Hodd produces his ‘best’ yet to see Yorkshire over the line

THE county of Yorkshire might have recently lost its battle to have the remains of Richard III reinterred in the Broad Acres after they were discovered beneath a Leicester car park in 2012.

Andrew Hodd.
Andrew Hodd.

But an area in which Leicester cannot claim sovereign rights over yesterday’s visitors is at cricket and, in the shadow of Leicester Cathedral yesterday, where the king’s remains will be reburied in March, Yorkshire won by three wickets.

After Leicestershire hit 236-8 from their 50 overs, Yorkshire chased a revised target of 191 from 32 overs, scoring the 164 they needed off the last 21 overs having been 27-2 off 11 when rain brought about a 75-minute interruption.

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Yorkshire’s hero was Andrew Hodd, who produced a match-winning performance with an unbeaten 69 from 43 balls.

The 30-year-old, who is only playing because first-choice wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow is on England Lions’ duty, led them home with a little help from Tim Bresnan (24) and Rich Pyrah (10), the latter finishing the match with a six over mid-wicket off Shiv Thakor with three balls to spare.

Yorkshire’s fourth win in five cup games – and their third in four days – kept them top of Group A and means they are all but through to the quarter-final stages.

One more victory from their final three fixtures, against Essex at Scarborough on Monday, Derbyshire at Scarborough on Wednesday and Hampshire at Southampton on Thursday week, should mathematically seal their progression.

This game, which began in bright sunshine at 10.30am and ended in leaden light at 6.15pm, saw a fighting display by the visitors.

Early on, Yorkshire’s bowlers squeezed the runs on a sticky pitch with a little bit of nibble, Leicestershire managing only 28 in the opening 10-over powerplay for the loss of Angus Robson, bowled by Jack Brooks.

Brooks struck again in the 12th over with the total on 34, bowling Greg Smith with one that might have kept a bit low, and the pace bowler was magnificent first up from the Bennett End.

Brooks’s first six overs brought 2-7 before Niall O’Brien, the 32-year-old Dubliner, took two fours off his seventh over, the last of his spell.

After making promising progress to 34, O’Brien gave it away when he slapped Adil Rashid’s second delivery - a rank full-toss - down the throat of Kane Williamson at deep mid-wicket.

Rashid followed up with a teaser to have Dan Redfern stumped, and when Pyrah bowled Thakor and Matthew Fisher had Scott Styris caught behind, Leicestershire were 118-6 after 30 overs.

That they doubled their score in the last 20 overs was primarily down to Matthew Boyce (74 not out) and Ben Raine (43), who added 62 for the eighth-wicket in eight overs, the highest stand of the innings.

Boyce stroked seven fours in his 94-ball stay, while Raine hit the only two sixes of the innings–- straight efforts off Pyrah and Fisher – before Bresnan had him caught behind in the last over.

With bad weather around, Yorkshire could ill-afford to lose early wickets with an eye on Duckworth-Lewis, but that is precisely what happened as Alex Lees and Adam Lyth fell to poor shots.

When the rain came, Yorkshire were 30 behind on D/L and their prospects did not look much better when they slipped to 91-6 after the resumption.

But Hodd and Bresnan added 62 before the latter holed out to mid-on, and Hodd and Pyrah held their nerve.

Afterwards, Hodd said: ““It’s up there as one of my best performance for Yorkshire.

“The situation we were in, it’s just nice to contribute to a win really.

“I’m not used to batting that long in one-day cricket, and I think it was the fact that I had Brez with me and Rich, guys who are known around the circuit as really good finishers, to keep talking to me.

“That helped massively.”