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Vikings make it three successive T20 wins

— 13 June 2014

Half-century star Jonny Bairstow hailed Yorkshire’s running between the wickets as the difference between the two sides as they won by 16 runs against Northamptonshire in the NatWest T20 Blast at Wantage Road tonight.

Scorecard

The 24-year-old wicketkeeper batsman, who also picked up a stumping in the defence of 182, hit four fours and two sixes in a beautifully timed 37-ball 60 not out as they Vikings amassed 181-3 on a slow pitch.

He shared a third-wicket stand of 53 in 5.5 overs with Alex Lees (35) and an unbeaten 90 in 8.3 with Adam Lyth, who backed up his double century in the Championship here less than a fortnight ago with 46 not out off 31 balls.

There were only 12 fours and three sixes in the Yorkshire innings, but they pinched singles and turned ones into twos expertly on their way to their third straight North Division win. Their record is now three wins from five.

The Vikings then held their nerve in the face of a counter-attack from South African opener Richard Levi, who walloped 76 off 47 balls to keep the target just about within range for the Steelbacks.

He countered the pitch conditions to hit five fours and five sixes, but he was one of two wickets for the excellent off-spinner Azeem Rafiq, who finished with 2-19 from four overs despite conceding a six off his last ball.

Oliver Robinson picked up two wickets in the final over as he defended 25 to win by 16. Northants, who won at Headingley last month, finished on 165-9.

“That was a fantastic win,” said Bairstow, who notched his third career T20 fifty.

“It was obviously good to get a win against a side who really put us under the pump at Headingley and we lost to. The defending champions, to come to their home patch and win is very pleasing.

“We ran really well. It was something of our innings that really stood out.

“We were able to pick pockets in the outfield and get our twos and really push their fielders.

“I think we stole 15 or 20 runs in that aspect of the game, and that changes the game on its head. We’ve obviously won by 20 runs at the end. We’re really pleased with what we did.”

Rich Pyrah and Steve Patterson, playing his first match of the campaign in place of rested Jack Brooks, also picked up two wickets and Adil Rashid one.

Patterson removed David Willey and Kyle Coetzer in the fourth over, leaving the score at 33-2. Coetzer’s dismissal owed a lot to an exceptional low catch from a diving Robinson after he had run in from the deep square-leg fence.

Levi kept Northants in it, but his dismissal to Rafiq in the 14th over, caught at long-on, pretty much sewed up the game for the visitors, who had left Northants at 101-4, needing 81 off 39 balls.

No other home batsman made it beyond 25, with Bairstow adding of the fielding and bowling performance: “It was brilliant. We spoke about adapting to the pitch, and we changed our plans from what we normally do, and we did really well at it.”

Yorkshire’s next T20 Blast match is against Lancashire Lightning at Headingley in a fortnight’s time.

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