose to bat – but stuttered to 67-6 after early breakthroughs by skipper John Blain, 2-36, and left-hand spinner Gurman Randhawa, 4-49. Rotherham needed the middle-order to establish themselves and occupy the crease, but the Academy bowlers should have found further success.
Gerrad Rudolph, 87 - brother of Yorkshire’s vice-captain, Jaques - and Ben Sanderson, 35, put on 71, and a ninth-wicket partnership was worth 27 . Hargreaves could not bowl because of an ankle injury, and once the middle-order dug in the attack was mediocre.
The target was under 3.5 per over, but the Academy needed a good start. Randhawa, opening in the absence of Callum Geldart fell, was caught at mid-off with the score on 11, and debutant George Ross, 11, went at 31. The batting looked exposed when at 47 opener Alex Lees was caught for 25.
The more experienced batsmen Hargreaves and Hughes pulled it round with a century stand, and with nine overs remaining the rate required was four per over. Rotherham shoulders began to droop, and the fielders looked tired.
Unexplainedly, Hargreaves tried to clear the infield ring - but placed the ball in the hands of long-off. Jack Leaning, 15, batting low down the order, then fell to a very good catch by Sanderson off his own bowling. Two silly run-outs followed, and the opportunity to claim yet another eight-point win was lost.
The full 55 overs were bowled, and the Academy ended up nine runs short. They claimed two points – but eight were there for the taking. The chance to become League leaders was lost.
Solly Sports Yorkshire ECB County Premier League Rotherham Town CC 1st XI v Yorkshire Academy CC 1st XI
Monday, May 31 2010 (12:00) at Clifton Lane
Rotherham Town CC 1st XI Won By 9 runs
Points: Rotherham Town CC 1st XI: 6 Yorkshire Academy CC 1st XI: 0
Rotherham Town CC 1st XI won toss and decided to bat