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Foxes triumph at Scarborough

Yorkshire Vikings' youthful pace attack just failed to contain high-flying Leicestershire Foxes in the Yorkshire Bank 40 Group C match at Scarborough.

Injuries resulted in Yorkshire playing four teenage fast bowlers, including York-born Matthew Fisher, who at 15 years and 212 days became the youngest cricketer ever to play in a competitive county match.

Also making his first-team debut was 17-year-old Richard Gibson, from Whitby, while Ben Coad, 19, was playing in his second game and Will Rhodes, 19, his fifth.

They all performed admirably, yet could not stop Leicestershire emerging victorious by three wickets after the White Rose had posted 258 for nine.

Fisher, cheered on by family, friends and fellow members of his Sheriff Hutton Bridge team in the York and District League, came on for his first bowl at 56 for two. In a tight four-over spell he gave away only 18 runs, maintaining a good line outside off stump.

Leicestershire’s openers Josh Cobb and Niall O’Brien fell to the more experienced Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid.

But when Rhodes came on to bowl, he claimed wickets in consecutive overs, having Greg Smith caught behind for 58, and Ned Eckersley taken in the deep by Adam Lyth.

Plunkett dismissed Matt Boyce and Gibson came on at 185 for five in 30 overs to take Yorkshire closer to victory as Michael Thornely edged him to Andrew Hodd for 21 and Fisher returned for a second spell to trap Shiv Thakor lbw without scoring.

The tables had turned Yorkshire’s way, but Rob Taylor and Jigar Naik prospered with some positive batting in an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 71 in eight overs.

Fisher came back once more with 14 needed from two overs and this time the pressure proved too much for him. He had Naik caught at midwicket but the umpire signalled a no-ball because of height and a leg-side wide soon followed before Taylor struck him for four as 11 came off the over.

It had still been a great baptism for Fisher in front of an appreciative crowd of 3,400 and he was given the match ball by Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie.

A whirlwind knock of 53 off 23 balls late in the innings by Plunkett rushed Yorkshire to a competitive score with 61 coming off the final five overs.

Plunkett lashed four sixes, two of them in one over off Thakor, the second of which sailed over long-on and struck a spectator who had to receive medical attention.

The other maximums came off Nathan Buck and Robbie Williams, with the batsman also hammering four fours and scoring all but one of the runs in a 46 stand in 23 balls for the seventh wicket with young Gibson.

Attempting one big hit too many, Plunkett skied Williams to Buck at cover but there was further excitement in the final over when Fisher launched his career by finding the boundary at third man off consecutive balls from Taylor with intended drives.

Winning the toss, Yorkshire were given a good start by skipper Andrew Gale and Phil Jaques before the latter was bowled by Taylor for 19; the former went on to make 44 prior to being caught behind attempting to cut Naik.

Lyth was then joined by Joe Sayers, drafted into the side because of injuries to Gary Ballance and Richard Pyrah, and the third-wicket pair featured in the biggest stand of the innings, of 65.

Lyth was then also caught behind attempting to cut Naik but Sayers continued to play some fine strokes on his way to a chanceless half-century. He was fourth out, taken above his head on the long-off boundary by Taylor off Thakor for 58.

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