The T20 Finals Day line-up has been decided, with all four teams heading to Edgbaston coming from the North Group, as Yorkshire secured their place with a 91-run victory over Glamorgan in Cardiff.
The two captains met at the crease for a toss on a pretty green pitch and it was Yorkshire’s Alex Lees who had the option of selecting whether to bat or bowl – he chose to let his men set a total in the foreign land of Wales. It turned out to be quite the decision.
Admittedly Adam Lyth, who has been in storming form of late, struck two fours from nine deliveries and then lost his wicket to a Shaun Tait/Jacques Rudolph bowler/catcher collaboration but thence forth went fellow opening bat David Willey and captain Lees.
The first wicket fell after 36 runs had been scored but the next – Lees – would not fall until the pair had got the team up to 110 and Willey had sent the ball to all corners of the ground. He continued in fine form and only stopped when spinner Colin Ingram removed his stumps. Willey’s contribution of 79 from 38 included seven fours and six sixes – when his wicket fell it looked highly likely Yorkshire would make 200+ on a pitch that supposedly offered 165 as par.
As it was, Glamorgan – largely thanks to four wickets from Ingram – pulled their way back into the game and Yorkshire wickets started to tumble. Any wickets he was unable to account for were taken care of by either Timm van der Gugten or Graham Wagg – the latter collaborating with bowler Ingram for the wicket of Liam Plunkett as he took an astonishing diving catch near the boundary.
Glamorgan limited – if you can call it that – Yorkshire to 180-8 but their response got off to the worst possible start when opening bowler Tim Bresnan had David Lloyd bowled with the very first ball of their innings.
It was only downhill from there and, despite Rudolph’s stick-ability, the hosts lost wickets at such regular intervals that a 28-run partnership between Rudolph and Craig Meschede was the highest of their innings. Much like Ingram in Yorkshire’s innings, the spin of Adil Rashid accounted for four of Glamorgan’s wickets.
The problem that lay ahead of Glamorgan was that even when wickets weren’t falling, runs weren’t being scored. Rashid’s four wickets fell for just 26 runs from three overs, debutant Matthew Waite took 1-6 from two overs, and the more experienced bowlers hardly let a run go between them.
The boundary was found just 13 times in Glamorgan’s innings compared to Yorkshire’s 25 boundaries – to put it bluntly the visiting side outstripped the hosts in every capacity and, ultimately, Glamorgan stumbled their way to 90 all out in response to Yorkshire’s 180-8.
After the announcement of the victory came the draw for Finals Day. Yorkshire will face Durham and Nottinghamshire will face Northants.
Man of the Match
There is no man to give it to other than the inimitable David Willey. The foundation he laid for the rest of the Yorkshire line-up with 79 from 38 allowed his team to make an above par score even with a flurry of wickets towards the end of their innings, and he then made an impact with the ball as well. Just two overs were bowled by Willey but he finished with figures of 1-11 and that is a considerable all-round contribution.