Following their strong performance last week against Warwickshire CCC, Leeds Bradford enjoyed another successful First Class outing, this time down on the south coast against Sussex CCC at Hove.
After winning the toss and electing to bat on a flat early-season track, the pros were in a bit of trouble early on thanks some accurate and consistent bowling from Moin Ashraf and Alex Lilley. It was Lilley who claimed the first wicket when Wells edged to Henry Thompson in the 11th over with the score on 15. Archie Ogden claimed two wickets, accounting for Ed Joyce and Matt Machan, and when Chris Harwood bagged a maiden wicket on his first-class debut, they were in need of a rebuilding job at 129 for 4.
However, Ben Brown and Harry Finch mastered a terrific recovery with an unbeaten 5th wicket partnership of 258, Brown finishing the day on 126* and Finch bagging his maiden first-class ton to end on 135*.
A wet start on Day 2 saw Sussex declare on their overnight score of 387 for 4. Facing this daunting target the Yellows suffered an early setback when Henry Thompson was caught behind for 4 – to George Ganton’s first ever first-class delivery. Steve Bullen and Billy Root then combined to put the students back on track, adding 89 in 26 overs before Bullen fell for a well made half century – his first at this level – his 56 coming from 117 balls (8x4s).
Skipper Davis then joined Root in yet another productive partnership, closing the day on 192 for 2 with Root on 84 and Davis on 38.
Resuming the next morning the pair took their partnership to 142 – the 5th century partnership they have shared. Davis eventually perished for a career best 65, but thereafter it was the Billy Root show as he went on the record a maiden first-class hundred from 173 balls. He was eventually dismissed for 133 – to go with the 62 he scored in the previous game at Edgbaston.
The left-hander amassed exactly 1000 runs for the Yellows last year and with 195 already under is belt has started well to repeat the feat. Twitter then went into overdrive with congratulations arriving fem the cricket world – including one from his over-excited brother:
Rain again curtailed proceedings though just before lunch, and no further play was possible, Leeds Bradford closing on 290 for 4 from 88 overs.
All in all, two good, solid first class performances against strong county teams. Now on to meet the County Champions!!