Yorkshire v Leicestershire, Scarborough, 3rd day

Graves role dominates wintry day

David Hopps

May 4, 2012

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Leicestershire 102 for 3 (Boyce 46, Patterson 3-27) and 116 trail Yorkshire 447 by 229 runs
Scorecard

Yorkshire's announcement that their no-nonsense chairman, Colin Graves, would take on an executive role to try to drag the county into a more successful era overshadowed a weatherbeaten day during which Leicestershire gamely resisted the threat of defeat.

Graves, who forced the England fast bowler, Ajmal Shahzad, out of the club this week because of what he perceived as a disruptive nature, has spent so long playing the role of Father Christmas to Yorkshire, who are mired in debt, that the wintry sleet showers that scoured North Marine Road in mid-afternoon seemed entirely appropriate.

Yorkshire have abandoned their search for a chief executive and have instead entrusted Graves with a day-to-day executive role but as yet there are no plans for a parking space for a sledge and two reindeers.

Yorkshire's march towards victory was held up by a combination of bad weather and unexpected resistance from Leicestershire's Matt Boyce and Josh Cobb on the third day. The fourth-wicket pair added an unbroken 88 before Leicestershire closed on 102 for 3, the grim conditions having allowed for only 37 overs in the day.

There was every chance of a three-day win for Yorkshire when the visitors, following-on, resumed in the morning on three for one, still 328 runs in arrears. A quick end loomed more likely when Jacques du Toit was caught in the covers by Joe Sayers off Steve Patterson in the second over, but rain and murky light soon brought the players off.

The interruption lasted until 3.30pm before Patterson struck again by getting Ramnaresh Sarwan lbw pushing half-forward and at 14 for 3 the end may not have been far away if Boyce and Cobb had not defied both the Yorkshire attack and the weather.

Cobb had introduced himself by driving his first ball for four and with Boyce also in determined mood, the pair made sure if unspectacular progress. The introduction of Anthony McGrath, who had ripped out the middle-order in the first innings, could not make a breakthrough, although Boyce, on 19, edged him just short of Gary Ballance at first slip.

A wintry sleet shower shower caused a further nine overs to be lost at 5.40pm and on the resumption there was just time for Cobb to hit Adil Rashid to the mid-wicket boundary to take Leicestershire into three figures before another squall brought about a premature close.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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