Headingley stay suits Rafiq

17 May 2017 07:53:48 EST

Azeem Rafiq celebrated a match-winning performance against Leicestershire by signing a new Yorkshire contract.

All-rounder Rafiq blasted a 50 and then followed up with two wickets in the same over - the crucial ones of Cameron Delport and Mark Cosgrove - to halt the Foxes' charge towards victory at Headingley.

The reward for the former England Under-19 captain's part in the sixth Vikings' win in eight Royal London Cup matches was a one-year extension to his stay at Headingley.

The 26-year-old, who re-joined Yorkshire in June last year, is now contracted until December 2018.

"Obviously it's nice that the club have shown faith in me and have backed me again. It's been nice to try and make a difference wherever I can," Rafiq said.

"You put all the hard work in during the winter and the most pleasing aspect is where we find ourselves in the one-day cup competition at the moment.

"You're always working hard to make sure you give yourself the best chance and I'm absolutely chuffed to bits with how it is going for me personally.

"More importantly we're winning games together as a Yorkshire side and that's by far the most pleasing part."

Yorkshire, thriving in white-ball cricket under new captain Gary Ballance, will host a qualifier for a place in the RLC semi-finals after finishing second behind Worcestershire in the northern group.

Yorkshire are 1212/1 to win the Royal London Cup and 1212/1 to clinch the County Championship Division One title in 2017.

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