Coming up Roses

Stephen Brenkley talks to four players of one-day battles past
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The Independent Online
Jack Bond

Lancashire

Gillette Cup quarter-final, 1967. First-ever one-day meeting between the sides. Lancashire won by four runs.

It Was a desperately close thing and for a long time our score of 194 didn't look enough. In the end we won despite not having anybody to bowl the last over. Yorkshire didn't lose many wickets in getting to 100 but then Peter Lever came on and they were still 30 short with eight men back in the pavilion. Fred Trueman then tried to win the game on his own and hit one mighty six off Peter. This left them only six to win and Fred thought he'd try to do the same next ball. He was bowled neck and crop. Yorkshire were nine wickets down needing six to win off the last over. This might have been a tall order except that we'd run out of bowlers. Our captain Brian Statham had slightly miscalculated. Lever was the only front-line bowler with an over left but he had just bowled. This meant John Sullivan, our hard hitting middle-order batsman, had to come on for one over. He had never bowled before. But he kept his nerve, had Jimmy Binks lbw with his fifth ball and we sneaked it. Peter's four for 38 made him man of the match.

Don Wilson

Yorkshire

Benson and Hedges Cup zonal match, 1972, competition's inaugural year. Yorkshire won by nine wickets after dismissing Lancashire for 82

The match lasted for three days because of the weather and there was some uneven bounce in the Bradford pitch. There was some turn and I took five wickets for 26 runs with my left-arm spin. The big wickets were Clive Lloyd and Farokh Engineer because they were players who could turn a game. Phil Sharpe caught Lloyd brilliantly at first slip and just put the ball in his pocket. We got the runs without any bother but then there was some fun. The adjudicator, Bill Voce, gave the gold award to Barry Wood of Lancashire, who had scored 31 and taken one wicket. Our captain Geoff Boycott protested on my behalf though we didn't get on that well. The decision was reversed but Bill said that he'd never adjudicate again. We went on to reach the final and it was only driving down to Lord's that I learned I wasn't in the team. So, in a way, that zonal match marked my last peak for Yorkshire. I never played much after it and two seasons later I retired.

Ashley Metcalfe

Yorkshire

Benson and Hedges Cup semi-final, 1991. Lancashire won by 68 runs.

It Was a big match for us. We hadn't exactly had a long run of success and in my 12 years with the county we reached just one final. In front of a big crowd, Lancashire outplayed us all round that day. I got a hundred, still my only one in the B & H, but that hardly matters when you lose. They scored 268 with just about all their top order contributing and, frankly, we struggled to stay in touch. They got three wickets reasonably early and it was always going to be hard from then on. We had to try to hang on in there and hope that we'd got the breaks. For a while Dick Blakey and I took us to a position where it looked like we might be able to mount a reasonable challenge and we put on 109. But then it all went wrong quite quickly and the last six wickets fell for under 40. I got the gold award but it is terribly disappointing to lose in a semi-final. It wasn't even close in the end and we couldn't have any complaints. On the day they were the better team but Lancashire themselves were easily beaten in the final.

Mark Robinson

Yorkshire

Gillette Cup quarter-final, 1995. Yorkshire won by two wickets.

THE match was truly memorable for me because of the roar of the Yorkshire crowd. Tingles ran up and down my spine at the measure of support they were giving the home team. This was only a quarter-final but it defined the meaning of a big occasion. I'm sure the whole team was lifted. We bowled pretty well at Lancashire and all our bowlers took wickets. We'd certainly have settled for keeping them to 169 and I'd have settled for three for 21 on what was a good pitch. It was far from easy getting the runs. There were jitters early on and later, and their attack was accurate. Michael Bevan played the innings of the day and his stand of 62 with Ashley Metcalfe was crucial. Another flurry of wickets after that put it in doubt again. When the eighth wicket fell we were still 15 short and I was last man in. In the end I didn't have to bat and I was pretty pleased about that. It wouldn't have been the ideal situation. It was a great day in front of a packed partisan crowd but we lost easily to my old county Northants in the semi-final.

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