Yorkshire Vikings v Worcestershire Rapids
Vitality Blast, North Group
Wednesday June 23 2021, 6.30pm
Emerald Headingley

Toss: Yorkshire won it and elected to bat.

Teams: Yorkshire – Lyth, Tattersall w, Root c, Ballance, Brook, Hill, Thompson, Waite, Fisher, Bess, Ferguson.

Worcestershire – Wessels, D’Oliveira, Fell, Libby, Cox c&w, Whiteley, Barnard, Dwarshuis, Sodhi, Pennington, Morris.

Match summary: Yorkshire were indebted to the record-breaking heroics of Harry Brook and Jordan Thompson, who shared 141 for the sixth wicket to lead the recovery from 15-4 in beating Worcestershire at Emerald Headingley. The Vikings won by 12 runs – their fifth win in seven North Group games – and they have moved to the top of the table at the halfway stage in the group.

Report: This was an evening which will not be forgotten in a hurry.

Yorkshire, at 15-4 in the fifth over and 18-4 after six, were goners. Their second defeat in seven games was not far off signed, sealed and delivered after Dillon Pennington’s fabulous first two overs with the ball.

He struck three times in his first five balls and four times in his first eight, without concession, and trapped Joe Root lbw for one after he had won the toss.
His first three wickets were openers Adam Lyth and Jonny Tattersall and Gary Ballance.

But Yorkshire are a different animal in T20 to previous years, and this game wasn’t over. Not one bit of it.

George Hill contributed 12 to help steady the ship before Harry Brook and Jordan Thompson wrote their names into the record books in scintillating style.

Both men posted their second career fifties and shared all 11 sixes in the Vikings innings as the wheels came off for the Rapids.

A stunning 158 runs came off the last 11 overs from 33-4 after nine, with Brook hitting superbly straight and Thompson peppering the stands on both sides of the wicket.

Riki Wessels’ 77 off 45 led Worcester’s spirited chase as they finished on 179-5. He had earlier dropped a key catch.

From 50-3 in the eighth over, he shared 68 in seven overs with captain Ben Cox to keep the Rapids afloat.

But when he was yorked by Matthew Fisher at 118-4 in the 15th, it felt like the game for Yorkshire’s. And so it proved. But not by much.

Cox finished 61 not out and helped take the target to 23 off the last over, in which Fisher, who finished with 2-33, struck again.

Turning point: After Dillon Pennington’s early four-for, the game would surely have been up for Yorkshire had Riki Wessels held onto a catch at mid-wicket off Ed Barnard’s bowling with Harry Brook on two. That would have left the Vikings at 21-5. Instead, thankfully, it opened the floodgates.

Magic moment: It would have to be the 15th over of the Yorkshire innings, bowled by Dillon Pennington.

Having conceded only three runs off his first three overs, he was clearly on top of his game. But Harry Brook and Jordan Thompson took him for 21 runs, including three fours and a six, to take the hosts to 111-5.

Stat: The 141 off 56 balls partnership between Harry Brook and Jordan Thompson was a Vitality Blast record for the sixth wicket and the second highest ever for that wicket anywhere in the world.

The highest? 161 between Andre Russell and Kennar Lewis as they recovered Jamaica Tallawahs from 41-5 chasing 224 against Trinbago Knight Riders in the 2018 Caribbean Premier League. The Tallawahs won.

Injuries: Tom Kohler-Cadmore is sidelined with a broken finger suffered whilst keeping in Sunday’s win over Derbyshire at Headingley, while Will Fraine sustained a side injury during training ahead of this fixture.

Jonny Tattersall came in for Kohler-Cadmore and kept and opened the batting, while all-rounder George Hill replaced Fraine. Both were making their first appearances of the campaign.

What they said: Jordan Thompson – “At 15-4, going at three or so an over, you’re staring down the barrel of only getting 100.

“Credit to Hilly and Brooky, they took the sting out of it.

“They were still on top when Hilly got out at 50-5, but he slowed things down a bit and allowed me to come in and bat alongside Brooky, whose innings was critical in getting us to that score.

“He said to me, ‘You’re making me look slow!’. I said, ‘If you’re not doing this, I couldn’t have come in and played how I have’. Massive credit to him.

“We just kept going. Every shot we tried to play came off, and we found ourselves with 190. It was very enjoyable.

“I’m quite annoyed our stand wasn’t the world record! No, seriously, we can’t complain.

“Having come off at half-time, we were desperate to win the game. Had we lost, it would have been a bit of an anti-climax.

“That’s the best innings I’ve ever played. Everything seemed like slow motion. To do in front of this crowd was good and to win even better.”

What’s next: Yorkshire are back in action on Friday night when they travel to the Uptonsteel County Ground, Grace Road, to take on Leicestershire Foxes (6.30pm).

They are aiming to do the double over the Foxes after last week’s 18-run success when they defended a target of 241.

Leicestershire have won two and lost five of their seven matches.

Their second win came on Sunday when they posted 200-2 and defended it against Northamptonshire.

And not forgetting tomorrow: Yorkshire’s second team have reached T20 Finals Day at Arundel. They face hosts Sussex in the second semi-final (1.45pm) following a clash between Birmingham Bears and Middlesex.

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