A murderous 130 not out by former Yorkshire all-rounder Victor Craven, pictured, was too much for the Academy as they went down on their Solly Sports ECB Yorkshire County Premier League visit to Harrogate.
Craven, who played for Yorkshire from 2000 to 2004 and figured in the 2002 Cheltenham and Gloucester Cup final triumph over Somerset at Lord’s, took one of only two Academy wickets to fall before lashing 10 fours and eight sixes in Harrogate’s victorious run chase.
Academy skipper Alex Lees won the toss, decided to bat and things looked good for the youthful side as Lees and James McNichol enjoyed an opening partnership of 84.
McNichol hit four fours in his 30 before he was caught behind by James Tattersall off Craven. A stoppage of 91 minutes did not help Yorkshire’s cause, and Lees was trying to force the pace when he was lbw to Nick Taylor for 74 in 111 balls. It was a very good knock: Lees ran well between the wickets and played some fine cover shots.
147-1 off 40 overs, and there was a need to step up the scoring rate.
A second-wicket partnership of 64 took the Academy to 147-2 in 39.5 overs, and George Ross and Jack Leaning pushed it on – Ross hitting eight fours and three sixes in his 81 not out and Leaning undefeated on 26 as they declared at 221-2 with three overs still to go.
Harrogate started slowly as Pryor and Alex Twigg compiled 22 in six overs before Twigg was well caught at deep-square-leg by Girling off James Wainman. A stand of 31 by Pryor and Craven kept the scoreboard moving, but the pace of the innings was slow and an unusually slow knock by the usually aggressive skipper, Ryan Bradshaw, seemed to indicate draw.
Bradshaw was caught at deep-square-leg by Wainman off Girling, and two more wickets fell to left-armer Wainman – John Proud caught by McNichol and James Tattersall yorked. The middle-order scored at just over a run a ball, but Craven played a typically aggressive innings: his 100 came with a huge six over extra-cover in 81 balls and 101 minutes.
Only Wainman with an economy rate of 4.11 limited Harrogate’s progress. Craven cut the medium-pace attack to ribbons, and victory came with three overs to spare in a match scheduled to finish at 7.30 because of the hour and a half lost to rain.
Strangely enough, no Yorkshire spinner was used, and one wonders whether the away team should have completed their 55 overs. That decision would, I feel, have seen the Academy gain their first points of the season.
Solly Sports Yorkshire ECB County Premier League Harrogate CC 1st XI v Yorkshire Academy CC 1st XI
Saturday, May 07 2011 (12:00) at St Georges Road, Harrogate
Harrogate CC 1st XI won by five wickets
Yorkshire Academy CC 1st XI won toss and decided to bat