Yorkshire Vikings v Leicestershire Foxes
Vitality Blast, North Group
Tuesday June 15 2021, 6.30pm
Toss: Yorkshire, who opted to bat first.
Teams: Yorkshire – Lyth, Bairstow w, Malan, Kohler-Cadmore, Brook, Fraine, Willey c, Thompson, Fisher, Rashid, Ferguson.
Leicestershire – Inglis w, Steel, Lilley, Ackermann c, Hill, Patel, Mike, Kimber, Parkinson, Naveen, Griffiths.
Match summary: Yorkshire won a remarkable Blast game by 18 runs, just holding on as Leicestershire almost chased down 241. They finished on 222-8, with openers Jonny Bairstow (45 balls) and Josh Inglis both hitting 82 for their sides.
Report: Yorkshire secured their second win in three to start the North Group in a match which saw 29 sixes hit.
Records and statistics galore came from a contest boasting a combined total of 462 runs scored – equalling the Vitality Blast record.
The Vikings amassed 240-4 before the Foxes gave them an almighty scare as Leeds-born Australian Josh Inglis matched Jonny Bairstow’s score off only 37 balls.
This was Yorkshire’s third highest total in Blast history and included Adam Lyth’s 51, 44 for David Willey and 48 not out for Harry Brook.
Leicestershire, 146-3 in the 13th over with opener Inglis unbeaten, later slipped to a fourth straight North Group defeat.
But Inglis ensured they fought to the death, with his departure ultimately the turning point in his first appearance at Headingley – the ground he grew up so close to before emigrating to Perth just just of his 15th birthday.
Matthew Fisher removed him on his return from injury, but it was Jordan Thompson who took the credit thanks to a brilliant one-handed catch on the deep cover boundary (146-4).
Some more later order hitting, chiefly from Ben Mike with 31, took the target down to 31 off two overs with four wickets left and 23 off the last with three remaining.
Lockie Ferguson brilliantly conceded only eight off the penultimate as the New Zealander returned a super 2-28 from four overs.
And Willey (3-44) comfortably saw the game out in the final over.
Magic moment: Jordan Thompson took a stunning one-handed catch at deep cover to help Matthew Fisher get rid of Josh Inglis, leaving the Foxes at 146-4 in the 13th over, needing 95 more.
It was always going to be a tough task from there for the visitors.
Turning point: It’s staggering to think that after all the runs Yorkshire piled on, that the turning point came in Leicester’s innings.
The Foxes were on track for the win until Thompson plucked a stunner out of the air to get rid of Inglis, his former under 11s team-mate in the Aire Wharfe League.
Stat: Take your pick! This was the 20th time in T20 history that Yorkshire have scored 200 or more in an innings, with 14 of them coming at Emerald Headingley. More impressively, it was the Vikings third highest total in T20 history.
Let’s give you another stat: Lyth’s first run of the night was the 3,000th of his T20 career.
The Yorkshire Aussie: Josh Inglis, who played junior, Academy and second-team cricket for Yorkshire, was superb.
The Australian hopeful crashed seven fours and five sixes in 37 balls in his first appearance at Headingley: “I had some family and friends watching. They managed to get tickets,” he said. “But we came here to win, and we didn’t do that.”
What they said: Harry Brook – “It was a great game. That’s what people come to watch the T20 format for. It’s very exciting, and they gave it a really good crack.
“To get that many runs and nearly chase it down was phenomenal from them. But we batted really well and stuck to it in the field.
“Jonny and Lythy set the platform and gave myself, Frainey and Dave Willey the freedom.
“As soon as Jonny got to 50, we just thought every ball was going to go out of the park. It’s great to watch him bat, he’s always an entertainer, and it’s good to be batting behind him.
“I just went out and had freedom. I could almost play any shot I wanted, and thankfully it came off tonight.”
“We played on the same pitch last week, and there wasn’t as much grass on it. They left a bit more grass on it, and it seemed to come through a bit more.
“Josh Inglis was very good – it was a ridiculous knock. Thankfully Tommo took that catch to get him. That was a game changer.
“If he hadn’t taken that, you never know what would have happened.”
What’s next: Yorkshire are back in action tomorrow when they travel to New Road to take on 2018 champions Worcestershire Rapids, who have also won two of their opening three matches in this season’s Blast. That will be a 5.30pm start.