York CC Vs Castleford CC – NKO Round 2

At Clifton Park, May 12. York won by eight wickets. Toss: Castleford. A century from Duncan Snell helped settle this all Yorkshire League North tie as York booked their place in the next round with an eight wicket victory over Castleford. The rain that marred the previous days’ league meeting between the sides was long gone and this contest was played out under blue skies on a straw coloured wicket that offered the first indication that it would be a day for the batsmen. The extra bounce of the new ball produced an early wicket when Edward Cole failed to get over a ball from Guy Darwin instead cutting it straight to point at the start of the third over. Harry Wilkinson and overseas signing Umair Khan set about repairing the damage putting on 49 before Charlie Elliot found the leading edge of Wilkinson’s the ball lobbing gently to the fielder at cover. That dismissal brought visiting skipper Scott Hopkinson to the crease and the former Clifton Alliance all-rounder alongside Khan gained the upper hand in the game the pair adding exactly 100 in 15 over either side of drinks. The Pakistan-born all rounder twice hit spinner Daniel Woods for six, on his way to a score of 61, but the bowler finally got his man with a delivery turning enough to take the outside edge and drop into the hands of James Billington at point.  Prior to Khan’s departure the visitors would have had their sights set on a total in the region of 250 but York lead by Snell fought back in the final ten overs. The captain picked up the prized wicket of his opposite number for 69 and finished with 3-43 from eight overs. In all five wickets fell in the last half-dozen overs leaving the hosts chasing a target of 214 to win.  Oliver Batchelor opened the York reply alongside his captain and the pair took advantage of the early fielding restrictions regularly piercing the infield to find the boundary the duo were in full flow scoring at a rate in excess of six and a half runs per over when Liam Hyde picked up a low catch in his follow through to dismiss Batchelor for 36 made off 32 balls. Australian James Billington provided the perfect foil for his skipper picking off singles seemingly at will to rotate the strike.  Snell, having scored a century in the completion in each of the last two seasons, completed a hat-trick this latest one coming off only 82 balls including eight fours and five sixes.  His side were within sight of victory with only a further ten runs required when he under-edged an attempted sweep off Eddie Morrison onto his own stumps. Five balls later the match was over, Billington scoring the winning runs to finish unbeaten on 48, York reaching the target with just under four overs to spare.