Gary Ballance crashed a blistering 95 off just 25 balls and Will Fraine was similarly destructive for 88 off 37 as Yorkshire dominated a rain-affected friendly victory over National Counties side Northumberland at South North CC today, winning by 148 runs.
Jonny Tattersall’s first game in charge as captain – a Royal London Cup warm-up fixture – was reduced to 23 overs per side, starting at 3.15pm, following morning and early afternoon rain and saw the Vikings amass 290-5 batting first.
Fraine dominated a 110-run opening partnership with Harry Duke, who also went on to post 51 off 48.
In reply, Matthew Waite took the new ball and led the way with 3-16 from five overs as Northumberland finished on 142-8. Ben Cliff and Matthew Revis both struck twice.
Ballance and Fraine shared 16 of 19 sixes hit in a highly entertaining innings played out on a good pitch with small boundaries.
Ballance hit 11 of them, including six in seven balls off the spin of Alasdair Appleby and Mohsin Mukhtar, in his first first-team appearance of 2022. He hit particularly well straight, over cover, over long-on and mid-wicket.
Fraine hit sixes in similar areas in the leafy Newcastle suburb of Gosforth, while wicketkeeper Duke was far more reserved and allowed others to play around him.
Fraine reached his fifty off 24 balls, Ballance off only 13 and Duke off 47 in the first half of a very convincing warm-up for Tuesday’s RL50 opener against Northamptonshire at York.
Duke took the gloves, and will do so during the RL50 as Tattersall concentrates on his early captaincy duties.
Northumberland slipped to 40-3 in the seventh over of their reply, each of those wickets coming in a bowler’s first over.
Seamers Cliff and Revis alongside left-arm spinner Harry Sullivan all struck, with Hill taking his first two of four catches in all.
Revis’s first wicket, that of opener Appleby, was well caught by Hill on the run on the deep mid-wicket fence.
Cliff took the new ball alongside Waite. Cliff’s second wicket, that of Matthew Brown for 32, was also expertly held by Will Luxton running back from backward point. Earlier, Luxton had hit 23 off 10 balls with the bat.
At that stage, Northumberland were 86-6 in the 14th over, their chances of victory long gone – in truth, they had even before their openers had arrived at the crease to start the reply.
Waite’s first of his three wickets had been Northumberland captain, the former Durham and Ireland wicketkeeper, Stuart Poynter caught at mid-wicket by Hill.
Mukhtar hit a late and consolatory 33 not out off 35 balls for the National Counties side.
Yorkshire assistant coach Ali Maiden, leading the side in the Royal London Cup, said: “That was a good performance and a very useful workout.
“It was nice to see Gary strike the ball like that.
“He’s a fine player in all formats, but particularly people would recognise his batting in longer format cricket and how he occupies the crease. So to go out there and play with such freedom, to swing the bat like he did, he struck the ball cleaner than anyone I’ve seen all year in any format.
“He was fantastic to watch, and I think he enjoyed himself.
“Frainey played very well as well, as did Dukey. Frainey struck the ball nicely.
“To have a successful opening partnership is very important in any format. They did well last year, and they have the chance to continue that this.”