Royal London Cup
Tue 27 July, 11:00

The Incora County Ground, Derby

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Report: Derbyshire v Warwickshire, Royal London Cup

Ed Pollock hit a superb maiden List A century as Warwickshire got their Royal London Cup campaign up and running with an emphatic eight-wicket victory over Derbyshire at Derby. 

It was a highly impressive all-round performance by a Bears side so heavily depleted by injuries and Hundred calls that Northumberland spinner Karl Carver was signed on a three-week contract on the eve of the game. 

Former Yorkshire player Carver made an immediate impression as he linked up with fellow spinner Jake Bethell to restrict Derbyshire to 200 for nine from 42 overs (a D/L target of 205). Carver took two for 35 and Bethell three for 32 to reel Derbyshire in after they raced to 82 without loss. 

The Bears then took nine wickets for 105 in 24 overs before cruising to 207 for two with five overs to spare having been set on their way by a sparkling opening stand of 121 in 23 overs by Pollock (103 not out, 115 balls, ten fours, one six) and Rob Yates (60, 70 balls, seven fours).  

It was a high-class maiden List A ton for Pollock while Yates maintained his remarkable List A record – his three 50-over appearances have brought him 66, 103 and 60. 

Put in, Derbyshire stared well as Harry Came (45, 69 balls) and Tom Wood (28, 42) added 82 but the innings went into freefall after Wood was bowled by Bethell. That was the first of three wickets for eight runs in 22 balls as Brooke Guest was run out by Yates and Came edged Carver to wicketkeeper Michael Burgess. 

Thereafter, only Fynn Hudson-Pentice (51 not out, 57 balls, four fours)  lasted long. Bethell bowled Aaron Hughes through a cut and had Anuj Dal caught by Will Rhodes an extra cover.  

Carver castled Nils Priestley before a brilliant direct hit from George Garrett did for Mattie McKiernan. Ravi Rapaul skied Manraj Johal and was acrobatically held by Ethan Brookes and when the predatory Garrett also ran out Connor Marshall, the young Bears had showed really their mettle. 

Pollock and Yates made immediate inroads into the modest target, putting 50 on the board in seven overs.  The two left-handers dovetailed beautifully with Yates first to his half-century (51 balls, seven fours) followed in the next over by Pollock (61 balls, six fours). 

After Yates was bowled by Wood, trying to cut, skipper Rhodes (25, 29 balls) and Pollock added 59 in ten overs as the latter climbed into some strokes. Six and four off Rampaul sped him through the seventies and left him needing 22 of the last 35 runs to reach his maiden ton. He completed it with the winning boundary, blasted over mid on to the evident delight of his team-mates on the balcony. 

Preview: Derbyshire v Warwickshire, Royal London Cup

Warwickshire will travel to Derbyshire in the Royal London Cup tomorrow (11am) with their bowling resources stretched ever further after Ryan Sidebottom was ruled out by a calf strain.

The Aussie seamer suffered the injury during the home defeat to Nottinghamshire on Sunday.

His absence takes the number of senior bowling options unavailable to the Bears, through injury or The Hundred, to 11: Sidebottom, Chris Woakes, Olly Stone, Danny Briggs, Olly Hannon-Dalby, Craig Miles, Jake Lintott, Henry Brookes, Tim Bresnan, Liam Norwell and Dan Mousley.

In light of the further blow, the Bears have been looking into bringing in a player to flesh out their bowling ranks in the immediate term. That quest goes on ahead of tomorrow’s match – a player can be registered to play on the morning of a game.

In their two RLC fixtures so far, defeats to Glamorgan and Nottinghamshire, the Bears’ young squad has competed well amid the challenges of early elevation to senior cricket. Captain Will Rhodes admits that much is being asked of the young guns but is impressed with the way they are handling it.

“It is an interesting competition for us this year,” he said. “There are a few lads  who, when I came in to train the day before the Notts game, I had never met before. It was the first time I’d seen them, so I am finding out about these guys as we go, so when you are going into a game against a strong team like Notts it’s always going to be tough.

“But this will test the nerve and character of these young guys. We will learn about them and that’s the beauty of it. We are in this position because our senior players impressed in the T20 and got offers from the Hundred, which is testament to the quality in our squad, and we have also got injuries, so these lads have got the opportunity. They have come in and done well.

“We just have to learn quickly and move on and go again at Derby tomorrow. We weren’t at our best with the ball and in the field against Notts and let them get about 30 or 35 over par. Then when Rob Yates and I were batting we were on track but, in one-day cricket, when you lose a couple of quick wickets it can all end in a bit of a hurry and that’s what happened. The result flattered Notts a little bit but when you are chasing 11 and 12 an over with young batsmen coming in in the closing overs, it’s always going to be hard.”

The highlight of the game for the Bears was an accomplished maiden List A century, in only his second List A appearance, by Yates to go with his three championship centuries already this season.

“Yatesy batted beautifully,” said Rhodes. “He looked in no bother at all and is proving what a good player he is in red and white ball cricket this year with the power and touch of his batting.

“So now we go again at Derby and it would be great to get a win on the board. For a young player, to be part of any sort of win at this level is something you remember, so it would be fantastic for the guys to get one.”

Academy batsman Ashish Chakrapani, who has played in the first two games of the competition, is unavailable tomorrow due to education.

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