Centurions Christian Davis & Billy Root
Following their poor performance in defeat yesterday, the Leeds Bradford boys certainly made hay in the sun at Weetwood on Day 1 of their 2-Day MCCU Challenge match against Oxford MCCU, on a day when records tumbled.
Christian Davis won the toss and chose to bat on the same track that had been used the previous day. To make this decision pay it was clear the Yellows would have to bat long into the day and show more urgency and application than in the BUCS game. And boy, did they!!
Despite losing both openers within the first dozen overs with only 55 on the board – Henry Thompson pushing a return catch back to Sakande and Steve Bullen becoming the first of 4 leg before victims in the day – the 3rd wicket pair of Billy Root & Davis tucked into the Oxford attack with increasing authority as the morning session went on. The Dark Blues were hampered when their skipper & opening bowler, Sam Weller, had to leave the field for treatment to a leg injury but by lunchtime the pair had taken the score to 160 in 34 overs, with Root on 64 & Davis 67.
As the temperature increased in the afternoon the batsmen kept the heat on the Oxford bowlers by playing shots all around the park. Root was the first of the pair to reach his century but fell shortly after reaching the landmark when McIver rapped his pads and he was adjudged leg before. The left-hander had scored 103 from 145 balls, with 17 x 4s & the 3rd wicket partnership had realised 175 runs – a record for the Yellows in the 2-Day competition.
Davis the notched his first ever ton for the team but when on 107 he hit McIver straight to Steve Leach at midwicket, his runs having come from 125 deliveries with 14 x 4s and 2 x 6s. At 245 for 4 plenty of work still had to be done to make the decision to bat prove to be a shrewd one. Yesterday’s batting star, Logan Weston, joined forces with Harry Rouse and together they shared the second hundred partnership of the innings, adding 102 in 30 overs before Rouse nicked Sabin behind four short of a deserved half-century. It was the all-rounders most assured knock for some time and at 347-5 the platform was well and truly set for a formidable total.
Weston became another leg before victim, umpire Prince deciding the ball would have hit the stumps despite the large stride down the track, but the Leeds Beckett student’s 71 (109 balls, 9x4s, 1×6) brought his total runs over the last couple of days to 160.
Liam Watkinson quickly became yet another LBW victim but his wicket was to give Oxford their last cheer of the day as George Scott and Alex Lilley compiled the 3rd century stand of the day by plundering a tiring attack for a further 108 runs in only 12.4 overs – a new Leeds Bradford record for the 8th wicket in all formats of the game.
When Davis had elected to bat at 10.30 am he said that his batsmen would have to ensure they were still at the crease in the final session in order to capitalise on the weary bowlers, and his plan worked out precisely!
When Scott (51*) & Lilley (59*) strode off at the close of play the total stood at 486 for 7 – a record total for the Yellows in any form of cricket.
On what is still a fine batting track the bowlers will all have their work cut out tomorrow, but the batting effort was monumental and an infinite improvement on the previous days’ performance. Play resumes tomorrow at 11.00 am.