The Yorkshire Hundred Finals, celebrating the third edition of The Hundred, came alive on September 17th at the iconic Scarborough Cricket Ground. The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF) invited the winners from Bradford, Kirklees, Leeds and Sheffield for an action-packed day of cricket and community fun. It was a day of thrilling entertainment and delicious food, with Leeds emerging as the ultimate champions.
Semi-Final 1: Leeds vs Kirklees
The day commenced with the first match at 10am. Despite overcast conditions, the pitch favoured batting, prompting Leeds to opt for batting first after winning the toss. Leeds started well but encountered an initial setback, losing their first wicket with the score at 22. However, this setback ushered in star player Madan Basavarajaiah, whose partnership for the second wicket, worth 68 runs in 34 balls, set the stage for a substantial total. Although they faced a minor setback, losing three wickets in the span of 10 balls, a late surge by Manikanta Kumar (33*, 23 balls) enabled them to set a competitive target of 149 runs. Amir Afzal shone among the bowlers, securing 2 wickets for 11 runs in 15 balls.
In response, Kirklees commenced their run chase with Abdul Wahid striking three boundaries in the initial 10 balls but eventually falling for 16. The Kirklees batting lineup encountered difficulties against the experience of the Leeds bowlers and struggled to regroup. A couple of late strikes from Kirklees skipper Rizwan Malik were insufficient to bridge the gap. Leeds restricted Kirklees to 110 runs in 94 balls, securing victory by 38 runs and advancing to the final. Haricharan Seera and Madan each claimed three wickets, while the remaining four wickets were shared between Parth Naik and Amruth Challapalli.
Leeds: 148/5 (100 Balls) :: Kirklees: 110/10 (94 Balls)
Semi-Final 2: Bradford vs Sheffield
By the time the second match commenced, the sun graced the historic Scarborough Cricket Ground. Similar to Leeds, Bradford assessed the conditions and chose to bat first after winning the toss. However, their innings didn’t begin as expected, with two wickets falling for 22 runs in the first 24 balls. Captain Cosmond Walters, who batted brilliantly, stepped in after the loss of two wickets and was involved in crucial partnerships. His partner, Kez Ahmed, fell for 35, ending their partnership of 57 runs, which brought the explosive Ed Brown to the crease. Together with Cosmond, they added 67 runs in only 36 balls, propelling Bradford to a total of 149.
The momentum in the second innings swung back and forth between the teams. Sheffield began strongly with opener Abdul Qayoom (71 off 41 balls) striking the ball cleanly throughout his innings. However, Bradford fought back, consistently taking wickets and regaining control over their opponents. This ultimately restricted Sheffield to 120 runs for 8 wickets in 85 balls. Bradford appeared to be in control, but Zia Khan’s quick 20* off 7 balls swung the game back in favour of Sheffield. With only 3 runs needed off 5 balls, Bradford captain Cosmond decided to take charge. A single off the first ball deprived the dangerous Zia of the strike. No runs were scored off the next 3 balls, setting up a thrilling final ball. A single run off the final ball resulted in a draw, marking the second consecutive year that this fixture was decided by a super over.
Bradford: 149/4 (100 Balls) :: Sheffield: 149/8 (100 Balls)
Sheffield batted first in the super over, managing to score a few singles and hit a boundary, setting a target of 9 runs for Bradford. In-form batter Ed Brown was run out on the second ball, reducing Bradford to 1 for 1 in 2 balls. Bradford’s third batter for the super over was ‘Ice Man’ Yasir Abbas, who struck a six over covers to reduce the requirement to 2 runs off 2 balls. Singles were scored off the next 2 balls, securing Bradford’s qualification for the final.
Sheffield: 1, 4, 2, 1, W (8/1) :: Bradford: 1, W, 6, 1, 1 (9/1)
Sohail Raz, Diverse Communities Manager at the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, said: “At the Hundred Finals, we aimed to bring our diverse communities together through the joy of cricket. It’s not just about the game; it’s about celebrating unity, breaking down barriers, and embracing inclusivity. We’re truly proud to see how cricket can connect people from various backgrounds and create lasting memories right here on this iconic ground.
This year, we witnessed an incredible turnout, with over 500 participants from all four cities, making it even bigger and better compared to last year. We’re committed to continuing these initiatives, fostering a sense of belonging through cricket.”
Final: Leeds vs. Bradford
The final was shortened to 70 balls per side due to concerns about bad light affecting the game. Leeds once again chose to bat first in the final. Their first wicket fell for 27 runs, and subsequent quick wickets followed. However, they remained composed as their star player, Madan, remained at the crease. He notched up a rapid 50 off 27 balls, taking his side’s total to 109 runs. For Bradford, left-arm spinners Usama Javed and Jude Roberts emerged as threatening bowlers, each claiming 2 wickets.
In contrast to their semi-final, Bradford embarked on their chase at a brisk pace, reaching 25 runs in the first 10 balls. However, after losing the opening pair, their middle-order batsmen failed to replicate their semi-final heroics. Leeds’s bowlers maintained the pressure, continuously troubling Bradford’s batting lineup. Bradford could only muster 95 runs in their allotted 70 balls. Leeds emerged victorious, clinching the championship by a margin of 14 runs. Madan was awarded the player of the match for his unbeaten 50 runs and 3 wickets for 14 runs in 15 balls.
Leeds: 109/6 (70 Balls) :: Bradford 95/6 (70 Balls)
Aravind Nijampure, Captain of UFCC, Champions of the Yorkshire Hundred Finals 2023 said: “I want to express our sincere thanks for the incredible cricket experience at Scarborough Cricket Ground. The ground itself was fantastic, well-maintained, and perfect for cricket. The facilities for both players and spectators were excellent. The organisers did an exceptional job in planning and running the tournament, and the staff was friendly and helpful. This wasn’t just a competition; it was a great display of cricket and sportsmanship. We appreciate everyone’s hard work and dedication and look forward to more YCF events.
“Lastly, a big thank you to all the participants, the dedicated ground staff, the diligent match officials, and the tireless league coordinators for making the Yorkshire Hundred 2023 a resounding success. It’s your passion for the game that makes events like these possible, and we appreciate your contributions. This event is a joint effort of the YCB and YCF core cities team, and together, we look forward to more cricketing excellence in the future!”