Friday, 11 May 2012
2NDS: Lilley catches the eye in Yorkshire draw
Alex Lilley, above, showed himself a useful player in the making as Yorkshire drew their four-day Second Eleven “friendly” against the combined Kent and Northamptonshire side at Beckenham.
The weather finally relented to allow a full day`s play, and the hosts batted on until they were dismissed for 355 on the stroke of lunch, a useful lead of 89. A minimum of 68 overs remained, so Yorkshire would have to bat for at least three hours to save the game.
Of the final three wickets to fall to Yorkshire, only one fell to a bowler. That was to Lilley, who finished with the very tidy figures of 2-49 from 18 overs. Add to this his sharp fielding and hard-hitting batting, and we see a promising player in the early stages of his development.
Yorkshire’s second innings did not begin well: Callum Geldart punched one into the gully, and departed for one well struck boundary; skipper Azeem Rafiq and Alex Lees both went before tea with the deficit still not cleared - but Jack Leaning and George Ross began to build what was ultimately a match-saving stand of 56 for the fourth wicket.
Leaning eventually fell for 42 - and would have gone earlier if the fielding captain had not placed a fielder at deep mid-wicket for the pull that fell slightly short. These two continued after tea where they had left off, but play was called off at 5pm as both sides accepted the inevitable draw. Both players have batted well in this game and, while both are still at Academy level, they each amply illustrate the county's burgeoning talent.
Day 3: Paceman Iain Wardlaw pitched in strongly with 3-54 as Yorkshire fought back well on the last-but-one day. The hosts advanced to 124-1, threatening to run up a huge lead, but then off-spinning all-rounder skipper Azeem Rafiq made one clip the edge of Daniel Bell-Drummond`s bat and Callum Geldart took the catch.
Gurman Randhawa showed that man could fly as he went horizontal to hold a full-blooded drive from Rob White at shortish cover and was swamped by teammates. Sam Northeast, strangely subdued in the latter stages, carved Wardlaw to Jack Leaning in the gully.
Immediately after lunch Alex Lilley took over: he had de Lange dropped from the first ball but held three balls later by Oliver Hannon-Dalby running around at mid-off. Randhawa was savagely mauled by a rampant Alex Blake, but had his revenge as another good catch was held close in by Lilley.
The morning session was uninterrupted and started on time, but the rain returned at 2.31pm and that was it for Day 3. Only 45.1 overs were possible – two more then on Day 2. We have so far lost 98 overs over two – a total of a whole day.
The last day tomorrow (Friday) has a good forecast, but the ground has taken an enormous amount of water, so we will arrive in hope and see what happens.
Day 2: Left-hand spinner Randhawa was left high and dry on 50 when Yorkshire Seconds were all out for 266. I started to compose this report at 11.15 am, when the weather was doing its worst. I fully expected to write that play had again been abandoned for the day without a ball bowled, but I was wrong: 41.3 overs were possible in three sessions as the covers moved on and off at regular intervals.
Play got under way at 1.10pm after an early lunch, and Yorkshire took their overnight position to 266 - Randhawa and Moin Ashraf eventually parted after a ninth-wicket stand of 35. Gurman’s undefeated half-century left him just short of a Second Eleven personal best, and it was the third half-century of the innings.
The hosts opening pair of Sam Northeast (Kent) and Northamptonshire`s Ben Howgego made few mistakes as they came off at 25-0 for an early tea at 3.35 as the rain set in again. We got going at 5.30pm, and managed to bowl the required 21.5 overs by 7pm as the combined side advanced to 104-1.
Yorkshire scored their runs at almost 2.50 per over - but they have conceded nearer 3.50 so far. Some quick wickets are required tomorrow if the weather relents.
Day 1: Azeem Rafiq, above, produced a captain’s innings of 50 – his third half-century for the Seconds this season – as Yorkshire recovered from a perilous 89-4.
Rafiq reached his 50 with five fours in 92 deliveries, and George Ross – who hit 53 for Yorkshire Academy on Monday – ran to 51 with five fours in 118 balls, his maiden 50 for the Seconds, beating his previous best of 16 not out at New Road in late 2011.
Ross’s stand of 63 for the fifth wicket with Eddie Wilson, who again showed mettle, application and technique in compiling 33 valuable runs, carried on the skipper’s good work. Gurman Randhawa is 25 not out overnight, and Yorkshire hope to reach at least 250 today if the local forecast is wrong.
The fact that we managed a full day of 96 overs apart from a 17-minute interruption before lunch was a minor miracle in itself, given the weather I travelled through to get to this neck of the woods on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.
The outfield was never bone dry, and only 19 boundaries were hit all day. The number of twos spoke volumes for conditions, althrough this was absolutely no fault of anyone. Groundsmen anywhere simply have not had the time they need this season to prepare.
The Second Eleven scores are available on match days via Total Cricket Live Scores. Here's how to keep up with scorer and Yorkshire County Cricket Club website correspondent HOWARD CLAYTON:
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