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    Mike from Leicestershire scored runs and took wickets against Tykes
Mike from Leicestershire scored runs and took wickets against Tykes
Ben Mike passed 50 to hurt his former county. Source: Getty Images

Mike from Leicestershire scored runs and took wickets against Tykes

Ben Mike made a brilliant counterattacking 90 on day two at Headingley, haunting his former county Yorkshire. Leicestershire's lower order helped their side reach a first-innings total of 354.

This was another weather-shortened day in the Vitality County Championship opener. Play only started at 1.40pm due to a wet outfield, two hours earlier than day one.

Yorkshire held sway overnight with the visitors at 164 for 5, and three wickets inside the first 75 minutes strengthened their position. Seamer Matt Milnes took two wickets on his way to 4 for 73. However, allrounder Mike impressively led the revival from 215 for 8, sharing a record ninth-wicket stand of 119 either side of tea with tailender Tom Scriven, who contributed a valuable 56.

Mike then took two wickets in his first two overs with the ball as Yorkshire replied with 72 for 2 from 18 overs at close.

Mike hit four sixes in 113 balls before leaving Yorkshire in November, one year into a three-year deal. He returned to the Uptonsteel County Ground in search of greater opportunities in this competition.

During his season and a bit at Headingley, the 25-year-old only played two Championship matches, spending the latter part of 2022 on loan wearing the white rose. Mike claimed a best of 4 for 40 with the ball in a One-Day Cup match last August, but failed to score more than 30 runs in any competitive fixture.

He arrived at the crease at 177 for 7, much to the delight of home supporters who had expected sod's law to kick in. Despite this, he played superbly in Yorkshire colours, being aggressive yet selective from No. 9 in the order.

He hit three sixes on the leg-side while slog-sweeping and pulling his way to a fifty off 56 balls. He faced the left-arm spin of Dan Moriarty and the seam of fellow allrounder George Hill. He later pulled Milnes for another six as he approached a century.

Mike had some luck on his side. On 38, he miscued Moriarty and offered a difficult chance to Jordan Thompson who was running in from long-on. Shortly afterwards, he hit another skied miscue that was caught by the strong wind sweeping across Headingley, taking the catch out of the same fielder's reach as he ran towards midwicket.

Mike was well-supported by Scriven, and the pair recorded Leicestershire's highest-ever ninth-wicket partnership in first-class fixtures, beating a record that had stood for 85 years.

 Yorkshire's day started well as Milnes dismissed both Australian overseas batter Peter Handscomb, for 26, and nightwatchman Scott Currie caught behind. The score slipped to 177 for 7 inside the first six overs of play as both players were playing loosely outside off stump.

Matthew Fisher bowled Ben Cox for 32, leaving the Foxes in danger of not reaching 250. Mike reached a fifty and was followed by Scriven, who got there off 71 balls. By that time, the visitors were far happier at 327 for 8.

Seven more runs were added when Ben Coad, bowling with the new ball, trapped Scriven lbw. Mike ensured a third batting point for reaching 350.

One of Yorkshire's issues last season was their inability to finish off the tail in matches. To achieve their goal of winning the Division Two title in 2024, Yorkshire must address this issue.

Milnes ended the innings by having Mike caught superbly at deep cover by Fisher. This left Yorkshire with almost an hour and a half of batting to do before the close.

It was not an easy start for Mike as he got Fin Bean caught behind with his third ball. Captain Shan Masood was also caught at second slip playing loosely, resulting in a duck. The score slipped to 47 for 2 in the 13th over.

Adam Lyth played a fluent 43 not out. He reached 12,000 Championship runs before the match was called off four overs early due to bad light.

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