MATCH CENTRE 

Yorkshire came out on the wrong side of a thrilling day of LV= Insurance County Championship cricket as Leicestershire chased down 389 in 87 overs to win at Headingley.

A day which swung this way and that saw the Foxes led by a quartet of key contributions; opener Rishi Patel’s 125 – his maiden first-class hundred, Colin Ackermann’s 72, Peter Handscomb’s 68 not out and Chris Wright’s unbeaten 40.

The former two set things up, the latter pair finished it off with a 65-run eighth-wicket partnership in eight overs, sealing victory by three wickets with seven balls remaining as Wright hit the winning runs.

Yorkshire take seven points from a match which has thrown up a couple of statistics which don’t make for happy reading. 

This was Leicestershire’s first Championship win since September 2021, while they have won at Headingley for the first time in this competition since 1910.

Dom Bess claimed 5-158 from 32 overs, and he wheeled away impressively to keep Yorkshire’s hopes alive until late in the piece.  

Leicestershire were 203-3 from 50 overs at tea, but when Michael Finan was caught at third low down by Fin Bean off Matt Milnes, the score was 327-7 in the 78th – 62 more to win inside 10 overs. 

Yorkshire will bid to bounce back when they face Gloucestershire at Bristol from Wednesday. 

The first seven overs of the day were action-packed and set the tone as Yorkshire briskly built their lead, advancing from 220-4 in the second innings to 286-8 declared. 

Sixty six runs came for the loss of four wickets, including Shai Hope for 83 and George Hill for 67. Thompson (13), Revis (22 not out) and Milnes (15 not out) all contributed to fast-paced nature of the day’s opening stages under the lights.

Leicestershire then made a commanding start to their chase in what have remained good batting conditions.

As the sun started to shine, Foxes openers Sol Budinger and Patel laid a useful platform at 78-0 from 16 overs at lunch, the former leading the way with 41 and the latter 31 having been dropped at point by James Wharton on eight off Ben Coad.

But Yorkshire tasted success almost immediately after lunch when Bess enticed Budinger into an ugly swipe, only to miscue to short mid-wicket without further addition as the score fell to 80-1.

Four overs later, Bess had a second when captain Lewis Hill feathered behind – 88-2 in the 22nd over.

Unfortunately, Leicestershire fought back once more as Patel and Ackermann shared 113 through until late afternoon, Ackermann the dominant force.

The Dutch international made 72 in busy fashion before being trapped lbw by Bess on the stroke of tea, leaving the score at 201-3. 

While there wasn’t a great deal of assistance for the seamers from this pitch, Bess was starting to get some purchase – as the wicket of Ackermann  as he played back against one that turned sharply.

All results were still possible at tea, but everything needing to go swimmingly for a Yorkshire win.

In the first over of the session, that theory was highlighted when Handscomb on two edged a cut at Bess to Adam Lyth at first slip, only for the ball to hit the home skipper before he had chance to react.  

That life enabled Patel to push on towards his landmark century, which he achieved by driving well and hitting three leg-side sixes off Bess.

His first two, the first lofted over long-on and the second slog-swept over midwicket, took him to 50 in 91 balls and then 100 in 185.

And when he reached his ton, the Foxes were 243-3, needing 146 more in 27 overs. 

At that stage, the East Midlanders had become favourites. However, three quick wickets raised Yorkshire hopes once more. 

Coad had Patel caught behind with a devilish lifting delivery before Bess forced Wiaan Mulder to sky to cover. 

And when the offie had Rehan Ahmed stumped, the Foxes were 318-6, needing 71 more with 10.5 overs remaining.

Milnes then dismissed Finan before Handscomb reached another fifty, adding to the 112 the Australian scored in the first innings. 

And with Wright’s help, he saw the Foxes home. 

A key moment came in the 85th over when Handscomb pulled Coad for six and Wright heaved two further boundaries, 16 acquired to take the target to just nine off two overs.

Wright then hit three more boundaries off Jordan Thompson to seal the deal for the Grace Road side. 

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