Yorkshire Vikings v Derbyshire Falcons
Vitality Blast, North Group
Sunday June 20 2021, 2.30pm
Toss: Derbyshire won it and elected to field.
Teams: Yorkshire – Lyth, Kohler-Cadmore w, Root c, Ballance, Brook, Fraine, Thompson, Waite, Fisher, Bess, Ferguson.
Derbyshire – Reece, Came, Godleman c, du Plooy, Critchley, Hudson-Prentice, Guest w, Thomson, van Beek, McKerr, Scrimshaw.
Match summary: Yorkshire breezed past struggling Derbyshire to secure top spot in the North Group with their fourth win in six games, comfortably defending a target of 175. Joe Root top-scored but fell one short of 50 on his return to county colours, while Dom Bess and Lockie Ferguson struck three times apiece in a 39-run triumph.
Report: Joe Root, Harry Brook, Dom Bess and Lockie Ferguson were the star performers as the Vikings clipped the wings of the Falcons.
Yorkshire leapfrogged Birmingham at the top of the North Group, moving to nine points from six games.
Captain Root top-scored with 49 off 36 balls as the Vikings made 174-6, including Brook’s unbeaten 48.
The England Test captain is back in Vikings colours for a week and helped his side recover from 8-1 in the first over and 56-3 in the eighth.
He shared 57 in six overs for the fourth wicket with Brook, while seamer George Scrimshaw claimed a career best 3-30 for the Falcons, who then fell well short of their target at 135 all out in 19 overs.
Bess and New Zealand overseas Ferguson finished with 3-21 apiece as Yorkshire secured a routine two points to keep confidence high.
Root missed out on a sixth half-century in his last seven Blast innings dating back to July 2018.
He came into Yorkshire’s team as one of four changes from last Wednesday’s win at Worcestershire – Friday’s clash with Birmingham was rained off – with Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid and regular skipper David Willey all on T20 international duty.
Root then struck 10 balls into the Derbyshire chase when Luis Reece skewed his off-spin high to point.
When Bess claimed his first wicket – a caught and bowled to get rid of Leus du Plooy – Derbyshire were 49-4 after nine overs and in deep trouble.
Bess had Matt Critchley caught at long-on and Brook Guest caught at long-off to secure career best figures in only his 10th T20 appearance – 84-6 in the 14th.
Fynn Hudson-Prentice (34) added respectability, but Jordan Thompson and Ferguson both struck twice in two balls to mop up the visiting tail.
Turning point: Jordan Thompson twice, Harry Brook and Matthew Waite hit four sixes in the last nine balls of Yorkshire innings to significantly boost the total. Twenty eight runs came off the last two overs, giving the White Rose the momentum at halfway.
Magic moment: Dom Bess took a superb return catch tumbling to his right to get rid of dangerous Leus du Plooy as Derbyshire slipped to 49-4 after nine overs of their chase.
Stat: Joe Root captained Yorkshire for the first time in limited overs cricket having previously led the county in four Championship matches in 2014 and 2018.
Roooooot: Joe Root navigated Yorkshire away from potential danger with another excellent T20 knock. The Vikings were 8-1 after five balls when he came to the crease and later slipped to 56-3 in the eighth over.
He has now scored 378 runs in his last seven Blast innings dating back to the start of 2018, including five half-centuries. In that time, he averages 75.59.
What they said: Dom Bess – “I haven’t played a lot of first-team T20. When I was at Somerset, it was mostly in the second team. It’s nice to get the opportunity and contribute to a really strong win. It was great fun.
“There’s still a long way to go in the group. We know that when you get on runs, you can do what we’re doing now – tick along. But, visa versa, when things aren’t going your way.
“It’s really important we keep this momentum going, and it’s a big game against Worcester here on Wednesday.
“We’ve had Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid and Dave Willey out, but it shows the strength we have in the squad that people have come in and done a job.
“It was nice to nice have Rooty back. Rooty just played like Rooty does. It’s absolute gold dust to have him around.”
What’s next: Yorkshire face 2018 champions Worcestershire Rapids at Headingley on Wednesday evening (6.30pm).
They will be hoping to repeat last week’s 94-run success at New Road when they racked up 216-6 and comfortably defended it.
It marks the halfway point in the competition for the Vikings, and it will be their fifth home fixture of the campaign.
The plan is for Joe Root to be available for the next two or three North Group matches ahead of the start of England’s ODI series against Sri Lanka at the end of the month.