Match report Yorks v Leics in Twenty20 Cup 2004
by John Ward

Scorecard:Yorkshire v Leicestershire

Yorkshire, almost bankrupt in bowling for the requirements of this competition, again found their batting good but not good enough to make up for the inadequacies of their attack. Leicestershire equalled the competition record against some dismal bowling, with a century from Darren Maddy prominent; although Yorkshire’s batsmen made a good challenge, they fell ten runs short.


It was one of those dull days for which Headingley is famous, with low cloud and rain always possible as Leicestershire won the toss and put Yorkshire in to bat. During the course of the match, though, the overhead conditions slowly improved. Yorkshire kept the same team as they had played in their match the evening before, when they built their record score against Nottinghamshire – and still lost.


Darren Maddy and Brad Hodge opened the batting for Leicestershire, and again Steven Kirby’s erratic bowling proved an early liability for Yorkshire, as he conceded 13 runs in his opening over, including two grotesque leg-side wides. Anthony McGrath also began badly with the ball, his first delivery being a long hop that Maddy gratefully pulled for six and the over going for 11.


The fifty came up, without loss, in the fifth over, with Maddy outscoring Hodge. Hodge on 19 offered a hard chance to Andrew Gale at midwicket with a pull off McGrath that went through the fielder for four. Maddy reached his fifty off 30 balls with a six that was caught beyond the long-on boundary by McGrath, and the 100 came up in the 11th over; this was the first century partnership in the competition during 2004. Hodge’s 50 soon followed off 39 balls.


The Yorkshire bowling varies between unthreatening and abysmal. 19 runs came off the 13th over of the innings, bowled by McGrath, as the batsmen now seemed to concentrate on hitting sixes. Maddy was aiming for another when Phil Jaques dropped him on the midwicket boundary, with 74 to his credit. Finally the stand was broken when Hodge, who may have started a trend by wearing his box on the outside of his trousers, was trapped lbw by Richard Dawson for 78, and Leicestershire were 167 for one in the 16th over. Hodge faced 49 balls and hit 10 fours and two sixes.


The new batsman, Paul Nixon, was dropped by Vic Craven off a sharp return catch when he had a single, and then Craven missed a hard one from Maddy at deep midwicket. Again Yorkshire’s poor bowling was compounded by poor fielding. Then Wood finally showed somebody was able to catch as he held a skyer by Nixon (9) off Kirby; 195 for two in the 18th over. Next ball Maddy scampered a single to mid-on to complete his century off 54 balls.


Maddy finally fell to the first ball of the final over for 111, driving Kirby straight to McGrath at third man; he faced 60 balls and hit 6 sixes and 8 fours. Leicestershire were then 213 for three. They added a further eight off a much improved over to finish at 221 for three, equalling the highest ever score in this competition. Darren Stevens was unbeaten on 7 and John Sadler on 6; Kirby took two for 37, but his figures were again flattering.


In the context of the 20-over game, Yorkshire’s start could be described as ‘steady’, with 17 coming off the first two overs. Then Wood (12) drove Jon Dakin low to mid-on, for Sadler to take a low catch, and Yorkshire were 21 for one.


Gale made 16 before skying DeFreitas to Dakin at mid-off in the sixth over; Yorkshire 37 for two. Then Jaques, after an unpromising start, began to awaken, hitting DeFreitas for six and four off successive balls, while McGrath hit Dakin for a remarkable six over point, a feat he later repeated off Otis Gibson. A serious, if vain, partnership was now developing. At the halfway stage of 10 overs, Yorkshire were 102 for two, needing 120 off the remaining ten.


McGrath fell for 37 off 20 balls, a miscue resulting in a skyed catch to bowler Gibson, and Yorkshire were 116 for three in the 12th over. In the same over Jaques reached his fifty off 28 balls, but inevitably the scoring rate now slowed; 96 runs were needed off the final six overs.


25 off an over from Darren Maddy helped the cause, but 54 were still needed off the final three overs. Jaques, well supported by Tim Bresnan, played with superb judgement and power, and 19 came off the next over, bowled by Mark Cleary. Leicestershire’s bowlers began to crumble under the pressure, and Bresnan put a high full toss from Gibson into the stands for six.


17 were needed off the final over, which was entrusted to Cleary. Jaques holed out at wide long-on Maddy off the third ball for a superb 92, off 49 balls with 9 fours and 5 sixes. Yorkshire were 209 for four, with 13 needed off three deliveries. Next ball Bresnan, aiming for a six, holed out at long-on Hodge for 42, and the match was basically over – barring wides or no-balls, which did not come. Michael Lumb was bowled by the final delivery without scoring. Yorkshire’s batsmen had fought gallantly, but were unable quite to atone for the sins of their bowlers and fielders.


(Article: Copyright © 2004 John Ward)


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