A superb 60 off 39 balls from James Wharton helped Yorkshire make a winning start to pre-season with a five-wicket T20 victory over Vitality Blast champions Somerset in Abu Dhabi this morning.

The Vikings claimed an impressive scalp to begin the three-day Abu Dhabi Counties Super Cup competition, chasing down a 156 target to triumph with 15 balls to spare at the Tolerance Oval on the Sheikh Zayed Stadium complex.

Matt Milnes and Dan Moriarty both claimed two wickets apiece to help limit Somerset to 155-5 after Jordan Thompson had won the toss and elected to bowl.

Milnes returned the pick of the figures with 2-30 from four overs on a slowish pitch, but later Wharton was a level above any other batter on show as he anchored the pursuit.

James Wharton

Picture by Ian Roman/Abu Dhabi Cricket and Sports Hub. James Wharton scoops Josh Davey en-route to a match-clinching 60.

Yorkshire’s number three was particularly inventive, scooping early on as he was quickly into his stride. 

He shared an important and calming fourth-wicket partnership of 56 inside eight overs with Thompson, who added a measured 23, as they advanced the score from 74-3 in the seventh over.

But the key stand was a blistering 42 inside four overs between openers Adam Lyth (30) and Will Luxton (24) as they set the tone for a successful chase. 

They gave Somerset a conundrum which they failed to solve in the heat of the Arabian Desert, on a ground recently used for a Test Match between Ireland and Afghanistan. 

Matt Milnes

Picture by Ian Roman/Abu Dhabi Cricket and Sports Hub. Two wickets for Matt Milnes.

They hit three sixes between them – Lyth two of them – off Ned Leonard as 20 came from the second over of the chase.

Yorkshire were largely slick with the ball and excellent in the field. 

The best example of that was when Dom Bess sharply ran out non-striker Tom Abell for a diamond duck in his follow through.

After new ball seamer Milnes bowled Tom Banton, he later had Tom Lammonby caught in the deep by Wharton, who claimed two catches to add to his match-sealing runs. 

Left-arm spinner Moriarty had James Rew lbw reverse sweeping and top-scorer Lewis Goldsworthy caught in the deep by Wharton off a top-edge for 44.

Yorkshire face Warwickshire tomorrow morning (10.15am UK) knowing a win will qualify them for Sunday afternoon’s final. 

Jordan Thompson

Picture by Ian Roman/Abu Dhabi Cricket and Sports Hub. Jordan Thompson after winning the toss this morning.

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