Harry Duke reflected on a “special” moment after recording his first century in senior cricket for Yorkshire to guide them to a fabulous Royal London Cup win over Leicestershire at Grace Road.
The 19-year-old underpinned a successful chase of 328 with 125 off 130 balls at the top of the Vikings order, writing his name into the record books in the process.
At 19 years and 322 days, Duke is the second youngest Yorkshire player to post a List A century.
In 1992, Sachin Tendulkar did it aged 19 years and 100 days.
“That’s a bit surreal,” he smiled. “I’m a long way off him, I’d say, but it’s a special moment for me and my family.
“Playing for Yorkshire is all I’ve ever wanted to do, and to finally contribute to a win is really special.
“My mum (Amanda), dad (Nick) and my girlfriend (Liv) were here today. To do it in front of them as well, I’m really happy.
“It was a magic moment. I’ll probably never forget it.”
Wicketkeeper Duke shared half-century partnerships for the first and second wickets with Will Fraine and Gary Ballance after Leicester had racked up 327-7 batting first.
He then shared a match-clinching 176 for the third wicket with childhood pal and former England Under 19s colleague George Hill, who himself finished 90 not out.
Both were playing only their second List A games.
“Myself and George have played together since we were nine or 10, so it was quite special when we were getting close to finishing the game,” said Duke.
“When we had about 30 or 40 runs left and he was getting close to his hundred, I said, ‘Do you want me to just knock it around for you here?’ But he said, ‘Nah, finish the game’.
On the prospect of chasing 320 plus, Duke said: “We had a chat at half-time about how we were going to go about it, and Paul Grayson (batting coach) reiterated the things we’ve been looking to do.
“The way Hilly played, Frainey up top, Gaz, they took the pressure off me and I could just play my game.
“I play at my best when I look to run hard and put the fielders under pressure.
“The wicket was ok once you got in, but it was quite hard to start on. We spoke about giving ourselves 20 balls to have a look.
“We spoke about keeping it simple. For example, once we’d taken a boundary early in the over we knew we only had to knock three singles about and we’d be up with the rate.”
Yorkshire now return to Scarborough on Wednesday to face Northamptonshire (11am).
The Vikings now have one win from two having lost there against Surrey last week. But the confidence will clearly be high regarding the chances of rectifying that home loss.
Duke added: “Rich Pyrah (RL50 head coach) has just said, ‘I know it’s a big win, but let’s keep cool and keep our feet on the ground. We’ve got some more big challenges to come’.”