The Yorkshire Academy showed their class with a superb 164 runs victory over Doncaster Town CC in the Yorkshire League. Captain Will Rhodes led the way with an unbeaten 128 not out and Azeem Rafiq was back to his best with six wickets for 27 runs to roll the Doncaster side for 100 all out.
Winning the toss and then sharing an opening stand of 70 with Eliot Callis, it was a good start for Academy captain Rhodes. Callis scored a very good 35 in 56 balls and he was caught by Simon Widdup at mid-wicket off the bowling of Alex Gosney.
The next 18 overs saw a good stand of 69 by Rhodes and Azeem Rafiq. Fellow off-spinner Simon Widdup took his second wicket when Curtis Free caught Rafiq at long on. Rhodes innings was patient and controlled. He lost Mosun Hussain with the score on 155- 3 when Hussain attempted a big hit and was caught by Charlie Allen at deep square leg.
Ryan Gibson and Rhodes shared a stand of 55 Gibson eventually being yorked by Curtis Free. Jordan Thompson came to join Rhodes with six overs left and the pair added a further 54 runs before the 55 overs were completed. Rhodes hit 128 runs and his fine innings contained eight fours and one six. He certainly led from the front. Thompson too played his part scoring at a run a ball, the score when the Academy’s innings closed was 264 for 4 – a challenging target for the Doncaster team.
The experienced opening partnership of Widdup and Attenborough lasted only four balls. A direct hit from cover by Ryan Gibson saw Widdup heading for the pavilion. Just the start the Academy needed.
Stuart Guy and Attenborough shared a promising stand of 46 but Rafiq, with help from a catch at mid-wicket by Callis, sent Guy in the direction of Widdup.
It was left to spin duo Rafiq and Carver to contain and break the Doncaster batting. Attenborough was caught and bowled by Rafiq, and then James Stuart was clean bowled by Carver.
Rafiq shattered the middle order batting, he clean bowled Felix O’Dell. Alex Gosney played no shot and was clean bowled becoming Rafiq’s fourth victim.
Doncaster were struggling at 80 for 6 when Charlie Allen was caught by Rhodes at first slip and wicket keeper Harrison was clean bowled. The score was 84 for 8.
Threatening clouds looked to be the only thing to save Doncaster from defeat. However, it was pace bowler Jared Warner who clean bowled Curtis Free and then had number 11 Jeeves caught by Callis at short leg. Excellent performances by skipper Rhodes and a season’s best by Rafiq saw the Academy claim eight points and Doncaster return home defeated by 164 runs.