Yorkshire Vikings v Durham Jets: Rain brings down curtain on Yorkshire youngsters’ bow

Yorkshire debutant Ben Birkhead appeals in vain for a stumping against Durham's Alex Lees, who left Headingley at the end of last summer (Picture: Dave Williams/cricketphotos.co.uk).
Yorkshire debutant Ben Birkhead appeals in vain for a stumping against Durham's Alex Lees, who left Headingley at the end of last summer (Picture: Dave Williams/cricketphotos.co.uk).
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YOU DON’T win anything with kids, said former TV football pundit Alan Hansen memorably, but nor do you necessarily win anything with seniors.

After their more established stars failed to help them into the knockout stages of the Royal London Cup, Yorkshire rang the changes for their final group game, handing three players their debuts in senior cricket (batsman Tom Loten, wicketkeeper Ben Birkhead and pace bowler Jared Warner) and batsman Will Fraine his first appearance after signing from Nottinghamshire.

Whether Yorkshire would have won this game with their kids, so to speak, will never be known for rain had the final word on a soggy Bank Holiday.

After being sent into bat, Durham reached 182-2 in 34.2 overs, former Yorkshire batsman Alex Lees finishing unbeaten on 51 and Cameron Bancroft – he of the sandpaper-down-the-trousers business – 18.

Tim Bresnan, 34 years young, the cricketing equivalent of Methuselah in comparison to some of his team-mates yesterday, took both wickets during a fine return of 10 overs for 36 runs.

Scott Steel, a 20-year-old right-hander playing his eighth one-day match, top-scored with a career-best equalling 68.

The upshot was that Yorkshire finished sixth in the North Group with a record of three defeats, two wins and two ties to go with this no-result.

Durham had to win qualify, so the weather was particularly cruel on them, Lancashire instead advancing along with Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire. Yorkshire now have a week’s break before returning to action in the County Championship against Kent at Canterbury.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Yorkshire’s captain for the day, said: “The weather beat us, but in the field and with the ball I thought we were very good on a very good surface.

“Energy levels were very good, exactly what we spoke about at the start of the day.

“I thought Tim (Bresnan) set the tone brilliantly for us, and we took a bit of a punt more with spin and tried a few things.

“It was a great honour to be captain, I really enjoyed it, and I actually woke up early, which is a first for me, with a feeling of excitement and it was nice to be able to walk out there and do the job.”

Kohler-Cadmore took the reins after club captain Steve Patterson sat this one out, one of five changes to the side that lost to Worcestershire on Saturday to end Yorkshire’s interest in the One-Day Cup. Batsmen Adam Lyth and Gary Ballance also made way, along with wicketkeeper Jonny Tattersall and pace bowler Duanne Olivier, with Yorkshire taking the opportunity to look at some youngsters.

None of which would have particularly thrilled Lancashire, who would have been pipped by Durham had the visitors prevailed.

However, a sparse crowd enjoyed watching the new faces, with 22-year-old Warner sending down five pacy overs for 32 runs and Birkhead collecting one dismissal in a livewire display behind the stumps.

Warner, tall and blond-haired, immediately revealed to the crowd a striking run-up.

He is reminiscent of Morne Morkel, the South African fast bowler, in the way that he turns before embarking on his approach to the crease, although Warner’s is more of a half-circle than the full-circle that has long been Morkel’s trademark.

Warner opened the attack from the Emerald Stand end after Bresnan began proceedings from the Kirkstall Lane side.

The former England man struck the first blow in the seventh over having Ben Raine strangled down the leg-side by Birkhead, a diminutive 20-year-old with long curly hair – a pocket-sized Ryan Sidebottom, if you will.

Steel and Lees added 104 for Durham’s second wicket in 21 overs, Steel progressing to his half-century from 70 balls with six fours, striking truly through the line on a good batting surface.

He fell with the total on 159, undone by a bouncer from Bresnan that he hooked straight down the throat of Jack Leaning at deep square-leg, the sort of catch that a fielder of Leaning’s quality could have taken in his sleep.

Lees, 26, who left Yorkshire last summer in an attempt to revive his career, has been in purple form in this tournament having made successive scores of 52*, 78*, 55 and 115.

He produced some fine cover drives yesterday along with a six off Leaning over long-on, the powerful left-hander thus making his mark on the new Emerald Stand.

Who knows, a century might have been his but for the weather, his innings comprising 70 balls and containing three fours to go with the six.

Bancroft, the Durham captain, also struck a six, pulling Josh Poysden to the very short boundary on the West Stand side, but the conditions got the better of everyone in the end.