Joe Root, above, led the way for Yorkshire Second Eleven with 131 including 21 fours in the first innings of their Championship match against MCC Young Cricketers at Radlett, and left-hand spinner Gurman Randhawa took seven wickets in the match as Yorkshire won by eight wickets and came home with 24 points.
DAY 1: With a century and fifty in the last Championship match, Root continued to reap his harvest of runs as he scored his second century of the season - the backbone of Yorkshire’s innings. He lost three partners before he reached 50, but the fall of Alex Lees saw the entrance of Lee Hodgson.
The fourth-wicket partnership began 50 minutes before lunch - by which time it was worth 36 - and it continued until 3.50pm, when Hodgson, with his third 50 on the trot, was leg-before to Paul Muchall’s second ball.
How often does an irregular bowler break a long-standing partnership? More times than you could count! And how many times is the dismissal of one partner followed by that of the other? Root lost his wicket five overs after Hodgson’s when he was tempted out of his crease by Tim Johnston and smartly stumped.
A 35-run partnership between David Wainwright and debutant Alex Lilley took the innings past the tea interval before Alex became Johnston’s second victim. Jordan Lowe came and went an over later, and James Lee joined Wainwright. The declaration came 14 overs later when they had added 74 runs and Yorkshire had four batting points in the bag.
Six overs remained to be bowled. Lee, straight from his batting stint, cajoled Omar Ali into giving Root a fairly straightforward catch at second slip - the only success before stumps.
DAY 2: A long day in the field for Yorkshire – but not without reward as 14 wickets were captured. MCC Young Cricketers were bowled out in their first innings for 198 – five below the follow-on target – and captain John Blain had no hesitation in enforcing it.
Five wickets went down in the morning – one each to five of the six bowlers tried. The unlucky bowler? Blain sent down eight overs without success, trying as hard as anyone to take that elusive wicket. A slip catch acclaimed by all who saw it - Root diving well to his right – despatched former Durham batsman Muchall, and a reaction catch at forward-short-leg for the helmeted Lees removed opener Iain Cockbain for 46 in the last over before lunch.
Eighty-five minutes after the interval he innings was over: a couple of leg-befores, a stumping and a run-out helped the tally of wickets - Randhawa being the most successful bowler with three victims, and there were two each for Wainwright and Lee.
There were 40 minutes and 10 overs to go before tea: a couple of dozen runs were scored but, most importantly for the Rosebuds, three more wickets were taken. The first fell in the second over: Cockbain, a refugee from the Red Rose county, was caught behind, and four balls later Ali was leg-before. Stephen Baugh was caught, but after tea came a mini-revival.
An hour-long 50-run partnership between Muchall and wicket-keeper Ed Eckersley had Eckersley as the main run-getter before he holed out to deep-backward-square-leg. A similar partnership with Muchall as the main man and Tom Lewis saw the hosts through to the close without further loss.
MCC Young Cricketers are less than a couple of dozen behind, but a comfortable victory is on the horizon for Yorkshire! A good night’s sleep should refresh the bowlers and deepen their resolve to capture the last six wickets without conceding too many.
DAY 3: Six wickets fell in all but quarter of an hour of the morning – Randhawa taking three of them and Wainwright two…and three catches for Ben Sanderson at extra-cover.
Muchall and Lewis added three dozen runs to make their stand worth 90 before Lewis was dismissed after 35 minutes. Wickets were then taken at regular intervals - no partnership was worth more than 23, and that was that. Root, in his guise of closing bowler, ended the innings by having the last man caught by the ultra safe hands of extra-cover.
Yorkshire’s target was 71 to win, with all the time in the world in which to do it…or rather the 61 overs remaining. First, there was one over to bat before lunch! Without mishap, as it turned out.
Root scored 43 of the runs required – but he lost two partners in the process. Callum Geldart and Charlie Roebuck were both caught - Geldart in Keiran Garside’s first over and Roebuck off the bowling of West Indian Jason Dawes. Sadly, it was a “pair” for Charlie…surely his luck will change in the next match?
Root’s third partner, Lees, saw them safely through to the target. A win by eight wickets earned the Rosebuds the full 24 points for the first time this season.
The Seconds have nothing on the agenda for the next two weeks. Their next matches are against Worcestershire at Bingley for one-day, followed by three days at Todmorden. Similar results to this week will confirm the team’s improvement. See you there?
Second XI Championship MCC Young Cricketers v Yorkshire
Tuesday, July 06 2010 (11:00) at Brunton Memorial Ground, Radlett