Leicestershire Foxes v Yorkshire Vikings

Vitality Blast, North Group 

Friday May 31, 2024, 6.30pm

Uptonsteel County Ground, Grace Road 

Toss: Leicestershire won it and elected to bowl.

Foxes: Rishi Patel, Sol Budinger, Peter Handscomb c, Louis Kimber, Wiaan Mulder, Rehan Ahmed, Ben Cox w, Ben Mike, Ian Holland, Scott Currie, Josh Hull. 

Vikings: Adam Lyth, Dawid Malan, Shan Masood c, Joe Root, Donovan Ferreira w, Jordan Thompson, Matthew Revis, Dom Bess, Jafer Chohan, Dom Leech, Dan Moriarty.

Match summary: Yorkshire were beaten by seven wickets defending a target of 152 against Leicestershire Foxes at Grace Road. 

The Vikings were limited to 151-7, including captain Shan Masood’s 45 off 32 balls. But they were hurt by England hopeful Josh Hull’s 3-28. The towering left-arm quick produced the fixture’s telling contribution.

Jafer Chohan had a good night with 15 not out to help boost Yorkshire’s total and then 2-32 from four overs of leg-spin. But it wasn’t enough to prevent defeat for a Vikings side who had won their opening North Group game against Worcestershire at Headingley last night.

Opener Sol Budinger top-scored with a brutal 50 off 22 balls to set up a chase completed with 5.5 overs remaining.

Picture by John Mallett. Jafer Chohan hits a straight six in the last over of Yorkshire’s innings.

Report: Yorkshire got off to a fine start, with Dawid Malan taking two boundaries off the first three balls of the innings from Louis Kimber’s part-time spin – 9-0.

However, only two runs and a wicket – Malan bowled by Josh Hull – came off the next 15 balls as the Vikings reached 11-1 after three overs. 

Shan Masood, Yorkshire’s top-scorer with 45, hit three of four boundaries off Scott Currie as 18 came off the fifth over to get Yorkshire moving at 36-1.

But Adam Lyth was caught and bowled by Ben Mike off his first ball at the start of the sixth over – 36-2.

Joe Root holed out to long-on off Ian Holland’s seam not too long afterwards before Masood and spritely Donovan Ferreira shared 50 for the fourth wicket from 45-3 in the eighth.

Ferreira pulled Rehan Ahmed’s leg-spin for six over mid-wicket in 26 off 18 balls, but he fell as one of two wickets in a crucial 14th over from towering left-arm quick Hull which stymied Yorkshire’s recovery.

Ferreira was caught behind having gloved a short ball before Masood was caught and bowled following another miscue at a short ball, leaving the score at 101-5.

Further wickets fell – Matthew Revis was caught at long-off as Mike struck again and Dom Bess was unfortunate to pick out short fine-leg off Currie’s seam, 116-7 at the start of the 18th over.

Jafer Chohan

Picture by John Mallett. Jordan Thompson hits out late in Yorkshire’s innings.

Thankfully, Jordan Thompson and Jafer Chohan shared 35 inside the last three overs to give Yorkshire’s bowlers something to work with. Thompson hoisted back-to-back leg-side sixes off Mike and Chohan hoisted Hull over long-on. 

Unfortunately, however, Hull’s 3-28 was built upon by Leicestershire’s openers as they raced out of the blocks, reaching 50-0 after only 3.4 overs and 62-0 after four. 

Thompson conceded 30 off the fourth over as left-hander Sol Budinger took him on, with three leg-side sixes and two fours. 

Rishi Patel also played aggressively for 30. He had hit Dan Moriarty for two sixes at the end of the third over, for example.

Spinners Bess and Chohan then removed both in successive overs – the former had Patel caught at mid-on and Chohan had Budinger caught at backward point, leaving the score at 85-2 in the seventh.

Chohan also had Louis Kimber (26) caught at short fine-leg on the sweep, but it was just too little, too late at 123-3 in the 11th, only 29 needed for the hosts.

Wiaan Mulder finished things off with a quick-fire 28 off 17 balls, the home win wrapped up at the start of the 15th over. 

Magic moment: These were few and far between, unfortunately. But Donovan Ferreira gave a glimpse of what Yorkshire fans can expect with a six and three fours in 26 off 18 balls in the middle order. 

Picture by John Mallett. Shan Masood drives at Grace Road.

Turning point: Yorkshire had a total to work with. Lower than they would have wanted, absolutely. But their hopes were quickly dashed as Foxes openers Rishi Patel and Sol Budinger took their side to 62-0 after four overs, including 30 off Jordan Thompson in the fourth over. Left-handed Budinger hit three sixes and two fours in that over. 

Stat of the match: Yorkshire took 31 off the last two overs to boost their total, with Jordan Thompson hitting two sixes and Jafer Chohan one. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough. 

What they said – Captain Shan Masood said: “Yesterday we were very clinical with the ball and the bat and in the field. Today we were not really clinical.

“We did have the worst of the conditions.
“They bowled when the pitch was damp, and they bowled well and got every ounce of help out of the conditions. Credit to them for that – they put us under pressure.
“Maybe we could have been smarter in terms of preserving wickets and having our top six or seven batting out the 20 overs. Me and Donovan got a nice little partnership going, but Hull came back on and you have to give him credit. It was good bowling and changed the match with two wickets in that over (14th).
“It looked a decent score, but when it’s a score like that the other team can afford to go out all guns blazing. If they had spooned two in the air, it’s a different game.
“The beauty of the game is that we play again on Sunday at Northampton. Hopefully we can put in a decent performance. Northampton are one of the stronger sides in the group, I feel. They have a decent bowling attack with some experience. They have some experience in their batting line-up as well. It will be a good match-up.”

What’s next: Yorkshire’s third North Group game sees them travel to Northamptonshire on Sunday, as part of a T20 double header including the Northern Diamonds women, who are in Charlotte Edwards Cup action at Wantage Road against Sunrisers. The Diamonds start at 11.30am before the Vikings tackle the Steelbacks in the Blast at 3.30pm.

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