This is the day of all the year! The day when Yorkshire really could have silverware on the table! Yorkshire Academy play Scarborough at Weetwood in the final of the Solly Sports ECB Yorkshire County Premier League Cup – so be there for 12 noon.
Are the Academy on form? They despatched Castleford by six wickets at Savile Park yesterday (Saturday) to retain a handy fourth place in the League – thanks to 5-59 from spinner Jonathan Tattersall, followed by a masterful 91 from skipper and opening batsman Alex Lees. An incomplete win, because Castleford were not bowled out – but still six points and a timely boost for today’s Final.
Lees lost the toss; Castleford took strike, and with James Wainman taking over 12th-man duties it was left to Josh Shaw and Jonathan Moxon to open the attack. This combination was to Brayden Clark and Shaun Le Roux’s liking as they advanced to 51 opening partnership, but the medium-pace of Matthew Fisher, only 13, broke the stand when Le Roux’s rash shot was taken by George Ross in the covers. Mathew was limited to a spell of four overs – but he bowled a miserly spell, finishing with 1-7.
Pace gave way to spin and Tattersall – who plays for England Schools’ Cricket Association at Lord’s next Monday – had Hopkinson caught by Ross. Jamie Pickering and Australian Clark put on a useful 50, but an accurate throw by Leaning ran out Pickering. Castleford captain Dominic Sharp was Tattersall’s second victim after adding 23 with Brayden.
Andrew Chadwick stayed with Clark for 11 overs to add 47 runs, but he was a Tattersall’s third victim when he was caught by Eddie Wilson. John Randerson was the first of two catches for Jack Leaning - again to Tattersall – and Will Simpson was the second as he tried to push the score along, this time off Ross.
The eighth and last wicket to fall was on 198, when Ross caught Clark to end his controlled innings of 91. It was Clark who was largely responsible for pushing the total above the 200 mark, but the Academy’s spin attack and fielding are to be praised for restricting Castleford to 224-8.
Lees and Tattersall looked untroubled for 19 overs in running up 83 for the first wicket – but a rash call by Tattersall was his downfall as Sharp’s throw ran him out by a yard. Leaning and Lees looked on top of Castleford spinners Randerson and Hopkinson, but another rush of blood saw Leaning stumped by Andrew Chadwick.
Jason Pitcher had to retire after being struck on the head but Ross, fresh from his century in the Under-17 National final at Leicester, enjoyed a fine partnership of 64 with Lees until, with his score on 40, he edged Hopkinson to Chadwick. The Academy needed 55 as Wilson joined Lees: his judgment of a run was excellent, and the pair soon rattled up 40.
Lees, who had scored 814 League runs this season, was in excellent form, but he would have been angry with himself when at last he played a rash stroke off Randerson and was stumped by Chadwick. His was a superb knock of 91 in 146 balls, with six fours and three excellent straight sixes. Only 17 needed – but a minor hiccup as Henry Chadwick scrambled home after a bad call.
Chadwick made amends by hitting a fine drive over mid-off for four to secure victory with only eight balls left. Castleford were unfortunate when Pitcher had to leave the field, and a leg injury to Chris Young made him retire from the attack.
Solly Sports Yorkshire ECB County Premier League Castleford CC 1st XI v Yorkshire Academy CC 1st XI
Saturday, September 03 2011 (12:00) at Savile Park, Castleford