George Ross’ reign in charge of Harrogate Cricket Club got off to a perfect start with a thumping victory over perennial strugglers Sheffield United.
Yorkshire ace Jonny Tattersall hit form with both bat and ball as Harrogate wrapped up a 138-run victory on the opening day of the season.
Tattersall smashed a 115-ball 127 not out in Harrogate’s massive total of 364-3, before his leg-spinners warranted five wickets to bowl United out for 226. Ross also led by example with a century from just 82 balls as his bid to play attacking, aggressive cricket took centre stage.
“When we spoke about putting down a marker, that’s exactly what we wanted to do,” the new capatin said.
“The way we performed was tremendous.”
Tattersall’s performance was a crucial boost to his hopes of breaking into the Yorkshire first-team, after a season of struggles with the bat in 2014.
“If you score heavy runs and take wickets, it will always get you noticed,” added Ross.
“If he keeps doing that, not only will it help our performances but it will get him recognised,” Ross added.
Greater tests lie await for Harrogate this weekend with usually tough opponents Appleby Frodingham standing in wait on Saturday before the start of the National Knockout on Sunday.
Harrogate will travel up to Chester-le-Street for the second time in three seasons in the national competition.
The Durham outfit convincingly knocked ‘Gate out in 2013, with a 210-run hammering, and have since signed one of England’s fastest bowlers.
Former Derbyshire paceman Mark Turner was clocked at 92mph two years ago and will pose a dangerous threat to Gate’s top order.
But Ross believes his side’s enthusiastic approach to the cups will give them every chance to progress.
“With having a team of 18-23 year-olds, we are all wanting to go far in these cups and play as much cricket as we can,” the skipper said.
“Hopefully we will be able to put out a much better show of ourselves this year and play the same type of cricket as on Saturday.”
He added: “From the moment I established this team, I have wanted that professional edge. I want this team to play cricket the way it’s going forward, with aggressive cricket whether that’s fielding, bowling or batting.
“That is what the Aussies are doing, and that’s why they have been successful.
“You obviously have to have the players to execute that, and the signings we have got, have all played at a level where they have the ability to do it.”