York 191-7 beat Lancaster 188 by 3 wickets
Lancaster and York contested a keenly fought opening contest of this year’s Roses, with the visitors clinching victory in a nail-biting final over.
Lancaster won the toss and elected to bat, a decision which looked ominous at 2-1 in the third over after James Purvis departed for 1. This left Kiren Uppoor and Hasnain Rajkotwala facing a difficult period, with the ball seaming notably and York’s bowlers buoyed. The tricky conditions affected both sides, with York conceding a number of extras (39)and variable bounce making batsmen fight for every run. However, patient knocks from Uppoor (58) and Raskotwala (22) stabilised Lancaster’s innings and at 73-1 after 20 overs, the home side would have been expecting a big score.
The match turned when Hudson had Raskotwala caught in the deep with the score on 73. The middle of the innings was frustrating for Lancaster with York’s bowlers keeping the runs tight and wickets falling at regular intervals to leave Lancaster on 142-6 with 10 overs remaining. A rueful Phil Hughes later admitted that the “middle order collapse was disappointing after such a positive start”.
Despite the setback, the Lancaster tail tore into the York bowlers and only some excellent cover fielding prevented Lancaster reaching 200, Paul Startin played a watchful innings for his 21 with Mike Walton blasting his way to a quickfire 20. Lancaster were eventually all-out for 188 from their 50 overs with Bueno taking 3-30 and the economical Hudson 2-19. Uppoor’s innings of 58 proved vital for Lancaster, his superb range of shots allowing him to find the boundary on eight occasions.
After a short break, Walton carried on from where he left off as York’s reply got off to a poor start. After ripping out Hudson’s off stump, he trapped Barrett LBW as York toiled. By the sixth over they had been reduced to 25-3, Matt Weller clean bowling Wilson.
As with Lancaster’s innings, one partnership proved the catalyst for York. Kirkwood and Davies took their side to 102-3 by the 32nd over, managing to negotiate some disciplined bowling from Nick Guest (1-15) and Carl Purvis (0-21). After Kirkwood departed for a fine 65 the match was finely balanced at 102-3 with 17 overs remaining.
Davies was looking untroubled until he presented Purvis a difficult caught and bowled opportunity in the 32nd over, the Lancaster bowler was unable to hold on to what would have been a huge wicket. Adam Humphreys had Davies LBW in the 41st over, but the York batsmen had hit 40 valuable runs.
More tight bowling from Weller and Humphreys restricted York, and with three overs remaining they needed 20 to win with three wickets in hand. However, a tired looking Lancaster could not make the break through and Hoggart struck the winning boundary with just three balls to spare.
After the game Lancaster’s captain Hughes praised York’s batsmen for their performance given the difficult conditions. He conceded that his side were a “bit flat” in the field but sought to take the positives from the game, “I think we have a strong bowling attack and if we improve other aspects of our game we will have a good season”.
By Matthew Todd and Ben Smith