Yorkshire CCC frustrated at York but Mat Pillans remains optimistic

ARGUABLY the most exciting thing that happened at York yesterday was when a fire alarm forced everyone to leave the pavilion during a break in play.

Friday, 6th August 2021, 10:34 pm

That would not have been a problem had a) the press not been about to be served their dessert at the time following a delicious main course of chicken pie and b) it not been raining.

And so players, coaches, umpires, media and supporters were forced to stand outside for a good 20 minutes, making small talk and seeking shelter.

A Yorkshire Post investigation, conducted by me, revealed that the culprit was – according to one helpful insider – “someone downstairs who’d leant against the ‘break glass’ and accidentally set the alarm off”.

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Yorkshire's Matt PIllans is congratulated on taking the wicket of Nottinghamshire's Sol Budinger. Pictures: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Hey, no worries, except that my rhubarb and custard never did arrive…

On a serious note, the interruption came as we waited for play to restart after Nottinghamshire had reached 185-5 from 33 overs in a match already reduced by rain from 50 to 41 overs per side.

Alas, it never did restart, with hope finally abandoned at 5pm following a pitch inspection by umpires James Middlebrook and Russell Warren.

The result left Yorkshire fifth in Group B, level on points with third and fourth-placed Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire, who they trail on most wins/net run-rate, with the top-three going through to the knockout stages. Yorkshire have two group games left, starting with tomorrow’s trip to play Derbyshire at Chesterfield before they finish against Glamorgan in Cardiff on Thursday.

Yorkshire's Josh Sullivan celebrates dismissing Nottinghamshire's Liam Patterson-White.

Mat Pillans, the pace bowler who led the way yesterday with 4-26 from six overs, believes that a young Yorkshire side are well-placed to qualify.

“With two games left, if we can string good performances together and get full games in with the weather, I definitely think we’ve got a good shout,” he said.

“There’s been a lot of really good individual and team performances throughout these first few games, things are looking good and the lads are feeling confident.

“We’ve got a lot of youngsters who are only going to benefit from this experience – even more so if we can make it through to the knockouts.

Yorkshire's Matt PIllans appeals succefully for the wicket of Nottinghamshire's Peter Trego.

“On a personal note, it’s always nice to get a few figures beside my name, so I was happy to contribute in this match, but, ultimately, it would obviously have been good to finish the game and get a good result.”

Pillans’s performance inspired a fine Yorkshire fightback after Nottinghamshire had raced to 146-0 inside 24 overs.

Ben Slater and Sol Budinger, the left-handed openers, had capitalised on some loose bowling, finding the boundary with frequent regularity on a fast outfield despite the poor weather.

But Pillans, who returned to the side at the expense of fellow South African overseas pace bowler Duanne Oliver, who had suffered a recurrence of a back problem that had kept him out for a month prior to Tuesday’s match against Warwickshire, took four wickets in three overs to transform the mood.

When leg-spinner Josh Sullivan chipped in with a wicket on his first-team debut, two days after his 21st birthday, Nottinghamshire had lost 5-19 inside six overs and Yorkshire looked well-placed to potentially go on and force the win.

Pillans and Sullivan were the only two changes to the team that had beaten Warwickshire by 39 runs, with spinner Jack Shutt also making way.

Nottinghamshire also handed out a first-team debut – in their case, to 17-year-old Fateh Singh, a left-handed batsman and off-spin bowler.

Slater and Budinger played strongly up front, although Yorkshire delivered too many loose balls. Slater leant into a couple of handsome drives and pulled and cut crisply en route to a 58-ball half-century, while Budinger attacked at every opportunity, delivering some crunching strokes all aorund the ground as he reached the same milestone from 44 deliveries.

Budinger was the more expansive, pulling and straight-driving both Sullivan and Matthew Revis for sixes – one of the straight blows cannoning into the side of a white van near the pavilion.

But Pillans had Budinger skying to wicketkeeper Harry Duke, having struck 71 from 63 balls, and he then removed Slater for 74 from 83 deliveries when he pulled to Ben Coad at long-leg in front of the scoreboard.

Pillans also had Peter Trego caught behind and Lyndon James spectacularly caught at mid-wicket by Will Fraine, diving to his right, before Sullivan captured a deserved wicket when he trapped the slog-sweeping Liam Patterson-White.