Posted by Tony Hutton
An early morning departure from Scarborough saw us back at Weetwood, the Leeds University ground, ready for day two of a three day under 17 county game between Yorkshire and Derbyshire.
On the first day Derbyshire had been bowled out for 189 and Yorkshire were well on their way to a first innings lead before close of play but having lost the important wicket of skipper James Wharton for 75.
When we arrived following yet another 10.30 early start, again for footballing reasons, Yorkshire were four wickets down, having lost Revis, Ramkumar and Woods as well as Wharton but the two batsmen at the crease were already well established. Finlay Bean, from York cricket club and Harry Duke, Yorkshire Academy, batted together almost for the rest of the day in very hot conditions with a totally parched, brown outfield, and an isolated island of green in the centre of the ground.
You had to feel sorry for the Derbyshire bowlers, who stuck to their task manfully in exhausting conditions, but Bean in particular, ably assisted by Duke, played proper cricket. No slogging or fancy shots but each ball played on it's merits, more often than not with a straight bat. Indeed there were fourteen maiden overs during an innings which lasted for 129 overs in all. Derbyshire used nine bowlers but none could make much impression on this very confident Yorkshire pair.
Bean was soon past the century mark and carried on regardless reaching the two hundred mark just ahead of Duke's century as the pair put on a mammoth partnership of 297 runs, taking the Yorkshire score from 170-4 to 467-5 before Bean was finally dismissed by Josh Lacey for 213. He had scored thirty fours and almost the first ball he hit in the air was the six to bring up his 200.
Duke by this time had also reached his century after a somewhat nervous time in the late 80s and throughout the 90s when he was tied down by accurate spin bowling. His innings of 138 not out contained sixteen fours and lasted for 260 balls, whereas Bean scored his 213 from 279 balls. Dominic Leech, after a very long wait, and Archie Greaves came in at the end to hit a few more quick runs and Yorkshire eventually declared with an impressive total of 560-8.
It had already been a depressing day for Derbyshire but got even worse in the final session as their second innings resulted in a clatter of wickets, three of them to Harrison Quarmby, leaving them in total disarray on 14-6 at close of play. Surely an easy win for Yorkshire on day three.
As it turned out the Derbyshire side did get stuck in early on day three and the tailenders Kimmitt with 43 and Priestley with 58 extended the game until lunchtime before they were finally bowled out for 149, leaving Yorkshire winners by an innings and 242 runs.
It turned out that the current series of Under 17 county games produced at least eleven centuries. Perhaps something to do with the hot weather and bone hard wickets. Finlay Bean's 213 was the highest score, but others deserving of a mention were George Metzer for Hampshire v Worcester with 194, Sol Bell for Durham v Cheshire with 189, Joey Evison for Notts v Staffs with 185 and Rahul Wijeratne for Middlesex v Kent with 179. Quite a collection.