Yorkshire Viking v Worcestershire Rapids T20 Blast June 9th

Neil Whitaker reports

YORKSHIRE Vikings extended their unbeaten run in the Vitality Blast to five matches as they beat Worcestershire Rapids by 26 runs to move them on to eight points  in the North group.

For the Vikings, 20 year old  James Wharton hit an unbeaten 111, his first century in only his fourth Vitality Blast T20 match as the Vikings reached 224  in their 20 overs.  He also shared in  a record breaking Yorkshire Vikings second wicket partnership of 159 in 13 overs with  Dawid  Malin, beating the 150 made by Adam Lyth and  David Willey against Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Northampton in 2018.   In fact it was the  highest partnership for any Vikings wicket in T20 cricket. The partnership ended when Malan guided Michael Bracewell to Adam  Hose on the cover boundary

Wharton said: “I flunked my way to 20 but after that I just kept going.  I think I have matured, I know how to play T20 and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Malan has been invaluable. Tonight he was talking me through it.

We were confident of defending 224 but the outfield here at Headingley is rapid 200 is a good score but never here.  Now we want to keep the momentum going and I just want to play and win matches for Yorkshire.”

But when the pair came together at the end of the second over many Vikings fans thought they would struggle to 150 but what a surprise they got . After three dot balls Lyth lost his patience with Michael Bracewell and slog swept him to Brett  D'Oliveira at mid wicket.  Their partnership included a rarity for Malan was  comfortable in letting Wharton dominate the partnership.

Wharton pulled Adam Finch into the West stand for a six.  An unconventional scope went over stumper Ben  Cox’ head to the boundary and he gently drove the next ball to the cover boundary.

His 50 came from 20 balls with seven fours and two sixes. On seven Wharton got too far under a drive and ball went up in the and looked a certain catch but the ball suddenly dipped on Jack  Haynes maybe he saw Bracewell in his eyeline. After hitting 10 off the next two balls he flat batted Pat Brown to D’Olivera at mid on but the ball proved too hot to catch.

On 65 Wharton drove D’Olivera straight, so straight that it hit umpire Steve O’Shaughnessy on his arm and saved three runs for the Rapids. He  drove Brown straight for another boundary to take home into the 90’s, followed by one over wide long off.

He reached his century which came from 51 balls and included 15 fours and three sixes when he scooped Brown to the third man boundary.  

On 24 Malan slogswept  Mitchell Santner for a  four just evading Brown  on the boundary who had come in from the edge.  He repeated the shot  to the next ball with a cleaner hit and got a six.  He reached his 50 from 33 balls with eight fours and a six when he squeezed Brown to the third man boundary.

Vikings captain Shan Masood came and went he  had to reach a wide  ball from Santner and top edged it to D’Olivera in the covers.

In the second over of the Rapids reply Bracewell played Dom  Bess off his back foot and immediately went down and had to be helped off the field.  The Vikings got an early breakthrough when Haynes pulled Weisse to Shan Masood at mid off.

What the Rapids needed was a big partnership between Hose and D’Olivera but they only added 20. Hose drove Jordan Thompson to the cover boundary, then pulled him over the mid wicket boundary but when he tried to pull next ball he top edged and stumper Jonny  Tattersall ran to leg slip to take the catch.

D’Olivera used the long handle to good effect and regularly found the boundary but as they gradually fell behind the rate as they needed sixes.  He flat batted Matt  Revis for a straight six but pulled the next ball to  Ben  Mike coming in from the square leg boundary.  In the next over Santner was back in the hutch when he tried to flat bat Thompson to boundary but only succeeded in finding Lyth coming in from the long off boundary.

Cox scooped Revis over Tattersall head for a six, the next ball he had a life when he cut Thompson to Wharton but he couldn’t hold on to it.

Kashif Ali top scored for the Rapids with an unbeaten 48.  He gently placed Jafer Chohan straight into the Howard stand,  a misfield by Thompson on the cover boundary allowed Kashif to collect another boundary. He drove David Weisse over the long off boundary for a six, followed by another six over mid wicket.  His cover drive off Thompson was the shot of the match.

With 43 needed of two overs  Cox hit consecutive straight fours off the Thompson’s first two balls but cut the next ball to Mike on the point boundary.  Ed Pollock sliced the next ball to Revis on the backward point boundary.

The Rapids head coach Alan Richardson said:“As usual with a defeat, we’re quite frustrated and a little bit disappointed. I thought we made a great effort with the bat. In the field, we weren’t up to our usual standards, which put us behind the eight-ball after the first innings. It  was disappointing that we didn’t give ourselves a chance. We created a couple of opportunities and didn’t take them, which can happen.  Wharton obviously played very well and took those opportunities and put us under pressure.”


July 8, 2023 2:56 pm

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