‘It’s frustrating, but we can’t do anything about the weather that we’ve had’ says Jordan Thompson as Yorkshire CCC miss out on Lord’s final
The fact will frustrate, as opposed to devastate, for the tournament was a bit of a lottery in any case given its shortened nature and the vagaries of the great British weather.
Yorkshire, who have suffered more than most with the elements, having lost more than 450 overs in their three home games, have played some good cricket overall and can hold their heads high.
They go into the final day of their five-match group campaign chasing a third win, to go with two draws, which would at least afford the consolation prize of finishing top of the North Group, assuming that something remarkable does not happen at Liverpool where Derbyshire, the current leaders, are under the cosh against Lancashire.
Instead, it will be South Group winners Essex who will contest the five-day final at Lord’s from September 23 against Central Group rivals Worcestershire or Somerset, who are battling it out at New Road, with the two group winners with the most points from the three regions advancing.
For Yorkshire to have qualified, two things had to happen: first, they had to score 400 in their first innings as well as win (they were bowled out for 252 in reply to Leicestershire’s 124, the visitors ending day three on 78-5, 50 adrift) and, second, they had to hope that there was not a positive result at New Road.
It would take an entire edition of The Yorkshire Post to explain the various permutations/points system, at which stage we would all need a stiff drink followed by a long lie down.
Suffice to say that it was always something of a long shot that Yorkshire would progress, with the weather-affected home draws against Derbyshire and Lancashire ultimately having a major say.
Jordan Thompson, the Yorkshire all-rounder who starred with bat and ball, scoring 62 and taking 3-13, said: “It’s frustrating, but we can’t do anything about the weather that we’ve had.
“We’ve done really well in the competition – young lads have made their debuts and really stood up – and we’ve played some good cricket.
“The two wins that we got we worked really hard for, and we’ve come into this game and backed it up well.
“On a personal level, I just want to be consistent and contribute and carry it on now. Long may it continue into next year and beyond.”
After day two was washed out, which followed the loss of most of the closing session of day one, the sight of no covers on the pitch, followed by that of the players taking to the field for the 10.30am start, was a gratifying one.
The weather was cloudy and quite muggy for early September, and Yorkshire began unpromisingly, losing two wickets inside the first seven overs as Will Fraine top-edged an attempted cross-batted shot to mid-on off the left-arm pace bowler Dieter Klein, who then had Tom Loten caught behind searching for a wide one.
This left Yorkshire 46-4, still 78 behind, and gave Leicestershire a chance to turn the screw which they completely wasted with a succession of short balls which were expertly dispatched by the fifth-wicket pair of Harry Brook and Jonny Tattersall.
Brook, who has looked as good on the eye as anyone this year, reached his third half-century of the competition, as did Tattersall, the pair adding 75 inside 15 overs.
Brook played an absolutely exquisite on-drive to the Kirkstall Lane end boundary off Ben Mike, plus a pulled six off Klein, while Tattersall timed the ball sweetly, especially through the covers, reaching the boundary with apparently a minimum of effort and with a maximum of skill.
Brook scored 53 from 60 balls with eight fours to go with his six, playing superbly before edging a drive off Alex Evans to Colin Ackermann at second slip.
Tattersall then added 116 with Jordan Thompson, taking the lead past 100 before Mike slipped one through his gate to bowl him for 71 from 133 deliveries with 13 fours.
It was the first of five wickets for 15 runs in 29 balls as Matthew Fisher was caught and bowled by spinner Arron Lilley, who then trapped Thompson lbw (101 balls, 12 fours) and had Duanne Olivier caught at slip for a second-ball duck.
A dramatic collapse was complete when Ben Coad was brilliantly held at backward-point by a diving Sam Evans off Mike, giving Yorkshire a lead of 128.
Coad gained swift revenge on the fielder, pinning him lbw in the third over of the visitors’ reply.
Thompson weighed in with three quick wickets as Hassan Azad was snared down the leg-side, a driving Harry Dearden caught behind, and Rishi Patel smartly held by Jack Shutt at cover.
Fisher had Harry Swindells caught behind before bad light shaved off the last 16 overs.
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