ECB League: Drury hits back as York’s title bid is dented

Jarran Cook
Jarran Cook
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Driffield batsman Sam Drury stole the show as he blasted an unbeaten 174 to eclipse a century from York’s Liam McKendry, writes Steven Back.

A magnificent 140 from York wicketkeeper McKendry was in vain as York lost by three wickets. Batting first, York posted an imposing 330-5 from 55 overs, McKendry reaching his century off 106 balls.

He ended the innings with a flurry of boundaries, striking three maximums in the final overs to finish with seven sixes and seven fours before closing on 140 off 123 balls.

The fourth-wicket stand of 146 between McKendry and Nick Kay, who hit 79 from 69 balls, established what could have been presumed as a winning position for York, Driffield bowler Dave Brent toiling away to claim 3-101 off his 17 overs.

McKendry’s efforts were then nullified by Driffield batsman Drury, who single-handedly pulled them through to victory. Coming to the crease at 54-2, he put on a 210-run third-wicket partnership with opener and overseas signing Ali Asad.

Asad contributed an important 84 from 126 balls, giving stability to the partnership whilst Drury continued to blast the York bowlers to all corners from, his innings containing 22 boundaries, including 10 maximums as he brought up his century off 81 balls.

Symptomatic of his innings, Drury cleared the ropes for his 10th six to secure victory for Driffield with three balls to spare.

Much like Driffield’s, the York bowling figures did not make for pleasant reading, Daniel Woods emerging the best, taking 3-89 from 13 overs.

The loss for York puts a dent in their hopes of chasing down leaders Yorkshire Academy as they are now 19 points adrift with two games in hand.

It would have been worse for York had not struggling Castleford gained a surprise victory over the Academy after chasing down 159-8.

Just Ben Lewis-Ainsley and Mossun Hussain provided any real resistance in a turgid innings, both contributing 40 from 120 and 113 balls, respectively.

Andrew Winstanley was the pick of the Castleford bowlers, returning figures of 3-21 and gaining assistance from Jarron Cook (2-21) and Jack Shutt (2-51).

Castleford opener Charles Finan provided the backbone for an upset victory as he made 82 from 121 balls before falling just six runs short of the target.

James Logan did his best to prevent a Castleford victory as he posted 3-37 from 17 overs .

Despite the loss, the Academy remain top of the league with a 14-point cushion over Barnsley with eight games remaining.

Castleford now move up to 10th, overtaking Appleby Frodingham with the incomplete victory.

Harrogate opener Alexis Twigg led his team to victory, scoring a gritty hundred to defeat Scarborough by 111 runs, overcoming a fine bowling performance by Andy Robinson.

Harrogate’s third-wicket partnership of 120 between centurion Twigg (107) and Ross Huntley (81) set the platform for Harrogate to post an imposing 268-9. It would have been much more but for Robinson dismantling the Harrogate lower order by posting figures of 6-39.

The Scarborough chase never gained any momentum. They lost wickets at regular intervals as Harrogate opening bowler Tom Geeson-Brown returned figures of 3-54.

Batting hero Huntley then mopped up the tail with 3-21 to dismiss Scarborough for 157. The win moved Harrogate into fifth on 75 points.

The Cup semi-final between Barnsley and Harrogate was washed out and awaits a new date and the Yorkshire Champions Trophy semi-final between Cleckheaton and York will now be played on August 31.

Going home: ICC Trophy-winning captain Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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