An indicator as to how good a team is often comes down to its’ strength in depth – the fact that it doesn’t rely on a couple of individuals. So far this season the bulk of our runs have flowed from the bats of Steve Bullen, Bill Root and Christian Davis, so victory against Loughborough when these three only contributed 46 between them was particularly sweet. Although ANY victory against Lufbra is ALWAYS sweet.
After winning the toss & batting, to be approaching the half-way stage of the innings at 83 for 6 wasn’t ideal following some loose batting and penetrative bowling from Akram & McKinley. With Ryan McKendry playing his first Yellows innings and only 4 wickets left in the tank, it was a case of just giving the bowlers something to bowl at – 150, 160?
The flame-haired York all-rounder went on to make one the most composed debut knocks in recent memory. After playing & missing at a couple early on he then rarely made an error, stroking the ball into gaps around the field and running superbly with Harry Rouse. The pair had added an invaluable 69 for the 7th wicket in just over 15 overs before Rouse was caught behind off Toby Lester, having scored 31 from 48 balls (2x4s).
McKendry remained unflustered, adding a further 64 with Alex Lilley (28 from 34 with 3x4s) and when Joe Ellis-Grewal was run out from the last ball of the innings with the total on 225 he walked off unbeaten having scored 64 from 84 balls (5x4s) in a superb display of intelligent one-day batting. The 2nd half of the innings had produced 142 for 4 – a tremendous turnaround.
McKendry was soon to make his mark when Loughborough batted. After Lilley induced a nick to Bullen from Anish Patel off only the 3rd ball of the innings, he pounced 5 balls later to run out Canadian international Nitish Kumar.
Karim & Azad led a recovery with a stand of 79, Weston ending it with a sharp return catch. McKendry then claimed his first Yellows wicket by trapping Prowse in front and followed up 4 overs later by bowling Lowen to reduce the visitors to 103 for 5. Azad was still looking comfortable but his downfall came when he tried to sweep Ellis-Grewal and was bowled round his legs for 73.
The spin trio of McKendry, Ellis-Grewal & Weston really took a grip on the game and despite a fine knock from Tim Le Breton, a couple of stumpings from Bullen & a ripper to bowl Gamble gave Jegsy his best-ever figures of 4 for 42. The skipper took a catch at cover to secure victory – as well as giving Rouse his 49th Leeds Bradford wicket.
A further sign of the team’s strength in depth was the fact that both Alex Lilley & Archie Ogden pulled up injured in the innings and were only able to bowl 6 overs between them. McKendry’s outstanding figures of 10-2-26-2, together with his 64 not out & key run out made the Man of the Match decision an easy one!!
Scorecard can be accessed via our Fixtures page