Leics Foxes v Yorkshire Vikings: Travis Head was unaware of being on brink of record

TRAVIS HEAD etched his name into Yorkshire's record books with a remarkable innings at Leicester yesterday.

Travis Head scored 175 against Leicestershire in his first one-day appearance for Yorkshire, the second-highest one-day score from a Yorkshire batsma (Picture: Dave Williams/cricketphotos.co.uk).

The 22-year-old marked his one-day debut for the club by scoring 175 as Yorkshire beat Leicestershire by 191 runs.

It was the second-highest individual innings in Yorkshire’s one-day history behind the 191 made by Head’s fellow South Australian Darren Lehmann against Notts at Scarborough in 2001.

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It is a fitting tribute to say that Head, who recently replaced Kane Williamson as Yorkshire’s overseas player for the rest of the season, treated the crowd to an exhibition of strokeplay of which Lehmann himself would have been proud.

On day when Yorkshire’s third win in five 50-over matches took them top of the North Group, Head scored heavily all around the ground.

He slightly favoured the on-side, perhaps, revealing a power not immediately obvious in a man of average height and stature.

Head generates remarkable hitting force through natural timing and a superb eye.

It was not even his highest one-day score – that came against Western Australia last October, when he plundered the small matter of 202 from 120 balls.

One man who did record his one-day career-best yesterday was Jack Leaning, who played a similarly impressive hand with 131 not out from 110 balls with seven fours and five sixes.

Leaning’s previous one-day hundred was 111 not out against Essex at Scarborough in 2014, and yesterday he and Head shared in a Yorkshire record one-day stand of 274 that beat the 242 accumulated by the old firm of Martyn Moxon and Ashley Metcalfe against Warwickshire at Headingley in 1990.

Head and Leaning propelled Yorkshire to 376-3 after they won the toss, the county’s highest one-day score against first-class opposition, eclipsing the 352-6 they made in ‘Lehmann’s match’ and second only to the 411-6 scored against Minor County side Devon at Exmouth in 2004.

It provided the platform for a comfortable win, Leicestershire dismissed for 185 with 16.3 overs of their innings unused as every Yorkshire bowler did a grand job backed up by fine fielding.

Head had previously played three matches for the club in the T20 Blast, scoring a combined total of 96 runs.

Reflecting on his innings yesterday, Head said: “I didn’t feel great in the first 15 balls and found it quite tough, but I managed to work my way into the innings. It’s just nice to get a few runs first up and to contribute in my role as an overseas player, because I want to try to help Yorkshire win games.”

Head admitted he had no idea that he was closing in on Lehmann’s record. A double hundred looked in his sights, but he fell to the final delivery of the 46th over, skying Kevin O’Brien straight up to the wicketkeeper as he reached for a ball well wide of off stump.

“I didn’t know about the record, but it’s great to be in that company,” said Head.

“I wouldn’t have minded getting a double, but I think that we got everything out of the match that we possibly could, and Jack batted unbelievably well.”

With the 50-over competition resuming after a short break, Yorkshire made light work of the side bottom of both the 50-over and T20 North Groups.

Adam Lyth was run-out in the third over after a mix-up, but captain Alex Lees gave the innings impetus by striking six boundaries in Ben Raine’s first three overs with the new ball.

Lees looked set for a big one, but fell in the 10th over when he came down the pitch to off-spinner Rob Sayer and was stumped.

It brought together Head and Leaning, the latter signifying his intentions by hammering his third delivery for six as Sayer was hoisted over long-on.

Head also meted out punishment to the young spinner on his way to 50 from 60 balls.

The Australian then pulled Kevin O’Brien for six to the side of The Meet Restaurant, reaching his second fifty from just 39 balls.

Head and Leaning traded sixes as Yorkshire powered on from 171-2 at the 30-over mark, Leaning advancing to his half-century from 61 balls and needing only another 36 to reach a magnificent hundred, with Head’s third fifty arriving from 31 deliveries.

Leaning was dropped on 83 at deep mid-wicket by Paul Horton off Sayer, and Head was spilled on 161 by Kevin O’Brien at long-off off Neil Dexter, by which time both batsmen had ground the bowlers into submission.

Tim Bresnan helped Leaning add 51 from the last four overs, with Leaning’s form another big positive for Yorkshire at present.

Leicestershire’s reply was a non-event as Yorkshire ruthlessly finished them off.

Spinners Adil Rashid and Azeem Rafiq shared half of the wickets after good work up front by Bresnan, and only Lewis Hill (55) and Kevin O’Brien (34) delayed the inevitable.