Hodge holes Yorkshire again

Leicestershire 251-8 Yorkshire 233-9 Leicestershire win by 18 runs
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The Independent Online

The second-wicket stand of 126 between Virender Sehwag and Brad Hodge is a Leicestershire record. Brad Hodge's 104 was the first century against Yorkshire since Nasser Hussain's 117 in 1999.

How soon these records will be gathering dust is the question. The 45-over National League is now looking neither fish nor foul, without the jazz and glitter of the Twenty20 and the austere elegance of first class cricket. Even the match programme, containing an interview with a player long retired and birthday mentions of such luminaries as Paul Frees, Gary Beers and Bobby Gillespie, is fusty.

And are Yorkshire, too, in time past? By mid-summer they have won one Championship match, are out of the C&G Trophy and all but out of the Twenty20 and are heading for another relegation in this competition. Last season, says Colin Graves, the chief executive, was the worst in Yorkshire's history: watch this space.

Leicestershire were sprightly in taking advantage of a flat track and fast outfield although they had to take care against Yorkshire's new-ball pairing, Chris Silverwood especially bowling much better than his figure suggests. Once again Yorkshire played a limited-overs match short of one bowler when others were available.

Sehwag did not give a chance until he was 63 while Hodge who had previously hit Yorkshire for 47 and 97, went on relentlessly, taking five consecutive boundaries off Yuvraj in the 38th over.

Yorkshire were not incompetent in the field simply not strong enough to contain a long batting order. There could have been few optimists in the 3,000 crowd even fewer after the departures of Silverwood and Yuvraj. Possibly the only batsman capable of restoring the momentum is Michael Lumb and he was neatly lured into a trap at the mid-wicket. His tail-up, David Masters mowed down the middle order. Eight runs an over, with eight wickets down, was never attainable although the 18-year-old Tim Bresnin did his best.

Stephen Fleming, who is resting a bruised toe, should be fit for Yorkshire's final Twenty20 match tomorrow.

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