Harry Duke backed to realise opening potential as Yorkshire Vikings warm-up for Royal London Cup in style

HARRY DUKE is to follow a similar development path to England Test captain Joe Root when he steps up to open the batting for Yorkshire in the Royal London Cup tomorrow.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 7:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 1:49 pm
PROMISING: Yorkshire's Harry Duke. Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com

The Vikings open their 50-over campaign against Surrey at Scarborough, their line-up denied a host of players who are taking part in The Hundred, most playing for the Headingley-based Northern Superchargers franchise, who start their respective campaign against Welsh Fire Men on Saturday.

But, while the likes of Adil Rashid, Adam Lyth, Root and Jonny Bairstow are engaged elsewhere, along with head coach Andrew Gale who is assisting Superchargers’ boss Darren Lehmann, Pyrah is hoping some of the club’s emerging talent step up to make the most of their opportunity.

And, in 19-year-old wicket-keeper Duke, the Vikings have somebody they believe has the potential to lead from the front.

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FOLLOW MY LEADER: Yorkshire and England's Joe Root. Picture: Tony Johnson.

“I’ve been really impressed with Dukey and am keen to give him an opportunity at the top of the order in white ball cricket,” said Pyrah, who will coach the Vikings in Gale’s absence.

“He reminds me of a young Joe Root when he came through, who probably didn’t have the power but has a good cricket brain.

“We sent Rooty up to the top when he was a youngster, and look what it’s done for him. Let’s see how Dukey goes.

“His temperament is excellent.”

CONFIDENT: Yorkshire's Richard Pyrah will coach the team through the Royal London Cup in Andrew Gale's absence. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Pyrah has appointed England spinner Dome Bess as captain for the competition, for which Yorkshire concluded its preparations with a warm-up game against Northumberland at North Marine Road on Tuesday.

The Vikings were asked to chase down a target of 255 by the visitors, something they accomplished in style thanks to an Will Fraine’s impressive unbeaten century.

Fraine scored 146 not out off 129 balls as the hosts claimed a nine-wicket win in fromt of a crowd numbering around 500.

Will Fraine hit a stunning unbeaten 146 off 129 balls as Yorkshire warmed up for the start of the Royal London one-day Cup later this week with a commanding friendly victory by nine wickets over Northumberland at Scarborough.

Seamer Mat Pillans claimed 3-23 from a pacy nine-over spell, while Duke hit 52 for his part in a 144-run opening partnership inside 25 overs with Fraine.