The Durham Jets bowled their way into the Final of the T20 Blast by ensuring that Yorkshire Vikings were unable to make the 157 they set, after Paul Collingwood won the toss.
Despite the weather forecast doing its best to prevent any cricket being played at Edgbaston today, what the Birmingham ground has actually been treated to are two excellent, close-run and very similar semi-finals.
The favourites from this morning’s match – the Nottinghamshire Outlaws – failed to chase down the Northants’ Steelbacks 161 and this afternoon it was a similar story, Yorkshire lost the toss and were unable to chase Durham’s total.
The bowling performance was excellent, Durham’s batsmen were unable to get away for a long periods of the game and the pressure was steadily built by Yorkshire. But when Ben Stokes headed to the crease, the total crept up.
The England man knocked 56 from 36 including four fours and three sixes. But his was not the only innings of note: looking down the scorecard, all batsmen but the two there at the end reached double figures and two got into the 20s (Mark Stoneman and Michael Richardson). Looking down Yorkshire’s scorecard, the supposedly key-men of Joe Root, Gary Ballance and Jonny Bairstow contributed 10 runs from 18 balls collectively. It just doesn’t make for a winning combination.
Durham’s England players performed almost flawlessly however with Mark Wood stepping up with the ball and claiming 4-25 from his four overs, including the key wickets of Tim Bresnan and Liam Plunkett, at a point in the game where it could easily have swung Yorkshire’s way – that pair at the crease have the potential to take a game away from almost anyone.
A nod should be made to Adam Lyth, however. Much like Stokes, he played the key innings for his team and, while he put on a few more runs, he was unable to see the whole innings out and therefore his efforts were fruitless. He eventually fell for 64 from 42.
The final nail in Yorkshire’s coffin could be considered the way they dealt with the rain interruptions. Twice during Durham’s innings – once for 20 minutes, once for just four – the players came off the field for rain and, after the first interruption, Durham put on 54 runs in five overs, upping their run-rate considerably.