Outlaws steal points as Wardlaw impresses on debut
— 3 July 2011
Yorkshire’s faint hopes of reaching the Friends Life t20 Quarter-Finals now look remote after they suffered a 6 wicket defeat to the Nottinghamshire Outlaws.
Nottinghamshire continue to lead the group and advanced their own last-eight claims with an impressive display at a sunbaked Headingley.
Other than another fine batting display by Andrew Gale who made 61 and a hard hitting 41 not out from Jonny Bairstow the Tykes batsmen struggled to post a competitive score. The other bright note was struck by debutant Iain Wardlaw. The 26-year-old who signed for the White Rose county a fornight ago took 2-17 on debut and looked the part.
Wardlaw, who has made his name playing Club cricket for Andrew Gale’s home club Cleckheaton, replaced Ryan Sidebottom who was suffering from a stomach bug. He took 2 wickets in 4 balls during his second over and threatened to put the skids under Notts who otherwise cantered towards the victory target of 153.
Yorkshire’s progress was halted when Joe Sayers drove a ball firmly through extra-cover only to see Riki Wessels leap high to his left to take the catch of the season so far. Adam Lyth hit 16 from 12 balls before backing up to far and being run out. Anthony McGrath struggles continued when he was caught behind off the impressive slow-left-arm spinner Grame White and Gary Ballance was run out as Yorkshire lost their way again.
Jonny Bairstow joined Andrew Gale who had been skillfully punishing everything loose. Gale made his fourth t20 half century of the summer as he hit 5 fours and 1 six, but he fell when he guided Andre Adams straight to Luke Fletcher at short fine leg.
Bairstow struggled to find the fence early on but launched three enormous sixes into and over the Rugby Stand, as he was paerticularly punishing of Darren Pattinson who went for 45 runs on his 3 overs. Ajmal Shahzad made a quick 15 but Yorkshire’s 152-5 never looked competitive.
Notts reached 42 before Alex Hales dollied a catch to McGrath at cover off Richard Pyrah but when Wessels joined Tamim Iqbal to add 61 for the 2nd wicket the game slipped from Yorkshire’s hands.
Wardlaw took his wickets when Wessels (27 from 20) skied to Lyth at long-on and Iqbal (47 from 37) found Lyth three balls later. Azeem Rafiq bowled Adam Voges for 2 and Notts were 105-4, but still well ahead of Yorkshire at the same stage.
Scott Elstone (21* from 15) and Chris Read (26 from 15 including successive sixes off Pyrah to seal the deal) led Notts over the line.
Azeem Rafiq suffered a hamstring injury when fielding and looks set to miss the next few weeks of the summer. It’s a cruel blow for Rafiq who has shown terrfic form during the Tykes t20 campaign. Martyn Moxon looks set to talk to Derbyshire who were due to take David Wainwright on loan throughout July in a bid to cancel that deal and retain Wainwright as the second spin option.
Yorkshire could rekindle their hopes of reaching the last-eight with a home win against Notts Outlaws on Sunday after beating the Northants Steelbacks on Friday night.
But although the weather is set fair it’s not going to be easy. The Notts side are the form team in this summer’s Northern Division and a win over the Tykes would all but secure their place in the last eight.
t20 is all about form, confidence and momentum and Andrew Gale’s side will be looking to extend their Northampton form today so they can make their own charge to the Quarters.