Yorkshire v Lancashire T20 Blast July 2nd
Neil Whitaker reports
LOCKIE Ferguson took an hat trick with the last three balls to win the Roses t20 match by nine runs to give the Vikings their first victory over the Lightning at Emerald Headingley since 2017. The Vikings had looked easy winners then in the 17th over things started going pear shape. With 35 needed off 14 balls Matthew Fisher strayed outside the 30 yard circle luckily for Fisher and the Vikings the next ball was a dot. With 20 needed off the last over, the over was entrusted to Ferguson. After a single off the first ball, the second ball was a wide and they ran two. The next ball was a no ball and Jones scooped the next ball for a four. The scoreboard couldn’t keep up and it took a while to sort it out, eventually 11 were needed from four balls. Rob Jones, who hit his first Blast fifty hit the ball back to Ferguson and set off for a single and Ferguson threw at the stump and missed. Luke Wells skied the next ball and Adam Lyth took the catch. Ferguson demolished Luke Wood’s stumps with the next ball. Ferguson got his hat trick when Tom Hartley skied and Lyth took a running catch from mid of. Harry Brook said: “I backed Lochy to win the match for us even if they needed only 10. I didn’t even know that he had taken an hat trick.” Brook hit an unbeaten 91 to take his average in this year’s competition to 115.75 as the Vikings reached 180 for four and bounced back from their thrashing by the Birmingham Bears two days ago. Brook said: “I didn’t know that my average was 115. That is my role in the team, I have learnt a lot from Joe Root, he doesn’t hit the ball in the air and he averages 60. I have just got stronger and I am looking to hit the ball in my areas. There's so much said about going hard in the power play but we don’t do that because we know that we bat all the way down to number 11.” When he came into bat the Vikings were 30 for two in the fifth over and he shared in the two big partnerships of the Vikings innings as he blasted the Lightning bowlers to all parts of Emerald Headingley and the Vikings fans sang his name. With skipper Lyth they added 77 in nine overs and with George Hill they pair added 73 in six overs. Brook added: “It was a really good pitch and we said we had to bowl well in the power play. For them to get so close was a phenomenal effort.” Brook’s innings came to life when he drove Saqib Mahmood over long off for a six as the Vikings added 29 in two overs. In the next over he cheekily ramped Wood to the fine leg boundary. He smashed Saqib in his next over to the extra cover boundary. Followed by another two fours, a couple and a single. Brook drove Hartley to bring up his fifty off 35 balls. Then he pulled Hartley to the square leg boundary dissecting two Lightning fielders. At the end of the Vikings innings Hill was unbeaten on 19, before he had scored Hill drove Matt Parkinson back to the bowler who appealed for a catch and after a tv replay it showed that it was a bump ball. In his next over Hill picked Parkinson off his toes and launched him into the Emerald stand. Two balls later Brook repeated the shot with an even bigger six. two balls later Brook repeated the shot even bigger this time the ball landed on the middle tier. 20 came off that over and that was the turning point in the match. Lightning skipper Dane Vilas said: “We’re very disappointed we lost. It’s tough. These games are huge, and we need to start winning them. We’re putting pressure on ourselves. Saying that, it was an unbelievable fight all the way through from Jones and Croft to get us so close in the end. Unfortunately we left them with a bit too much work to do at the back end. Jonesy is bitterly disappointed, but he was unbelievable. We have three games left, and we know we need to win all three. And hopefully we can avenge this defeat at Old Trafford.” The Vikings won the toss and decided to bat and only three runs came off the first over from Croft. Lyth clipped Saqib off his legs for the first six in the second over. In Croft’s second over Lyth drove him over cover for a second six. He top edged a sweep off Wells over Vilas’ head and the ball ran to the boundary. Wood got the first Viking wicket with his first ball when Mark Stoneman pulled him to Wells at mid wicket. Saqib got his only wicket, taking his wickets tally in the Vitality Blast to 50, when Jordan Thompson top edged a pull off him and the ball looped to Wells at mid wicket. At 30 for two in the over Vikings’ fans were thinking that their teams’ batting was going to fail again for the second time in two days. Lyth drove Wood over the head of Saqib to the boundary to bring up his first fifty in this year’s competition off 38 balls with two sixes and five fours. Garry Ballance raced down the wicket to Parkinson, missed the ball and was easily stumped by Vilas off a wide. They lost their first wicket in the second over when New Zealander Fin Allen moved across his stumps to Lyth and was bowled. The diminutive Alex Davies hit two straight sixes, the first off Fisher and the second off Waite but going for another one off Waites next ball he holed out to that man Brook coming in from the long on boundary. Lightning skipper Vilas edged a quick ball from Ferguson to stumper Harry Duke. Keating Jennings drove Dom Bess straight to Brook at long off who took a comfortable catch. After two failed attempts by Davies and Jennings to hit sixes Croft managed to clear the boundary off Bess. In the next over Croft hooked Matthew Waite over the fine leg boundary. In the next over Croft hit his third six when he pulled Fisher over the the square leg boundary and then drilled him over extra cover for another six. The partnership between Croft and Jones ended when Croft got too far under Fisher and skied him to Lyth at mid off they had added 91 in eight overs.
FULL SCORECARDJuly 3, 2021 3:30 pm