Leicestershire v Yorkshire - Royal London Cup - White Rose youngsters Harry Duke and George Hill chase down Foxes
DEVELOPMENT competition or not, these are the days that young players will remember and cherish forever.
Set 328 to win, a target that they had only twice successfully exceeded in one-day cricket, Yorkshire cruised home by seven wickets with 13 balls to spare thanks to marvellous innings from Harry Duke and George Hill.
Duke, the 19-year-old wicketkeeper handed his chance to open in the Royal London Cup, due to the absence of so many players because of The Hundred, scored 125 from 130 balls with 12 fours, his maiden century.
Hill, the 20-year-old all-rounder, struck an unbeaten 90 from 81 deliveries with eight fours and two sixes, also a career-best at first-team level.
Their partnership of 172 for the third wicket was greater than the entire total that Yorkshire managed in their five-wicket defeat to Surrey at Scarborough in their opening fixture, and to which this result was a rousing riposte.
At Scarborough, Yorkshire had been bowled out for 165 in 34.1 overs after choosing to bat, a third of their innings left unused in an extreme example of the cardinal sin. At Leicester, they paced their run-chase superbly, selected the right balls to hit and hit them with style.
That Leicestershire had made an imposing 327-7 after winning the toss, their highest score against Yorkshire in their 69 one-day meetings, only rendered that run-chase more impressive as Duke and Hill built on promising performances in the County Championship.
“Getting my first hundred was a magic moment,” said Duke, who was the youngest to make a List A century for Yorkshire since Sachin Tendulkar in 1992.
“My mum and dad and my girlfriend were here today so it was special to do it in front of them. I had a bit of nerves in the 90s but I had plenty of time to just knock it around. Me and George (Hill) have played together at Yorkshire since we were nine years old, and we just spoke about trying to keep it simple.”
There were two centurions in Leicestershire’s innings on a good pitch complemented by a fast outfield.
In sultry conditions, Marcus Harris, the Australian left-hander, who has played 10 Tests, hit 127 from 130 deliveries with 14 fours and two sixes, also his maiden one-day hundred.
Lewis Hill, the Leicestershire captain, recorded his second century at one-day level, striking 108 from 100 balls with 12 fours.
Their stand of 212 for the third wicket was only just shy of beating the record one-day stand achieved against Yorkshire - 216 by Ian Bell and Jonathon Trott, also for the third wicket, for Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 2005.
Both Harris and Hill fell to Matthew Waite, who nipped in with a flurry of late wickets to claim a career-best 5-59.
Will Fraine also played nicely when Yorkshire replied with a free-flowing 45 from 32 deliveries with eight fours, as did Gary Ballance, who hit 43 from 40 balls with seven fours.