Harrogate captain George Ross likened a mesmeric spell of bowling from overseas star Kallen Bond to Australian great Shane Warne following Saturday’s thrilling win over Easingwold.
In a rain-hit contest, Bond claimed incredible figures of 7-8 as he put Easingwold in a spin and gave ‘Gate a momentous victory in their Yorkshire League North title pursuit.
Bond took the final wicket as the heaven’s opened at St George’s Road – ending a game which had only got underway following a tremendous effort from the Harrogate squad.
Ross had put out an early morning SOS call to his players to help prepare their soaked ground and their efforts paid off as a 34-over contest was played.
“It was really pleasing, especially because at the start of the day the ground was an absolute lake,” said Ross.
“I was very close to calling it off but with our league position we couldn’t afford to miss out if the others got a game in. The players came in their wellies and walking shoes and did everything they could. I’m glad we did.”
Harrogate were asked to bat first on a damp wicket and were put on the back foot when Jonny Tattersall and Bond departed cheaply.
But Ross (52) and Ed Wilson (31) shared a 71-run third wicket partnership before Harry Stothard added a highly valuable 61 from just 39 balls to send Gate up to 180.
In reply, Easingwold put on 55 for the opening wicket but their chase was halted in its tracks by the introduction of leg-spinner Bond.
The overseas player claimed seven wickets in 5.4 overs, five of which were bowled, to dismiss the visitors for just 93 – with No. 11 Stephen Piercy not batting.
“It was like watching Shane Warne,” added Ross.
“He bowled so accurately and turned it so much at pace. It was brilliant.
“If he can carry on bowling like that we won’t find it too hard polishing off teams in the last few months of the season.”
Unfortunately for Ross, Bond was unable to repeat his figures in Sunday’s Black Sheep clash at York on Sunday as his side exited the competition in heavy fashion.
York batsman Duncan Snell smashed 160 for the hosts as they compiled 305-7. Harrogate were struggling at 96-6 when rain brought an early finish, leaving them 114 runs short on Duckworth Lewis.
The two sides meet again this Saturday in the league, where York sit directly above ‘Gate in third.
“It could have been quite a useful result for us because it’s spurred us on even more,” Ross added.
“We have beaten them the last three times in the league and we know we have the ability to do it again. It’s a very tight table this year and it’s going to be fascinating to see who comes out on top. I think there’s less pressure on us than the other sides.”