Leicestershire in strong position over Yorkshire in must-win game

Yorkshire 155 for 9 (Bean 40, Davis 4-28) vs Leicestershire

In a match they must win if they are to have a realistic chance of adding promotion to their One-Day Cup success, Leicestershire finished a shortened first day in a strong position in their LV=Insurance County Championship match against Yorkshire.

Will Davis finished with 4 for 28, Tom Scriven and Scott Currie with two wickets each as Yorkshire stumbled to 155 for 9 in 38.5 overs after a start delayed until 2.20pm because of rain and an end brought forward by about an hour by bad light.

This is the penultimate round of the Division Two season, which started with Leicestershire 21 points behind second-placed Worcestershire in the race to accompany Durham into the top flight next season.

Finlay Bean passed the milestone of 1,000 first-class career runs in only his 15th match but a middle-order collapse saw the visitors fail to build on his 40 nor skipper Shan Masood’s 34 after the home side had opted to bowl first.

In blustery conditions that made life difficult for Leicestershire’s bowlers as they tried to use the available help from a particularly green pitch, Bean and opening partner Adam Lyth seemed set to enjoy another productive day in a season that has seen them average above 65 partnership runs.

Although they induced the odd edge, both Chris Wright and Scriven struggled with line and length with the new ball as the first-wicket duo helped themselves to seven boundaries in putting on 45 in the first 11 overs, Bean’s first scoring shot to the leg-side boundary taking him to that 1,000-mark.

But a change of bowling at both ends saw Lyth caught at second slip flashing at one from Currie before Davis squared up Bean to get a thin edge through to the ‘keeper, his first wicket in only his third Championship appearance this year.

Yorkshire suffered a sticky patch either side of tea that saw them slip from 91 for 2 to 98 for 5. James Wharton was bowled by Davis offering no shot and George Hill was caught behind pushing at Scriven, before Wright returned to end Masood’s progress with a leg-before to the first ball of the evening session.

After Jonny Tattersall had edged Scriven to first slip at 112 for 6, Ben Mike’s aggressive response saw 35 added with Matthew Revis in six overs before the latter perished off the edge driving at Currie, with Mike bowled by Davis, who then had Ben Coad caught at wide mid-on before the light closed in.

Leicestershire made four changes from the line-up that failed heroically to chase down 499 to win at Hove last week, with both protagonists in the partnership that set up last Saturday’s Metro Bank One-Day Cup final triumph given a place in the Championship side for the first time this season.

Sam Evans replaces the out-of-form Sol Budinger at the top of the order while Harry Swindells, after coming in from the cold with a match-winning unbeaten 117 at Trent Bridge, is given another opportunity to win a contract beyond his current deal, which effectively expires next week.

He comes in for Colin Ackermann, shortly to join World Cup preparations with Netherlands, who is missing through illness and has therefore almost certainly played his last match for Leicestershire before moving to Durham next season.

Saturday’s big occasion therefore brought the curtain down on a seven-season stay at Grace Road that saw him score almost 8,000 runs across all formats and take more than 100 wickets, memorably including his world record 7 for 18 against Birmingham Bears in the 2019 T20 Blast.

In addition to Davis coming in for the injured Matt Salisbury, Louis Kimber replaces Rehan Ahmed, who is on England duty. Wiaan Mulder, who missed Hove through illness, has returned to his native South Africa ahead of the domestic season there.

Yorkshire, who have drawn five of their last six and beaten Derbyshire at Scarborough, left out spinner Dom Bess in favour of another seamer in the ex-Leicestershire all-rounder Mike.


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