Off the back of my productive three-day campaign, I took my good form into the 2022 one-day season and delivered the most productive 50-over summer of my career so far.
In the premier round of matches, I chalked up 102 from 72 deliveries (Including an all ran 5!) at Bradford Recreation Park. The innings meant that I now had centuries in each of the amateur three-day, one-day and T20 formats. I then went onto plunder 35 from 20 balls at Sheffield Gardens before notching up 45 not out from just 25 deliveries at home to Scarborough.
Maintaining my momentum, I racked up a career best 125 from 92 deliveries at home to York to maintain my run-laden summer. We had been precariously placed at 25-4 and 58-5 but I was only dismissed two runs short of our target of 220.
I would go onto make another half-century in the final round of matches, 68 from 40 balls at home to Hull. In truth, there was another century there for the taking that I didn’t snap up. A win in that match however meant, after defeats in the first two games, we’d won three matches on the bounce and qualified for the final.
That was a heck of a time to be handed the captaincy and I made a couple of bold changes to the XI. Unfortunately it turns out that the ‘Art of Captaincy’ is not to change a winning team and bring in untried players for a final. I wish somebody had told me that in advance!
On a personal level though, I contributed one of my best ever knocks in the final. With wickets constantly falling around me, I applied myself appropriately to total 100 from 75 deliveries. If only I could have helped yield another 20 runs or so from the remaining few overs. As it was, we always seemed a bit short having failed to post 300.
Though we claimed four wickets, Sheffield ran out comfortable winners. To see their players celebrating on the podium was tough. Though the players I brought into the first team for such a big occasion didn’t disgrace themselves, neither did they do enough to really justify their selections. As captain of Leeds, I take full responsibility for those calls!
To reach a final is no disgrace however and on a personal level I’m now firmly on the radar of the English county sides. Scores of 102, 35, 45*, 125, 68 & 100 in a final amounted to 475 runs at an almighty average of 95.00. It goes without saying that I topped the one-day run charts in the north but there… I said it! Now my captaincy skills will be put to the test in the T20 format. I’ll endeavour to lead the team to the best of my ability as well as continuing to press my case for county recognition.