Despite its situation in the east midlands, Leicestershire has always been in the North Group of the Twenty20 competition in every year since it started in 2003. Yorkshire has, therefore, played against it in every season, mostly once but sometimes twice. Paul Dyson looks back at a close encounter in Leicester ten years ago.
June 27, 2010 at Headingley: Leicestershire 175-4 in 20 overs (JWA Taylor 62*, JGE Benning 41, AU Rashid 4-29), Yorkshire 169-8 in 20 overs (AW Gale 52, JM Bairstow 40, NL Buck 3-20). Leicestershire won by six runs.
The two counties came into this match with slightly contrasting records, Yorkshire winning five of their nine matches and Leicestershire winning three of their eight. The visitors had, however, already won the competition on two previous occasions but Yorkshire had yet to reach finals day, with just two quarter-final appearances to show for their efforts.
Leicestershire won the toss, decided to bat on a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon and began with a half-century stand for the first wicket. Australian Brad Hodge was first to depart, being superbly caught by Adam Lyth at long-off, from the leg-spin of Adil Rashid who then trapped Will Jefferson in front of his stumps before bowling James Benning for 41 from 36 balls. James Taylor was at the crease by now and he was embarking on a most enterprising innings although he soon lost wicket-keeper Paul Nixon who was lbw to give Rashid his fourth wicket. Thereafter it was all Taylor and Wayne White and the pair batted through the remainder of the innings scoring 81 together from only 43 balls. The diminutive Taylor smashed an unbeaten 62 from a mere 28 balls striking three fours and four sixes, White making 23 from 19. Rashid was easily the most economical bowler as well as the most penetrative, taking four for 20 in his four overs; Steve Patterson suffered most from the onslaught, conceding 35 from three overs.
Yorkshire lost two wickets in the first two overs and slipped to 25 for three – all three to the medium-fast bowling of 19-year-old Nathan Buck in ten balls, including South African Test opener Herschelle Gibbs first ball – before Andrew Gale, who had opened the innings, was joined by South African Jaques Rudolph. The pair added a half-century stand in seven overs and when both were dismissed within ten runs of each other Yorkshire required a further 88 from 49 balls. Having lost Gale – run out going for an impossible second run – for 52 from 39 balls – it looked a tall order but Jonny Bairstow struck a rapid 40 from 23 balls and the chase was still on. Rashid was holding things together; Ajmal Shahzad struck 12 from four balls – his only scoring shots being two sixes – but 28 were still needed from the two final overs and it was just beyond Rashid and Richard Pyrah who was dismissed by Leicestershire skipper and former Yorkshire player Matthew Hoggard from the last ball of the match. He needed to hit a six to tie the match but was caught on the boundary just in front of the pavilion. Yorkshire had lost by a mere six runs; Buck’s figures of three for 20 made him the visitors’ best bowler for both economy and wicket-taking.
Both counties finished their campaigns with disappointing records. Yorkshire won only one more match and finished sixth (out of nine) with Leicestershire one place below.
There are only four players who have captained Yorkshire in at least seven seasons and led it to at least two County Championship titles: Lord Hawke, Brian Sellers, Brian Close and Andrew Gale.. The last-named led the county from 2010 to 2016, the victorious seasons being in 2014 and 2015 and these were Yorkshire’s first successive titles since 1968. In addition, one more win in each of his first and last campaigns in charge would have brought two more titles.
Born in Dewsbury in 1983, Gale made his debut for Yorkshire in 2004 and soon gained a reputation for being a batsman with a wide range of strokes who always kept the scoreboard moving and was rewarded with his county cap four years later. He twice scored over 1,000 runs in a first-class season, his best season coming in 2013 when he scored 1,076 runs in all matches and this contained his career-best innings of 272 against Nottinghamshire at Scarborough. The demands of T20 cricket suited his style considerably; he often opened the batting and his career-total of 2,260 runs for Yorkshire remained a county record until overtaken by Adam Lyth in 2019. His total of 3,256 in 50-overs matches includes two centuries, the higher of these being 125 not out against Essex at Chelmsford in 2010.
Yorkshire reached the semi-final of the T20 competition in 2012 but this was the only relative success under Gale in short-form cricket and he resigned from the white-ball captaincy during the 2015 season. After the end of the 2016 campaign, which had included his benefit season, and at the age of only 32, his playing career finished when he was appointed Coach of Yorkshire’s 1st XI. Although very much a surprise appointment, the county gained two top-four finishes in the Championship, despite having entered a period of transition, and Yorkshire will look forward to greater success as his new role and new team develop in a positive manner side-by-side.
YORKSHIRE v LEICESTERSHIRE
Results (home and away)
Played 22, Yorkshire won 9, lost 12, tied 1. (Abandoned 1)
Highest innings totals Yorkshire 255-2 Leicester 2019 At home 211-6 Headingley 2004 Leicestershire 221-3 Headingley 2004 At home 201-4 Leicester 2019
Lowest innings totals Yorkshire 105 Leicester 2013 At home 134 Headingley 2006 Leicestershire 113-9 Headingley 2013 At home 147-9 Leicester 2012
Highest individual innings Yorkshire 96* T Kohler-Cadmore Leicester 2019 At home 92 PA Jaques Headingley 2004 Leicestershire 111 DL Maddy Headingley 2004 At home 97 BJ Hodge Leicester 2003
Yorks 121 (3rd) JA Rudolph (56) & A McGrath (59) Leicester 2008 121 (2nd) T Kohler-Cadmore (96*) & N Pooran (67) Leicester 2019
Leics 167 (1st) BJ Hodge (78) & DL Maddy (111) Headingley 2007
Best bowling Yorkshire 5-21 JA Brooks Headingley 2013 Away 3-42 LE Plunkett Leicester 2017 Leicestershire 3- 3 JKH Naik Headingley 2011 At home 3- 6 BJ Hodge Leicester 2003
Most dismissals in a match by a wicket-keeper 3 (2 ct 1 st) PA Nixon Leicestershire Leicester 2003 3 (3 ct) JA Tattersall Yorkshire Headingley 2018
Most catches in a match by a fielder 3 JJ Cobb Leicestershire Headingley 2011 3 AB McDonald Leicestershire Headingley 2011 3 GS Ballance Yorkshire Headingley 2012 3 TJ Wells Leicestershire Leicester 2013
A half-century and three wickets in a match
BJ Hodge 97 & 3-6 Leicestershire Leicester 2003
AB McDonald 59 & 3-18 Leicestershire Leicester 2011
JJ Cobb 52 & 3-9 Leicestershire Leicester 2013