Yorkshire Vikings stormed into finals day in Barbados with an emphatic seven-wicket victory over Hampshire Royals on Saturday at the 3Ws Oval.
The Vikings are on course to repeat last year’s success of retaining the Barbados T20 cup, with a superb performance in which they dominated in all departments.
The White Rose claimed the Royals scalp with three overs to spare and victory was assured in style with a straight six from Richard Pyrah.
Hampshire won the toss and elected to bat and found the going tough from the outset with some some excellent tight bowling from the Yorkshire attack and an all-round outstanding fielding display typifying Yorkshire’s hunger to gain revenge after Hampshire beat them in last season’s Friends Life T20 final in Cardiff.
Yorkshire got off to a perfect start, when Ryan Sidebottom bowled James Vince with his first ball sending the Hampshire opener back to the pavilion for a golden duck.
Hampshire struggled to gain any momentum, apart from a 51 partnership from Michael Carberry and Sean Ervine for the the third wicket. However, the Vikings capitalised taking crucial wickets at regular intervals and showed true quality in the latter stages of Hampshire’s innings with some superb death bowling lead by seamers Moin Ashraf and Sidebottom. Ashraf, Sidebottom and new signing Liam Plunkett, making his first start for Yorkshire in a competitive match, both took two wickets each. Hampshire managed only 112-6 from their 20 overs with Carberry top scoring with 42.
The Vikings stared their innings in an efficient manner, but were helped with four drop catches by the Royals with Adam Lyth the recipient of three relatively simple missed chances from the Hampshire fielders.
Captain Andrew Gale and Lyth put on 80 for the first wicket, before Lyth was finally caught behind for 27. Despite losing two quick wickets, Gale 43 and Phil Jaques run out for 1 from a superb throw from Carberry, Yorkshire made little fuss in reaching their target of 113 with three overs to spare.
Pyrah showed his skills with the willow with a quickfire 22 from 12 balls including an exquisite straight six to win the match in style.
On this performance, the Vikings will be hard to beat in this year’s competition. The biggest objective now is to build on this victory and continue to set the standards in T20 cricket.
Sunday’s Barbados T20 Finals Day takes place at the Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados with Yorkshire’s semi-final getting underway at 12.30pm (local) 4.30pm (UK). We will bring you full coverage of the Vikings exploits live via the Club’s official Twitter feed @yorkshireccc