The stands around Headingley shook as the home supporters were able to cheer their Vikings to a five run win over the Lancashire Lightning. It was a close-run match from start to finish. One couldn’t keep Adam Lyth out of the match if they tried and wickets and boundaries came with enthusiastic ease.
The toss was an hour later than scheduled, but Lancashire’s Steven Croft won the toss and chose to field. The match finally started at 19:25, 55 minutes late. This meant the Yorkshire Vikings captain strode out to the crease with Lyth by his side, to open the batting, with both sides set to face the reduced 18 overs each.
The pair got off to a fiery start, or at least Lyth did. The first three oversaw 32 runs scored, made up of two fours and two sixes, but then both openers fell to Nathan Buck, Lyth for 23 from 14 and Lees for just five from nine.
There was a phase of stagnation at this point and no boundaries were scored for 35 balls until Jack Leaning was at the crease, with New Zealander Kane Williamson, and struck a Croft delivery to the boundary for four.
The stagnation was largely due to the exceptional fielding display put on by Lancashire. They stopped balls, time and time again, that could have easily been struck for four and in many cases, the Yorkshire batsmen probably deserved the boundary they had attempted.
Buck was the pick of the bowlers for the Red Rose, finishing with 3-25 from his four overs, while George Edwards was not far behind him with 2-24 from his four.
No mistakes were made in the field by Lancashire, apart from in their bowling – six wides were bowled within the first five overs of the match and seven extras in total were conceded. Nevertheless they limited Yorkshire to 141-7, which was a bit of a middle-of-the-road score; it was defendable, but that wasn’t ever going to be easy.
Alviro Petersen and Jordan Clark made their way to the crease to begin the Red Rose defence and, again, the first three overs looked to be setting the tone for the batting side. They reached 20-0 in this first section of overs, but Yorkshire applied the pressure and the halfway point in their innings saw them 63-3. It was largely thanks to two astonishing catches on the boundary by Lyth and Leaning that dismissed the two openers.
Karl Carver was targeted by batsmen Karl Brown and Liam Livingstone in the 11th over, as he was struck by the latter for three consecutive sixes, but a better delivery – not a full toss – from Carver saw one run taken and Brown brought on strike. The next two balls saw both Brown and Livingstone dismissed, caught in the deep by Leaning and Ballance for nine and 36 respectively.
Carver showed maturity and pulled it back and ultimately finished with figures of 2-34, which is more than respectable in this format.
It could be said that this was the turning point in the game; Yorkshire’s tails were up and they knew they could get the final wickets before Lancashire made the total. Tim Bresnan secured himself two wickets, but for the cost of 30 runs, while Steve Patterson finished with 3-23.
The catches and brilliant fielding meant Yorkshire bowled Lancashire out for 136 in 17.4 overs, securing a five run win.
Man of the Match
The TV broadcaster this evening made a slightly different choice for MotM but my vote goes to Adam Lyth. He struck 23 from 14 with the bat including two fours and two sixes and he then took three good catches on the boundary to help his side to victory – along with tirelessly stopping balls on the boundary and bowling one over for just four runs.
His only slip in fortune was when he took a brilliant catch on the boundary but his momentum was so much that he went over the boundary; he attempted to throw the ball back but his old Aussie match Aaron Finch was not there to take the backward catch and it fell to the grass letting Lancashire’s Karl Brown off.