Yorkshire took a significant step towards their aim of Royal London Cup glory by knocking over defending champions Glamorgan in a bowler-dominated affair at Sophia Gardens, winning by 23 runs.
The Vikings won in Cardiff for the second year running on a used pitch which became almost impossible to score quickly on as the game progressed, the visitors comfortably defending their 257-9 having won an important toss.
Off-spinner Jack Shutt was fabulous with career best List A figures of 4-46 from 10 overs, heading up a disciplined bowling display as Glamorgan were bowled out for 234 with seven balls remaining. Their captain Kiran Carlson’s 64 represented a lone hand.
Yorkshire’s third victory in four Group B games was set up by Harry Duke’s 87 off 117 balls and 55 off 56 for captain Jonny Tattersall, who had an excellent day with bat and in the field.
Tattersall and co have moved into the all-important top three places in the table at the halfway mark in the group campaign. Yorkshire now have a week’s break before facing Essex at Chelmsford next Wednesday.
After electing to bat, the Vikings, who totalled 257-9, got off to a solid start through openers Duke and Will Fraine, the latter who contributed 40 to a 58-run partnership inside 12 overs.
Fraine hit four boundaries off the first four balls of the fifth over, bowled by new ball seamer James Weighell, which went for 21 in all as the score moved to 30-0. The latter two were gloriously cover driven.
It was the most expensive over of an innings which only saw flashes of aggression.
Fraine was dropped moments before departing, caught at long-on off the off-spin of Andrew Salter in his first over.
Glamorgan put a couple of catches down, but their ground fielding was excellent – a point highlighted by two late run outs of Matthew Revis and Tom Loten.
Will Luxton got off the mark with a six over mid-wicket, shimmying down the pitch at Salter, while Duke later pulled Joe Cooke over square-leg for the only other six of the innings.
Luxton (19) and George Hill (9) both fell in the space of three overs to spin as the score fell to 112-3 in the 26th.
Luxton was stumped off the leg-spin of Colin Ingram and Hill lbw to an off-spinner from Carlson which skidded through and kept low.
That forced Duke and Tattersall into a recovery job. And it was one they achieved impressively.
Both men were busy in sharing 90 for the fourth wicket inside 16 overs.
Duke reached his fifty off 76 balls before Tattersall’s came off 53.
After reaching his half-century – his second in four innings – Duke was more expansive, pulling his six before miscuing the same shot out to deep square off left-arm seamer Jamie McIlroy, leaving the score at 202-4 after 41.
Tattersall also miscued out to deep mid-wicket, this time off Weighell.
And the Vikings would have been a touch frustrated at not making the most of the last 10 overs of the innings.
After 40 overs, they were 197-3 but went on to lose six wickets for 60 runs, including the two set men. McIlroy finished with the pick of the home figures, 2-37 from 10.
But the pitch was by no means easy for batting. It seemed quicker than usual Cardiff surfaces early on before getting harder and harder throughout the day.
While Yorkshire could have scored another 20 or 30 runs, in truth they had probably achieved a par score. Bowl well and they had a great chance of toppling the champions here for the second year running.
And bowl well they did as Ben Coad and Matthew Waite struck inside the opening four overs, leaving Glamorgan tottering at 13-2.
Both David Lloyd and South African overseas Ingram were bowled through the gate, the latter falling to a Waite delivery which actually shattered middle stump.
Revis nipped a recovery in the bud when he had ex-Yorkshire loanee Sam Northeast caught chipping to Tattersall at mid-wicket for 29 – 54-3 in the 14th.
And it was exactly the same situation when Shutt bowled Billy Root (17) after the left-hander had put on 53 with Carlson. With Glamorgan now 107-4 in the 23rd over, it was clear that Carlson was fast becoming central to his side’s chances of victory.
Glamorgan reached halfway at 116-4, needing 142 more, with Carlson on 46.
He lost partner Cooke lbw to Shutt – 122-5 in the 27th – before reaching his fifty off 66 balls.
However, when he chipped Revis’s first ball of his second spell to Tattersall at mid-wicket, falling for 64, it felt like a game-breaker at 146-6 in the 32nd over.
Yorkshire’s discipline with the ball was hugely impressive. They only conceded one boundary off the bat from late in the 20th over to early in the 34th, where Glamorgan reached at 153-6.
And when big-hitting Dan Douthwaite (15) hoisted Waite out to deep mid-wicket, where Dom Bess took a super running catch, Yorkshire had the game by the throat with their hosts at 157-7 in the 36th.
Like Revis, Waite had struck in the first over of a new spell.
Glamorgan reached the 40-over mark at 180-7, needing 78 more. But Shutt’s third wicket came four balls later when Salter was stumped off a wide, smart work by Duke confirming the dismissal (186-8).
Wicket number four for 25-year-old Shutt came when Glamorgan’s last hope, wicketkeeper Tom Cullen slog-swept him out to deep mid-wicket, leaving the score at 192-9 in the 43rd.
There was absolutely no way back for the defending champions, who had previously played two and won two.
Added to Shutt’s excellent figures, Coad returned 1-26 from 10 overs, while Waite and Revis finished with two wickets apiece in an old head on young shoulders team performance.
Weighell delayed the inevitable with a late 33 as he and last man McIlroy put on 42. But the former hoisted Bess out to wide long-on, where Tattersall claimed the winning catch.