Centuries from Alex Lees and Jack Leaning went a long way to ensuring a dominant Yorkshire victory, by 111 runs, in their one-day friendly against Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities today.
The second-wicket pair shared a whopping 244 as the Vikings recovered from the early loss of Tom Kohler-Cadmore to post a 50-over total of 392-7 at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom.
Lees retired on 151 off 124 balls and Leaning did likewise on 100 off 113.
The students were then reduced to 21-3 in reply and never threatened the imposing target, although they certainly had their moments with the bat and will be delighted with their recovery to finish with 281-7.
Ben Coad was the Vikings standout bowler with 4-30 from seven overs, while Matthew Waite struck twice.
Lees and Leaning hit six sixes between them, with left-handed opener Lees responsible for five of them. He hit 17 fours to Leaning’s eight.
“It was a good opportunity to get some overs in the legs and to try and face a few balls. I’ve done a lot of work during the winter, and it was nice to make a score,” said Lees.
“It’s about getting into the right place for the season, and a few hours at the crease never hurts anybody.
“For me, white ball cricket, I can sometimes get away from my game plan and forget that I don’t have to invent too much. Fortunately, I can play in most areas of the pitch. I’ve been working on telling myself that and being consistent throughout. It came off for me today.”
Kohler-Cadmore miscued and skied a catch behind off seamer Harry Stow for a duck four balls into a fixture played at Potch’s international venue.
From then, Lees and Leaning dominated to ensure the county made an ideal start to their preparations for this season’s Royal London one-day Cup. They face defending champions Nottinghamshire tomorrow before returning to red ball preparation for the rest of the tour.
Yorkshire’s innings, briefly interrupted by rain, saw late wickets fall in the search for quick runs.
Harry Brook (17 off seven balls) and Jonny Tattersall (26 off 13), who would later keep wicket and could well do so in the RL50, set about attacking cameos, while captain Gary Ballance added 43 off 25 balls.
Coad then struck twice and Jack Brooks once as the students slipped to 21-3 in the seventh over of their response, with Leaning taking a couple of catches in the slip cordon.
Tattersall had helped Coad make the initial breakthrough as opener Steve Bullen departed.
Two Olivers, Batchelor and Graham, then steadied for Leeds/Bradford with a stand of 96 before their partnership was broken by an excellent one-handed catch by Ballance at deep extra cover off Waite’s seamers – 124-4.
Graham departed for 56, the first of three fifties in the innings.
Coad’s third and fourth wickets came quickly afterwards.
Batchelor was caught at deep point by Kohler-Cadmore two short of his fifty before Max Maciver chopped on two balls later, leaving the score at 163-6. By this time, Coad had 4-29 from six overs.
Seventh-wicket pair Darren Ironside and Harry Killoran then held Yorkshire up, sharing 108.
Killoran, caught at short fine-leg off a Josh Shaw no ball, finished 58 not out, although Ironside (56) had reached his fifty first. Waite removed him in the penultimate over of the contest.
Lees added: “It was a solid performance.
“It’s quite tough to gauge at this stage of the season. The last 10-15 overs, they didn’t really go for the runs, and the real test will come tomorrow against Nottingham when the bowlers are under pressure.
“It was a good performance with some good spells and another three hours in the dirt, which is what we needed.”
Coad said: “It was tough out there. The weather makes it tough, the altitude, but the lads stuck at it well. The performance was very good.
“Batting wise, we’ve been ruthless. We showed that in the two-day game with Brooky getting his hundred and Leesy and Jack today. Then, bowling, we stuck at it really well.
“We performed well enough to earn that score line.
“I feel really good. The main thing is to feel that bit of rhythm bowlers talk about, hit your areas well, hit the pitch hard and make sure it’s going through nicely. As long as we get that, it puts us in a good position.
“I didn’t start as well as I’d hoped today. I started off a bit greedy, but once I got my rhythm right it all came together well.”