MATCH CENTRE 

Fin Bean went beyond 1,000 career runs in the LV= Insurance County Championship as Yorkshire made an unsettled start to their penultimate round clash with Leicestershire – much like the weather at the Uptonsteel County Ground, Grace Road.

Opener Bean made 40 after rain and high winds delayed the start of play until 2.20pm.

He was then one of four wickets to fall as Yorkshire slipped to 96-4 at tea.

Yorkshire then ended the day, further shortened by bad light from 5.30pm, on 155-9 from 38.5 overs.

Bean’s was the top-score, while seamer Will Davis claimed a season’s best 4-28 from 7.5 overs. In fact, this is only Davis’s third game, and these are his first wickets of the summer in red ball cricket.

Yorkshire were invited to bat first on a green pitch this afternoon, and selected a bowling attack to reflect such conditions. 

Seam bowling all-rounder Ben Mike came into the side in place of spin colleague Dom Bess. Mike, against his former county, is playing his first Championship match of the season.

While certainly not a featherbed, the pitch hasn’t been as challenging for batting as the colour of it may indicate. But there does look to be a bit of a two-paced nature to it.

Bean and opening partner Adam Lyth shared 45 for the first wicket and looked in excellent order. Both played confidently. Bean pushed a boundary back down the pitch, while Lyth played a flowing drive through the covers.

Adam Lyth

Picture by John Heald. Adam Lyth admires a boundary.

Unfortunately, however, them falling just short of an eighth successive opening partnership in Championship cricket paved the way for a Foxes fightback.

Here is a county still basking in the glory of Saturday’s Metro Bank One-Day Cup final victory over Hampshire when they hit back from 89-6 at Trent Bridge to win by two runs off the last ball.

They showed those powers of resolve today to fight back with the ball.

Lyth was sharply caught at third slip by a diving Louis Kimber off Scott Currie before Bean edged Davis behind to Ben Cox, leaving the hosts at 79-2 after 17.

Both openers fell narrowly short of passing 900 Championship runs for the season – a mark they will hope to reach later in this fixture, as long as the weather holds up.

Bean, aged 21, came into this week with 996 career Championship runs to his name having debuted at the back end of last year.

He reached 1,000 with his first scoring shot, a boundary clipped off his hip to long-leg off Tom Scriven’s seam. This is only left-hander Bean’s 15th appearance.

To put it into context, he has reached 1,000 Championship runs quicker than Yorkshire greats Herbert Sutcliffe (19 matches), Geoff Boycott (22) and Len Hutton (25).

After the departures of Lyth and then Bean, captain Shan Masood settled quickly and played nicely for 34.

Shan Masood

Picture by John Heald. Shan Masood bats at Grace Road today.

But he was the last of three quick wickets to fall either side of tea as the complexion of the contest changed, with Yorkshire 98-5 in the 25th over – the first full over after tea.

Under the Grace Road floodlights, James Wharton and George Hill both fell for one. Wharton was bowled shouldering arms to a nip-backer from Davis before Scriven had Hill caught behind.

Then, after the break, Masood was trapped lbw by Chris Wright.

Leicestershire have to win this game to have any chance of overhauling second-placed Worcestershire for promotion. Even that may not be enough given they came into the fixture 21 points in arrears.

Further success was to follow for the hosts when Jonny Tattersall edged Scriven to slip, for six, as the score became 112-6 in the 30th over.

All-rounders Matthew Revis and Mike then steadied the ship somewhat with a 35-stand. But they weren’t able to go on and fell in successive overs as the score became 147-8 in the 37th.

Revis edged a drive at Currie behind before Mike was bowled off his elbow by Davis, who also had Ben Coad caught at wide mid-on in his next over.

There was only one more ball possible before umpires Neil Bainton and Neil Pratt took the players off for the light. Bainton is standing in his 250th first-class match this week.

Jordan Thompson and Ben Cliff will return to the crease tomorrow.

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