Yorkshire’s hopes of Metro Bank One-Day Cup glory are over after a loss at the hands of already-qualified Leicestershire at the Uptonsteel County Ground, Grace Road today. 

The Vikings slipped to defeat after being bowled out for 184, the Foxes reeling in that target to win by six wickets inside 43 overs.  

This was the county’s third defeat in seven games – their second in a row – and means that Shan Masood’s side can no longer finish third in the group with only one game remaining.

Lancashire and Nottinghamshire, two teams ahead of Yorkshire in the table, play each in other in Tuesday’s final round at the same time as the Vikings face Middlesex at Radlett. Lancashire are two points ahead and Notts one.

This defeat came as Yorkshire slipped to 91-8 having been inserted against a team who have won seven of their eight games and could still finish top of Group One for a home semi-final.

That the Vikings made as good a game of it as they did from there was an impressive effort. Yorkshire’s total was more than doubled by the last two wickets, while Leicestershire were then reduced to 15-2 early in their chase.

Ben Coad was Yorkshire’s standout performer with an innings-high 45 off 52 balls from number 10 added to 2-33 from 10 overs with the new ball. Dom Bess also hit 40 off 50 with the bat late on after the visitors had been inserted on a used pitch – one which was low and slow.

Dom Bess

Picture by John Mallett. Dom Bess after his 40.

Those two shared an imperative 75 for the ninth wicket to advance from 91-8. 

Both men hit career best List A scores, while the partnership was a Yorkshire ninth-wicket record in matches against Leicestershire in this format.

Coad hit the only six of the innings when he hoisted seamer Roman Walker into the sight-screen at the Pavilion End of a venue hosting Family Fun Day.

Unfortunately, for the Vikings, this wasn’t much fun aside from passage of play straddling the end of their innings and the start of Leicestershire’s.

Ultimately, this game was lost by the fall of eight cheap wickets inside the first 29 overs, and Australian overseas wicketkeeper-batter Peter Handscomb top-scored with a calm 60 off 97 balls for his side. It was his third successive fifty.

Aside from the efforts of Coad and Bess, opener Fin Bean hit 28 and James Wharton added middle order 26.

New ball seamer Chris Wright took the first three wickets as the score fell to 24-3 after eight overs; Harry Duke caught behind, captain Shan Masood caught at slip and Will Luxton bowled. The latter two, including Luxton for a golden duck, came in as many balls.

Dom Bess

Picture by John Mallett. Dom Bess on the sweep at Grace Road.

While Yorkshire picked two spinners in Bess and Jack Shutt, Leicestershire went with a pretty much all-seam attack. They were without a trio of spin bowling options in Colin Ackermann, Rehan Ahmed and Callum Parkinson because of the Hundred.

Louis Kimber did bowl 2.5 overs of part-time off-spin, but that was only because the Foxes were struggling to wrap up the innings. He had Coad – the last wicket to fall – stumped.

Matt Salisbury also struck three times, finishing with the pick of the figures at 3-28 from 10 overs. Wright finished with 3-31. 

Salisbury trapped Bean and Ben Mike lbw and, sandwiched in between, had George Hill caught behind. Those three dismissals saw the score slip to 83-7 in the 26th over.

Will Davis also struck twice. He had Wharton caught at deep mid-wicket – and when he had Matthew Revis caught at short mid-wicket, Yorkshire were eight down and on the ropes.

That they weren’t on the canvas and out of the count was thanks to Coad and Bess, who mixed caution with aggression to frustrate a Foxes side who had won six of their first seven games.

Bess – strong on the drive – was then caught behind on the paddle against South African Wiaan Mulder before Coad – strong straight down the ground – fell.

Ben Coad

Picture by John Mallett. Ben Coad leaves the field last man out.

Yorkshire were given a further boost at the start of the Foxes’ chase when Hill and Coad struck inside the first three overs, leaving the score at 15-2.

Hill made the initial breakthrough when he forced Rishi Patel to miscue to mid-on in the second over before Sol Budinger got a leading edge and skied behind to Duke, who took a smart catch.

Here is a Foxes’ team who have posted totals of 329-5, 380-5 and 411-6 in this campaign.

But this wasn’t the sort of pitch on which you could blaze away. However, they weren’t under any run-rate pressure chasing a total just south of the 200-mark.

Coad, who bowled his allotted overs straight through again like he has done in previous games, struck again when he had home captain Lewis Hill lbw for 21 – 57-3 after 15 overs – though Handscomb’s presence was key.

By the time he reached his fifth fifty of the competition off 74 balls, Leicester were in full control at 108-3 in the 26th.

He pulled Mike for six over mid-wicket and found an ally in fellow overseas player Mulder, who added 51 not out off 74 balls.

They shared 80 for the fourth wicket before Bess (1-41 from 10 overs) had Handscomb caught behind down leg by Duke – 137-4 in the 33rd over.

Unfortunately, further success wasn’t forthcoming and Mulder reached his fifty off 73 balls moments before victory was secured.

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