Fisher narrowly denied fairytale
Leicestershire 260 for 7 (Smith 58, Taylor 48*) beat Yorkshire 258 for 9 (Sayers 58, Plunkett 53, Thakor 3-39) by three wickets
Matthew Fisher became the youngest post-war county cricketer at Scarborough and he was denied a fairytale win on debut as Yorkshire's fledgling pace attack just failed to contain high-flying Leicestershire when the visitors reached their 259 target with five balls and three wickets to spare.
Injuries resulted in Yorkshire playing four teenage fast bowlers, including York-born Fisher, who, at 15 years and 212 days, became the youngest post-war cricketer to play in a competitive county match. Also making his first-team debut was 17-year-old Ryan Gibson, from Whitby, while Ben Coad, 19, was playing in his second game and Will Rhodes, 19, his fifth.
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 2 after nine overs and in a tight four-over spell 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 from 51 balls, with seven fours and a six, and Ned Eckersley caught in the deep by Adam Lyth.
Plunkett dismissed Matt Boyce and Gibson came on at 185 for 5 after 30 overs to take Yorkshire closer to victory as Thornely edged to Andy Hodd for 21. Fisher then returned for a second spell to trap Shiv Thakor lbw without scoring.
The momentum had swung Yorkshire's way at 189 for 7 in 32 overs but Rob Taylor and Jigar Naik turned the tables again 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. 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.
Fisher also had time for a four ball innings in which he struck two fours before being run out for 10 from the final ball of the innings. It contributed to a late-order push that saw a whirlwind knock of 53 off 23 balls by Plunkett rush Yorkshire to a competitive 258 for 9, with 61 coming off the final five overs.
Plunkett lashed four sixes including two in one over off Thakor, the second of them sailing over long-on and striking a spectator who had to receive medical attention.
The other sixes came off Nathan Buck and Robbie Williams as Plunkett hammered five fours, scoring all but one of the runs in a stand of 47 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 when skipper Andrew Gale and Phil Jaques put on 61 in 10 overs before Jaques was bowled by Taylor for 19. Gale went on to make 44 before he aimed to cut Naik and was caught behind by O'Brien.
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 which produced 65 in 12 overs.
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 at 186 in the 33rd over, taken above his head on the long-off boundary by Taylor off Thakor for 58, from 63 balls with six fours.
A large crowd gathered in front of the pavilion during the interval for a presentation by the Yorkshire CC Supporters' Association to Yorkshire president, Geoffrey Boycott, to mark his maiden century 50 years ago in the Roses match at Bramall Lane when he scored 145 and Yorkshire went on to win by an innings and 110 runs. He received a framed copy of the scorecard from the game.