Chris Waters: Darren Lehmann's knock of genius for Yorkshire set to be eclipsed

RECORDS are there to be broken, as they say, and how long before one of Yorkshire's finest is left in the shade?

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 26th May 2018, 6:45 am

Darren Lehmann watches another shot safely to the boundary as he races to his record knock at Scarborough.
Genius: Darren Lehmann watches another shot safely to the boundary as he races to his record knock at Scarborough.

I am referring to Darren Lehmann’s record one-day innings for Yorkshire of 191 against Nottinghamshire at Scarborough in 2001, a performance I still regard as the most thrilling I have seen.

The details remain so fixed in my mind that I can practically relay them off by heart.

Batting at No 4, Lehmann made his runs from 103 balls with 20 fours and 11 sixes, one of the sixes nearly taking my head off as I queued for a cup of tea on the popular bank, the ball whizzing past my face and thudding into the wooden refreshment hut with a loud crash.

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Yorkshire's Tom Kohler-Cadmore hits out. Picture: Alex Whitehead/

Indeed, just a few inches the other way, and you would have been spared years of my inane ramblings as I would have left the ground suffering from an acute case of rigor mortis.

However, not even the great Australian’s radar was quite that accurate on a day when he famously went out to bat after swigging down remnants of Champagne that had somehow found their way into his batting helmet, after Yorkshire had won the County Championship title two days earlier – food for thought, while we’re at it, for those who believe that the only way for players to warm up is to play football and run around cones.

In all seriousness, it was an innings that could only have been fashioned by someone touched with genius, an innings made more incredible because it pre-dated the fast-scoring T20 era.

Back then, instances of players scoring anything like 191 from 103 balls were rarer than clear traffic on the A64 that heads towards Scarborough; spectators at North Marine Road that day came away feeling that they had witnessed something truly astonishing.

But with T20 having revolutionised the sport, and with bigger bats and smaller boundaries, the whole mindset of batting has changed. No-one would be remotely surprised were such statistics replicated now anywhere in the world.

That said, Lehmann’s 191 still stands proudly atop Yorkshire’s one-day tree, albeit there are plenty of current players working hard to shake the branches.

Indeed, in the last two years alone, we have witnessed the second, third and fourth-highest scores in the club’s one-day history – Travis Head striking 175 against Leicestershire at Grace Road, Jonny Bairstow 174 against Durham at Headingley, and, just eight days ago, Tom Kohler-Cadmore plundering 164 against Durham at Chester-le-Street.

When Lehmann made his 191, the next-highest one-day innings for Yorkshire at the time was Craig White’s 148 against Leicestershire at Grace Road in 1997, and the highest before that Geoffrey Boycott’s famous 146 against Surrey at Lord’s in the 1965 Gillette Cup final.

Now it feels only a matter of time before someone like a Kohler-Cadmore goes on to register Yorkshire’s first double hundred in the format.

The sport, and the dynamic skills and approaches of batsmen, are moving all the time towards colossal scores.

Indeed, Kohler-Cadmore’s 164 was not simply a case of an opening batsman playing the innings of his life and batting through the entire 50 overs.

On the contrary, when he was out, there were still 8.4 overs of the innings left, time for him to have gone well past the magic 200 figure that he may very well reach in the not-too-distant future.