Harry Duke admitted to being satisfied with his day’s work behind the stumps at Cardiff today as the teenager became Yorkshire’s latest first-team debutant.
Duke, aged 19 and from Wakefield, returned an assured performance on day two of Yorkshire’s LV= Insurance County Championship fixture against Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens.
Although he did not take a catch as Glamorgan – following the first day rain – were bowled out for 149, he gave the White Rose plenty of energy and stood up to the stumps excellently to seamers such as Steve Patterson and Ben Coad.
Yorkshire had a plan to prevent the Glamorgan batsmen using their feet to negate swing and seam, and it paid off with four lbws.
“It was nerve-wracking to say the least this morning,” said Duke, who currently plays his club cricket for Farsley in the Bradford League.
“A day sat indoors with the rain probably added to that as well.
“But I said to myself, ‘Once I get one in the gloves this morning, I’ll be alright’. I sort of kicked on from there and didn’t have a bad day.
“The lads were outstanding today with the ball. With the bat, we’re in a pretty decent position and the game’s in the balance.”
Duke is playing in a game full of internationals, headlined by Yorkshire’s England Test captain Joe Root and Glamorgan’s Australian duo Marnus Labuschagne and Michael Neser.
“You see the big names and are a bit starstruck,” he said. “But the (Yorkshire) lads have been brilliant. They’ve got around me and made me feel calm.”
Duke’s energy and enthusiasm was particularly noticeable, with constant encouragement for the bowlers: “I know I play my best cricket when I’m involved in the game,” he said.
Duke is next in to bat, with Yorkshire currently 80 runs behind with six wickets remaining in their first innings.
“The nerves did start kicking in when I was next in to bat and realised that I’ve got a job to do for the side,” he continued. “But I had a good conversation with Paul Grayson, our batting coach, about my plan if I did get out there.
“Thankfully Rooty and Bessy played well and I wasn’t needed.”
Duke has impressed in Yorkshire’s second team this year, admitting: “I know my game with the gloves really well. I’ve had a couple of games in the twos and have kept for quite long periods.
“I also trust in the work I’ve done with Paul Shaw, our wicketkeeping coach, over the winter. We’ve put a lot of hours in. I’ll send him a text tonight to thank him because it’s come in handy today when it wobbled about a bit.”
He will also be speaking to his family, who were watching on television from back home no doubt proud as punch.
He added: “My mum, dad and grandad were probably settling in for the day with a few cups of tea. My dad has probably been walking up and down the living room barely able to watch!”