Harry Duke hailed “probably one of the best feelings I’ve had on a cricket field” after helping Yorkshire to a nerve-shredding one-wicket win over Surrey at York today.
Duke’s brilliant 93 not out off 132 balls, with the help of last man Dom Leech, navigated Yorkshire from 210-9 chasing 242.
Leech hit the winning runs to finish on 18 not out, with the Vikings now two wins from five and third place in the Metro Bank One-Day Cup Group One.
The Vikings are now on course to qualify for the knockout stages of this competition for the second time in three years, with the first of three remaining games coming back here at Clifton Park against Hampshire on Thursday.
“You don’t get many days like that on a cricket field,” said wicketkeeper-opener Duke.
“And to do it with one of my best mates at the other end – I’ve played cricket with Leechy since I was 11 – was unbelievable.
“Credit to the lads coming in at the end. Leechy’s played an unbelievable knock to get us over the line. It was pretty incredible.
“It’s been a tough year for me with not playing a lot of first-team cricket, but Gibbo (Ottis Gibson) has given me the opportunity in this competition, and I’ve just wanted to get stuck in, contribute and win games for Yorkshire. It was nice to do that today.”
A feature of Duke’s batting was how he held his nerve as tensions increased.
He drove and pulled well, he worked and ran the ball around and trusted his mate Leech, taking runs on offer.
“It obviously getting tighter and tighter the more poles we lost, but I backed our lads coming in,” he said.
“Coady’s had a good year with the bat in red ball cricket, and I’ve known Leechy can bat for years. It was nice for him to show it.
“We sort of said, ‘Let’s take the runs on offer and not do anything stupid’. Then, when we got it down under 10, it was anyone’s game from then. And I backed us from there.”
Duke, 21, narrowly missed out on a third career List A century. But he added: “That doesn’t matter to me. Winning that game was massive, getting two points on the board.”