Cricket: Yorkshire Vikings overpower Harrogate on St George’s Road return

NADV 1405206AM11 Harrogate CC V Yorkshire CC. Picture : adrian Murray.  (1405206AM11)
NADV 1405206AM11 Harrogate CC V Yorkshire CC. Picture : adrian Murray. (1405206AM11)
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A strong Yorkshire Vikings XI showed their class to beat Harrogate by 80 runs on Tuesday night, as St George’s Road welcomed the White Rose back to Harrogate for the first time since it lost its county status.

Harrogate put up a stern test for their professional opponents, and gave them an early scare before they were ultimately outperformed in front of a healthy home crowd.

The match, which raised money for British Heart Foundation, formed part of Yorkshire’s T20 Blast preparations, which started campaign in defeat to Northamptonshire Steelbacks on Friday.

Yorkshire were asked to bat in a ceremonial toss, but Harrogat’s seam attack soon put them under the pump.

Strike bowler Tom Geeson-Brown ripped a hole in the top order, first dismissing Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale for four before sending Jack Leaning’s wickets tumbling two balls later.

England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow (5) soon followed after mis-timing a drive off Sam Davies, as Gate reduced the White Rose county to 25-3.

But a 99-run fourth-wicket stand between Andrew Hodd (62) and Adam Lyth (38) put Yorkshire back on track for a sizeable total.

And heavy power hitting in the late overs from all-rounder Liam Plunkett (37), with a four off the final ball from Azeem Rafiq, saw Yorkshire amass 189-7. Geeson-Brown returned to the dressing room with impressive figures of 5-43, after his final over went for 20 runs and two wickets.

Gate’s reply was halted from the start when England U-19s and Yorkshire starlet Jonny Tattersall lifted one straight back to Leaning in the off-spinner’s opening over.

Vic Craven, back at St George’s Road for a one-off game, then powered 32 to give Gate a foothold in the innings.

But he found little support, as Alexis Twigg, Andy Laws and George Ross all fell cheaply, with Yorkshire seamer Rich Pyrah causing the damage.

Captain Bradshaw steadied the innings alongside Scott Huntley (19), but the pair struggled to find boundaries against Yorkshire spinners Rafiq and Adil Rashid.

When Bradshaw (17) thumped one down Leaning’s throat at long off in the 19th over, Gate’s challenge had already gone.

Andy Hawkswell and Davies made sure Harrogate were not skittled, but they ended their 20 overs on 109-8, 81 runs short of victory.