JACK Leaning’s first century for Yorkshire in any form of cricket could not prevent his side crashing to defeat against Essex in a high-scoring Royal London One-Day Cup Group A match at Scarborough.
The 20-year-old’s unbeaten 111 helped Yorkshire to a challenging 290-6 off their 50 overs – but Essex opener Tom Westley and Ryan ten Doeschate plundered centuries of their own to give their team a five-wicket success.
Westley and his captain shared a mammoth fifth-wicket stand of 209 in 31 overs – a partnership only eight runs short of being the highest against Yorkshire for any wicket in one-day cricket.
Westley’s 111 was also his maiden List A ton, while ten Doeschate blasted 119 from 101 balls with nine fours and six sixes.
Essex’s victory, with 25 balls to spare, moved them joint top of the table with Yorkshire, leaving both sides in with an excellent chance of making it through to the quarter-finals.
Sunday’s torrential rain left large areas of the pitch under four inches of water with the chances of play on the opening day of the 128th Festival looking slim – but groundsman John Dodds worked wonders to ensure a prompt start for the 3,200 crowd under sunny skies and in a strong wind.
Dangerman – David Masters claims the wicket of Yorkshire’s Alex Lees, one of his four wickets. Picture: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTO
Although Adam Lyth made promising progress early on for the hosts, Alex Lees departed for eight in the sixth over, his off-stump being knocked back by David Masters, the pick of the Essex attack with 4-34 from his 10 overs.
Kiwi Kane Williamson lunged wildly at a ball outside off-stump from Masters, only to edge to wicketkeeper James Foster, then when Lyth was run out for a run-a-ball 38 by a direct hit from Kishen Velani, Yorkshire were 55-3.
But Leaning joined captain Andrew Gale and the fourth wicket pair steadied things up with some careful batting.
Gale was in an hour before striking his first four but in the same over that he drove ten Doeschate over long on for six he slapped a catch to Tim Phillips at backward point and departed for 45.
Adil Rashid became Masters’ third victim to make it 154-5 but Leaning and Andrew Hodd advanced the score with a quickfire 109 partnership in 12 overs. Hodd got a six with a remarkable reverse slog-sweep at Reece Topley but in attempting another similar shot he was bowled by Masters for 42.
The final ball was belted over square leg for six by Bresnan, 124 runs gushing from the last 10 overs and Napier’s 10 overs costing him 84 wicketless runs.
Unbeaten – Essex centurion Tom Westley hits out as wicketkeeper Andy Hodd looks on. Picture: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTO
The visitors got off to the worst possible start, their first three wickets going down for 15 runs in six overs.
Mark Pettini was caught behind off the third legitimate ball of the innings from Jack Brooks, before Greg Smith and Velani departed in consecutive overs from Bresnan.
Westley remained firm, while Jesse Ryder took the attack to Yorkshire in style, hitting six fours and a six in his 36 off 27 balls before slapping Richard Pyrah to Lyth at point.
Then ten Doeschate launched himself into the bowling by driving Leaning, Pyrah and Rashid for sixes – just beating Westley to the 50 mark despite batting for 14 fewer overs.
The stand reached 100 in 16 overs and Essex were left needing 123 to win off 20 overs.
The second batting power play was taken at 203-4 in 34 overs and Yorkshire were powerless to stop the onslaught.
Ten Doeschate eventually fell by mishooking Patterson to Lyth with the score on 277 but it was all too late for the home side and Westley finished things off with a six off Adil Rashid.
Essex head coach Paul Grayson said: “At the halfway stage we were slightly disappointed that Yorkshire had reached 290.
“But it was a good pitch and we felt we just needed one or two batsmen to take some responsibility - and Westley and ten Doeschate did so.
“I think we are well placed to make the quarter-finals but one more win should guarantee it.”