Yorkshire's Jack Leaning refuses to rest on his laurels

Yorkshire's Jack Leaning. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Yorkshire's Jack Leaning. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

First published in Sport
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JACK LEANING is determined not to rest on his laurels and end the summer with a bang after proving he is good enough to make the grade in county cricket with Yorkshire.

The 20-year-old right-handed batsman from York has scored runs in both the LV= County Championship and the Royal London one-day Cup during his breakthrough campaign, including a career best 99 in the four-day draw against Sussex at Arundel in mid-June.

He has also excelled in a handful of different situations, chasing runs for a declaration twice in the Championship, setting up the game at Sussex and attempting to drag his side out of a hole in a one-day game, which came last week against Gloucestershire.

He scored 56 in a sixth-wicket partnership with Adil Rashid as the Vikings recovered from 45-5 to 174-5. Unfortunately for him, they still ended up losing the game.

Ahead of tomorrow’s floodlit one-day clash with Northamptonshire at Wantage Road (2pm), Leaning said: “I’ve felt in a good bit of form recently, so it's always nice to capitalise on that.

“I've still got a lot of learning to do, but as far as I've gone so far, I think I've held my own and proved that I'm good enough to play.

“My target at the start of the season was to try and establish myself in the first team.

“As far as the season's gone so far, it's going nicely. Obviously I still need to finish the season well and account for my own performances and game because it's never a given that you're going to play every week.”

Missing out on a maiden century by one run was something which could have knocked the player’s confidence, although coach Jason Gillespie was quick to take the ‘it’s only one run’ approach in a bid to boost his confidence.

And Leaning agreed: "I was disappointed, don't get me wrong, because I was one run off my maiden first-class hundred. But it's the team that counts - the runs were counted towards the team score.

“If somebody had said to me at the start of the game 'you'll get 99', well it's better than none.”

Yorkshire have had a mixed start to their one-day campaign. They racked up 324-7 and beat Lancashire last Saturday before slipping to a three-wicket defeat against Gloucestershire on Tuesday, a game they were hot favourites to win.

"We've got one of the strongest sides in the country, there's no doubt about that,” added Leaning, who debuted across all three formats last year without playing as much cricket as he has this.

“Gloucester was one of those bad days. It's not every time you come and play and you click. I'm sure we'll come back stronger. They just played a lot better than we did.”

The Northants clash is the first of three Group 'A' fixtures for Yorkshire this week. They also host Worcestershire at Headingley on Thursday before travelling to Grace Road to face Leicestershire on Friday.

They will be without wicketkeeper batsman Jonny Bairstow for all three fixtures because of England Lions duty. Andrew Hodd will replace him.

Meanwhile, all-rounder Oliver Robinson will play second XI cricket for Hampshire this week after being sacked by Yorkshire last week.

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