‘Magnificent’ Peter Handscomb hits Yorkshire ahead of the Royal London Cup pack again

WELL PLAYED SIR! Yorkshire's Peter Handscomb is congratulated by Derbyshire's Jeevan Mendis after he is dismissed for 140 runs. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com
WELL PLAYED SIR! Yorkshire's Peter Handscomb is congratulated by Derbyshire's Jeevan Mendis after he is dismissed for 140 runs. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com
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BARELY a game goes by in one-day cricket without some record falling by the wayside.

On Sunday, Yorkshire made the highest total in a one-day match at Headingley, scoring 349-7 to set up a 15-run win over Derbyshire.

Last Wednesday, Yorkshire had made the then second-highest score in a one-day match at Headingley when they chased 336 to beat Durham, who themselves had posted the then fourth-best score.

Week after week, or so it appears, scores are going up like a hot-air balloon.

In these days of broad bats and batsmen who possess a 360-degree game, it seems that nothing is beyond the realms of the possible.

Peter Handscomb, the Yorkshire overseas player, epitomises the sort of modern batsman who can pretty much turn his hand to anything.

LEADING MAN: Yorkshire's Peter Handscomb late cuts the ball down to third man against Derbyshire on Sunday at Headingley. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

LEADING MAN: Yorkshire's Peter Handscomb late cuts the ball down to third man against Derbyshire on Sunday at Headingley. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

As Yorkshire achieved their fourth victory in five Royal London Cup games, in the process reclaiming top spot in the North Group, Handscomb led the way with a magnificent 140 as Yorkshire passed the previous best one-day total at Leeds - their own 345-5 against Notts in a NatWest Trophy match in 1996.

Although the Australian has enjoyed most of his success so far in first-class cricket, he is clearly gifted in the one-day arena too.

His first List A hundred and his first hundred for Yorkshire helped put the game beyond Derbyshire, who made a valiant 334-8 in reply without ever threatening to pull off the win, Wayne Madsen top-scoring with 112.

“It was nice to tick off my first one-day hundred,” said Handscomb, whose innings comprised 112 balls and included eight fours and six sixes.

I’m really enjoying it and feel that I’m understanding my role more in one-day cricket, so much of which is about having the right mindset.

Yorkshire’s Peter Handscomb

“I’d had some previous opportunities to get a hundred since joining Yorkshire, so it was nice to get there on this occasion.

“I’ve been pretty happy with my performances so far, which have hopefully helped to contribute to the team.

“I’m really enjoying it and feel that I’m understanding my role more in one-day cricket, so much of which is about having the right mindset.”

After losing at Worcestershire on Friday, where Handscomb top-scored with a splendid 88, Yorkshire made two changes.

Seamer Ben Coad and spinner Karl Carver came in for pace bowler Steve Patterson and all-rounder Will Rhodes, Derbyshire inviting Yorkshire to bat in glorious sunshine.

Alex Lees, who did not play in Yorkshire’s first three games as the club had their England men available, immediately made a statement, getting off the mark with a six off the first delivery of the second over.

Ben Cotton banged the ball in and Lees pulled it towards the White Rose Stand, the left-hander following up by driving Cotton’s next delivery to the cover boundary.

With Adam Lyth going well at the other end, the openers raised a fifty stand inside seven overs.

But after striking Cotton for a second six over long-off towards the Football Stand, Lees departed with the total on 59, digging out a delivery from Hardus Viljoen into the hands of Madsen at backward-point.

Lyth also perished from a promising platform, skying Shiv Thakor to Andy Hughes at mid-off to leave Yorkshire 79-2 in the 10th.

And after adding 81 with Handscomb and playing well, Jack Leaning was also frustrated not to go on, driving leg-spinner Matt Critchley to cover, where Madsen clutched the ball at the second attempt.

Having previously posted scores of 46, 86, 47* and 88 in the tournament, Handscomb maintained his great consistency, reaching another half-century from 47 balls with two fours and a pulled six off Critchley.

He then smashed two sixes in an over off Luis Reece, the former Leeds-Bradford left-arm bowler, launching him over mid-on and then sweeping him towards the East Stand.

In company with the equally consistent Gary Ballance, Handscomb steered Yorkshire into a commanding position as he brought up his century from 94 balls.

Shortly afterwards, Ballance went to his fifty from 49 deliveries.

Handscomb swept Sri Lankan leg-spinner Jeevan Mendis for six and followed up by striking Cotton for six back over his head and then swatting him for another maximum over mid-wicket.

Next ball, he was dropped on 135 by Critchley running in from the cover boundary, but it barely mattered.

After Ballance hit Mendis to deep mid-wicket to depart for 63, ending a fourth-wicket stand of 156 in 21 overs, Handscomb was stumped charging Mendis’s next ball as Yorkshire reached 316-5 in the 45th.

Tim Bresnan and Azeem Rafiq were run-out, but it always felt as though Yorkshire had enough runs.

For lovers of statistics, it was also the highest one-day total that Derbyshire have conceded against a first-class county, eclipsing Notts’s 340-7 at Welbeck last year.

In reply, Derbyshire were soon in trouble at 31-2, Bresnan having Billy Godleman caught in the slips and Coad bowling Thakor.

Ben Slater and Hughes fell to Matthew Fisher and Matthew Waite in successive overs, leaving the visitors 87-4.

Carver had Mendis caught at deep mid-wicket by Leaning, but Derbyshire rallied from 126-5, Madsen and Daryn Smit (77 not out) adding 117.

But Derbyshire were always behind the eight-ball and after Madsen skied Coad to cover and Reece struck the same bowler to mid-on, the visitors pulled up short despite a spectacular 21-ball 49 from Critchley, who eventually holed out to deep mid-wicket as Coad finished with 4-63.