The story of Yorkshire’s season continued at Headingley as they battled hard, played some good cricket, but ultimately failed to take the spoils. Leicestershire Foxes won by 18 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis system to book their placed in the last-eight as the Tykes failed to cahse down a revised target of 193 in a 19-over-a-side rained reduced game.
It was Yorkshire’s 7th defeat and although eight White Rose batsmen made it to double figures Joe Sayers was the highest contribution with 27. The Tykes needed one player to see it through as Andrew McDonald had with an unbeaten 96 rom 57 balls for the Foxes.
It looked promising for Yorkshire when Gary Ballance (25 from 17) and Jonny Bairstow (25 from 14) added 42 in 4 overs for the 6th wicket, but Jigar Naik claimed 3 wickets in 4 legitimate balls to have Ballance stumped, Richard Pyrah caught by Josh Cobb at long-off and Adil Rashid caught by McDonald at long-on. Bairstow was caught at long-on in the next over from Abdul Razzak and the White Rose wilted.
McDonald had stroked 9 fours and 3 sixes to notch his highest t20 score. The Foxes raced to 52-0 after 4 overs as Rashid and Ryan Sidebottom were expensive. Fellow opener Josh Cobb hit 26 from 15 balls in a storming start, but the Tykes fought back well as Pyrah and Ajmal Shahzad applied the brakes. Cobb skied Pyrah to mid-off where Sidebottom took a cool catch before the rain fell for 45 minutes with the score 88-1 after 9.3 overs.
Will Jefferson (28 from 21) before finding Sidebottom off the impressive David Wainwright. Wainwright, recalled from a month’s loan from Derbyshire after Azeem Rafiq suffered a season ending hamstring injury took 1-24 in his 4 overs and will relish his chance to shine in a Yorkshire shirt.
McDonald took the Foxes score to 191-4 in their 19 overs and the mountain was too high for Andrew Gale’s side. Gale himself, found it difficult to start with a bang, particularly against the tall left-armer Harry Gurney whose 4 overs cost just 19 runs and denied Yorkshire a flyer. Gale animatedly showed his frustration at not being able to find the middle of the bat and later Bairstow looked devastated when he fell and Yorkshire hopes died.
There is a will to win and a hard work ethic in the Yorkshire camp, but the wins are hard to come by. Yorkshire need to win their last three matches and hope for favourable results elsewhere if they are to stage a Great Escape and qualify for the Quarter-Finals. Despite the defeat,
Yorkshire supporters left Headingley delighted with the news that had filtered around the ground during the evening that Jacques Rudolph was to rejoin the Club as an overseas player for the remainder of the summer.
Yorkshire welcome the Leicestershire Foxes to Headingley on Wednesday night in a must win game if the Tykes are to reach the Quarter-Finals.
Yorkshire old boy, Matthew Hoggard, will be intent on denying his old team-mates and maintaining his team’s excellent run in the Friends Life t20. A win for the Foxes makes their presence in the last-eight a near certainty.
Yorkshire are in 6th place with four games to play. After Wednesday’s game they place Durham twice and Derbyshire and wins throughout would see them qualify. Anything less and it’s goodnight Vienna!
Azeem Rafiq has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a hamstring injury in the defeat to the Notts Outlaws. It’s a cruel blow for Azeem who has been one of Yorkshire’s success stories this campaign.
David Wainwright, who has been recalled from his loan to Derbyshire before it got underway, replaces Rafiq in the Yorkshire squad.