Ahead of Yorkshire Vikings opening home Vitality Blast game in two weeks time, we look back on some classic encounters between the two teams.

Yorkshire Vikings have produced some special batting performances in Vitality Blast cricket, twice passing 250 for example. But chasing 208 to beat Durham at Headingley last June was right up there amongst the very best.

If this season’s clash between the two counties goes close to matching the entertainment on display 12 months ago, we are in for an absolute treat.

Never before had the Vikings chased down a target of 200 plus, but on this occasion they did so with plenty of room to spare as Adam Lyth led the way.

Lyth smashed 77 off 33 balls at the top of the order, one of three significant contributions to a six-wicket win with 2.2 overs to spare as the county got their Finals Day push back on track.

Yorkshire had just lost back-to-back home fixtures to Leicestershire and Derbyshire and were in danger of another reverse when half-centuries from Graham Clark (65) and Ollie Robinson (56) got the visitors off to a flyer.

But a late four-wicket burst from Jordan Thompson helped limit the damage.

When he bowled Robinson for his first wicket, Durham were 148-4 in the 15th over and still well placed for a total north of 220. Thankfully, Thompson added the wickets of Brydon Carse, Liam Trevaskis and Ned Eckersley to finish with 4-32 and restrict the total to 207-8.

Yorkshire were fielding a pair of overseas debutants in Dom Drakes and Finn Allen.

West Indian Drakes had already claimed two wickets with his left-arm pace, and when New Zealand opener Allen flew out of the blocks with three towering sixes in his 12-ball 29, it was clear Yorkshire were on track for a second win in five North Group games.

Chasing 200 is no easy task, not usually anyway. However, this was made to look like child’s play.

Allen had got his new side ahead of the rate, and Lyth and captain David Willey – just back from the IPL – continued the assault.

They matched Allen’s trio of sixes, with Willey almost equalling Lyth’s 77 with 75 not out off 39 balls. The pair shared 70 in only six overs for the second wicket from 54-1 in the fourth over and ensured that a rare failure from superstar Harry Brook – he made only four – could be absorbed.

Finals Day cricket was to be secured, and let’s hope our opening home fixture of 2023 leads to more of the same.

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