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Adam Lyth's Sensational Ton
Adam Lyth was unquestionably the star of the show, as he tore up the record books with an exhilarating innings that lasted until the last few balls of Yorkshire's allotted twenty overs. Along with Kohler-Cadmore, Lyth added 127, and then for the second wicket the ace opener shared in a stand of 124 with Willey. Not wishing to disparage the efforts of his partners, Lyth (the bald eagle) dominated the proceedings with an eye-catching total of twenty fours and seven sixes. Ironically the Vikings could only muster a mediocre nine runs off the last deliveries which amounted to an anti-climax after the fireworks display of the first eighteen overs.
The Vikings' hopes of reaching the Twenty20 Blast quarter finals were all but ended by yet another painfully narrow defeat. Unfortunately for some peculiar reason an experienced Yorkshire team seem insufficiently streetwise to prevail in tight tussles, always ending up as the bridesmaid. The batting has been generally good, but the team has lost too many matches that were there for the taking. Today's encounter was no exception. The Tykes posted a highly competitive score, identical in fact to that which they recorded just the night before. However this time they were unable to defend their total and Leicestershire slipped past them in the final over. The result was tough on Kohler-Cadmore and Marsh who each made big contributions. Nevertheless the Yorkshire puddings go into the final round of matches needing to win against Northamptonshire and hope that other results go in their favour. Their chances appear to be really slim.
Brezza Crushes Lancashire's Resistance
The Yorkshire puddings kept alive their hopes of progressing in the Twenty20 Blast, courtesy of yet another triumph against Lancashire. The hosts made a sensational start, as their openers smashed 95 off only eight overs, but then the rest of the innings stuttered by comparison. Indeed such was the subsequent limp by the batting order that they could only muster a mediocre fifty-nine runs off the last nine overs. Therefore, at the halfway stage, the contest seemed to be finely poised.
Debacle In Scarborough
One has to feel sorry for the Scarborough faithful and also have some sympathy for Leaning and Lyth and Coad because this was an abject two-day defeat at the hands of a team that was in a lower league only last year. Tragically, Yorkshire's pitiful batting has descended from bad to worse, and one is running out of scornful adjectives that could be ascribed to the Tykes when it comes to run-scoring. Suffice to say that the Vikings bat considerably better in twenty overs than the first eleven do in the longer version - itself a telling story. One wonders whether the white rose decline will reach the destination of Division Two come the end of September. It's starting to look that way! Depressingly, Yorkshire will almost certainly have to soldier on with their misfiring puddings, as adequate reinforcements are decidedly thin on the ground.
Laughable, Pitiful Vikings
The hapless Yorkshire puddings have now followed up three consecutive Twenty20 wins with three defeats inside a miserable week. All three losses could have been avoided, and yet the Tykes (boasting about half a dozen internationals in their ranks) will insist on losing close matches. Tonight by the narrowest of margins, the visitors broke their supporters' hearts with an inept run chase that landed them one run pitifully short of Durham's own total.
Another Narrow Setback
Ssometimes losing by a small margin is the most painful situation of all, and yet again Derbyshire Falcons have narrowly prevailed against the Vikings. Quite frankly, with a team that boasts our embarrassment of resources, the Tykes should not be losing twice to our more impoverished neighbour. Kohler-Cadmore is short changing his employers with inadequate scores, while the efforts of Shaun Marsh are scarcely much better. Ultimately 180 was a decent total, but unfortunately Rafiq was expensive and Fisher underemployed, with the consequence that the visitors paced themselves perfectly to a deserved triumph. Three consecutive wins followed soon after by two straight defeats is typically Yorkshire. At least new recruit Sarfraz Ahmed acquitted himself well.
Hales Inspires Outlaws' Sensational Triumph
The Vikings remain atop their Twenty20 group, courtesy of a healthy run rate, but they succumbed to a narrow defeat at Trent Bridge in a match that they should never have lost. Initially the visitors accelerated to an eye-catching 66 off the first five overs. The opening pair actually bludgeoned eighty three runs in 6.1 overs before they were separated. In the end, the Tykes posted another giant total against the In-laws, with Lyth and Marsh again plundering heaps of runs against the same opposition. 223 really ought to have been an impregnable amount, but the formidable Hales immediately tore into the bowling of Willey and Bresnan.
Bowlers Dominate In Satisfying Victory
This was arguably Yorkshire's worst batting performance of the tournament so far, and yet their seemingly mediocre total proved far too demanding for the Jets. Both teams made miserable starts, each losing both openers in the blink of an eye. However, it was David Willey who excelled yet again, posting the highest innings of the match for the third consecutive outing, all of which the Vikings managed to win. Whilst Willey was again catching the eye with the bat, he and his colleagues in the bowling unit really secured a surprisingly comfortable triumph with a collective effort which was beyond reproach. True, Willey opened the proceedings with two wides, but thereafter the hosts stifled their opponents while chipping away at their batting order. In the end, none of the six Yorkshire bowlers finished with figures in excess of eight an over, a tremendous return when one considers that Durham were involved in a run chase. Pride of place must go to Rashid for a quartet of wickets, but even this was probably eclipsed by Bresnan bowling no fewer than two maiden overs at the start of the innings - something almost unheard of in Twenty20 cricket nowadays. With this third home success of the last week, the Vikings are moving yet closer to a place in the last eight. Let's hope that they haven't peaked too soon once more!
David Willey, in the midst of a red-hot streak of form, followed up his show-stopping bravado from Friday night by smashing his merry way into the record books by posting the highest ever innings by a Yorkshire player in the history of Twenty20 cricket contests. In addition to Willey's rampage of sixes and fours which had Worcestershire at sixes and sevens, every Viking batsman, bar Marsh, managed at least one boundary. Even Handscomb and the recalled Lees hit their combined thirty runs very quickly, thereby adding to the onslaught.
A Brilliant Contribution From Willey
All-rounder David Willey produced a fine performance with bat and ball which spearheaded the Vikings' successful conquest of the Birmingham Bears. Willey's sparkling innings of seventy, ruined by a dubious run out, was a reminder of his value in Twenty20 cricket. If only he could acquit himself so convincingly in the longer version. Nevertheless, while David searches for four-day form, he remains an asset to his adopted county in the Twenty20 Blast. Jack Leaning also weighed in with an excellent unbeaten cameo at the tail end of Yorkshire's innings. Then, with Birmingham tasked with the pursuit of 180, the Viking bowlers all made good contributions, with Brezza and Rafiq sharing six wickets between them. Now, can the Tykes actually string at least two Twenty20 wins together?!