Dom Leech has described Yorkshire’s thrilling Metro Bank One-Day Cup victory over Surrey at York in August, to which he contributed with the ball and then decisively with the bat, as his most cherished memory in cricket.

As 2023 draws to a close, we are taking a look back at one of the days of the summer – Yorkshire winning by one wicket as they chased a 242 target.

Unfortunately, it didn’t contribute to prizes, with the Vikings unable to go on and qualify for the knockout stages.

But it was still a fabulous day to reflect on, especially for Leech and his big mate Harry Duke, who starred with a brilliant unbeaten 93 at the top of the order.

Harry Duke and Dom Leech

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Harry Duke (l) and Dom Leech celebrate victory against Surrey after the latter hit the winning runs.

Setting the tone for the day, Leech took the new ball after Shan Masood had elected to bowl first and struck twice in as many balls at the end of the second over. He had Ryan Patel caught at point and Rory Burns caught at second slip, leaving the score at 0-2.

George Hill and Matthew Revis also struck twice, but Surrey youngster Ben Geddes hit a fine middle order 92 to recover his side before being bowled by Ben Mike, leaving the score at 231-8 in the 46th.

Mike impressed with 4-40 from 7.5 overs, also bowling Conor McKerr and removing Dan Moriarty and Amar Virdi to limit the visitors to 241 all out.

Leech finished with 2-34 from eight overs, while his new ball colleague Ben Coad only conceded 40 from his allotted 10.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Dom Leech celebrates dismissing Rory Burns first ball.

In reply, Yorkshire lost regular wickets en-route to 210-9 after 38 overs. Cameron Steel’s leg-spin accounted for three and dragged his side back into the contest.

Hill made 30, Will Fraine 32 and Dom Bess 26. But Surrey were favourites, despite busy Duke’s presence.

However, the wicketkeeper and his great mate Leech turned things around with a superb 33-run unbroken stand in 9.3 overs, the latter finishing 18 not out and hitting the winning runs when he swung Patel’s medium pace to the leg-side boundary, sending a healthy crowd wild in the Clifton Park sunshine.

“It was a great game and one of the highlights of the summer, without doubt,” said Leech, who is currently in Adelaide playing winter grade cricket.

York CC

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. A 3,000-strong crowd basked in the Clifton Park sunshine to watch Yorkshire win a thriller.

“I’d also say it is my favourite game, the most memorable one I’ve ever been involved in at any level. My family were there, and I’ve played with Dukey since I was probably 12. It was really good fun, and I loved it. The crowd was amazing.

“I got a couple of early wickets, but the most fun I had was definitely batting at the end. It was so much fun!”

Leech continued: “I was quite nervous when I was waiting to bat, but as soon as I walked over the boundary rope the nerves just turned into excitement.

“I didn’t feel like I was ever going to get out. My only worry was that Dukey would maybe not trust me, try to play a big shot and get out. But we had a chat straightaway, and he said, ‘I know you can bat, so you can take the strike when it comes’. We both felt very comfortable.

Harry Duke

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Harry Duke anchored Yorkshire’s chase in outstanding fashion.

“It was a really good pitch at York that day.

“The sun was out, and Surrey were probably 50 under par. But they bowled well and battled back. Thankfully, we got over the line. Dukey’s innings was fantastic.”

Leech showed that day that not only can he be a valuable asset with the ball in years to come, he can also contribute significantly with the bat down the order. It is something he has been working hard on whilst in Australia.

He added: “I really enjoy my batting, and I took huge confidence from that innings. Before that, I’d made 35 against Gloucestershire in the Championship at Headingley. Spending time at the crease builds that belief.”

Ben Coad

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Ben Coad helped to set the tone for victory with a miserly new ball spell.

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