Jack Brooks continued the amazing start to his Yorkshire career by almost clinching a surprise victory for the Vikings in a low scoring contest against Derbyshire Falcons at Headingley.
Brooks, who has only just returned from a six-week lay-off with a left thumb injury, claimed a career best four for 21, including a spell of four wickets in nine balls, to almost clinch a Yorkshire victory after they were restricted to a modest 119 for eight.
But after Derbyshire slumped to 92 for eight, needing 28 off the final three overs, Yorkshire were thwarted with Jonathan Clare hitting 35 off 29 balls, including three fours and a six, to secure a two wickets win with three balls remaining.
“It hurts quite a lot to lose that game, no matter how you do in the game personally, because you want to win it,” said Brooks. “We had got the momentum back and looked in control for a couple of overs, but couldn’t quite close it out.
“I will probably be proud of the way I came back when I look back over it in the next couple of days, but it hurts too much right now.”
Brooks was one of several changes to the Vikings’ line-up from the side that reach the final last summer with Joe Root and Tim Bresnan missing on England duty, Mitchell Starc with Australia and David Miller choosing not to return to have a break from cricket. Jonny Bairstow was given permission to play by England’s selectors, but will join up with his international team-mates after this match and is unlikely to feature for the remainder of the t20 campaign.
The absence of Yorkshire’s international players told on a slow pitch with Derbyshire restricting them to only 11 fours and two sixes throughout their innings. They gained early momentum with South African Albie Morkel dismissing openers Andrew Gale and Adam Lyth with his opening spell and finished with an impressive two for nine from his three overs.
Only Gary Ballance, returning to Yorkshire after being selected for England’s Twenty20 series against New Zealand for the first time, seemed to be able to time his shots and top-scored with 44 off 43 balls, but Yorkshire struggled to find any momentum and their highest stand was limited to just 28.
Derbyshire had no such problems when they began their reply with Chesney Hughes racing to 36 off only 33 balls, including five fours and a six, and threatened to repeat a similar performance to his innings in the championship match at Headingley at the start of the season when he finished unbeaten on 270.
He hit Brooks for 15 in his first over, but the former Northamptonshire seamer claimed his revenge when he returned in the tenth over and bowled Hughes off an inside edge to start Derbyshire’s collapse, only for Clare’s late intervention to deny Yorkshire an opening day win.
Gary Ballance top-scored with 44 on his return to Yorkshire after the Vikings struggled to set a competitive target against Derbyshire Falcons on a slow Headingley surface.
Put into bat after losing the toss, the Vikings struggled to recover from losing openers Andrew Gale and Adam Lyth inside the first four overs, who both fell to South African Albie Morkel, who has signed to help Derbyshire’s t20 campaign.
Morkel claimed two for nine in his three overs and set the tone for the innings with Yorkshire struggling to hit boundaries throughout and were restricted to only 11 fours and two sixes as the Vikings reached 119 for eight.
Only Ballance, called up to the England Twenty20 squad for the first time last week but failed to feature, was able to make an impression before holing out to the cover boundary having hit three fours and a six in his 45-ball innings.