George Hill says a good first day of the summer was an important nerve-settler for Yorkshire’s promotion chasers.

The White Rose aims for the 2024 season are no secret – the county are desperate to secure promotion back to Division One of the Vitality County Championship. 

And they want to do it in style by winning the Division Two title.

Right throughout pre-season, players and coaches have spoken of their confidence in achieving that goal.

So to go out and reaffirm their capabilities at the earliest available opportunity was an important step.

Leicestershire closed day one at Headingley on 164-5, slipping from a position of strength at 89-1. Hill claimed three of the last four wickets to fall, putting the skids under the Foxes top order during a weather-shortened day. 

George Hill

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. George Hill is congratulated by Harry Brook on taking a Leicestershire wicket today.

“With people thinking we should go up, it’s nice to go out there and deliver a decent first day,” said Hill. 

“I was quite nervous going out there for the first time. But once the first wicket goes and you get the first catch in, the nerves do tend to settle and it becomes a lot more comfortable.”

Hill claimed 3-25 from nine overs, including the key scalp of Australian opener Marcus Harris for a well made 56. 

All his wickets fell to slip catches after Shan Masood elected to bowl first – a pretty easy decision upon winning the toss, said Hill. 

“We’ve got a very good slip cordon – probably better when I’m out of it with Brooky at first slip!” he smiled. 

“The boys caught extremely well, and it was a good day for us.”

George Hill.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. George Hill leaves the field after taking three wickets today. 

Hill returned home from two months of club cricket in New Zealand. 

“This was my first bowl outside in a game in England this year, so I was quite happy with it. I felt in good rhythm,” he said, having bowled with the Kookaburra ball today.  

“The Kookaburra just doesn’t do as much. They go softer as well.

“But we spoke about being patient. If we put it in the right areas enough, it kept us interested. By no means is it flat – it’s a good cricket wicket.

“We didn’t actually mind being driven today. 

“A few of their fours weren’t half volleys, they were good shots that if they had nipped they would have probably nicked them.”

Dan Moriarty

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Dan Moriarty celebrates dismssing Leicestershire’s Rehan Ahmed late on day one.

This was the latest in a growing catalogue of key contributions with the ball for Hill, who will again bat in Yorkshire’s top five or six in this season’s Championship. 

“I definitely want to keep bowling as much as I can, and it helps with the make-up of the team if I can bat in the top five or six and bowl useful overs,” he added. “It helps the balance a lot. 

“I’m definitely enjoying the responsibility that Shan’s given me, and he has given me extra when he’s captained. I enjoy that.”

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