The 2024 Vitality Blast is rapidly approaching and tickets are on sale for just £10 for Yorkshire Vikings’ opening T20 game of the season.

Worcestershire Rapids are the visitors on Thursday 30 May, during the half-term break. This amazing price is only available when tickets are purchased before the early bird deadline on Wednesday 1 May, so secure your seat today before the deadline passes!

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To get ready for the new season, we’ve looked back to last season’s Vitality Blast match against the Rapids, which featured a 26-run victory, a county-record T20 partnership, and a maiden century for James Wharton. Despite a spirited chase, Worcestershire couldn’t match Yorkshire’s 224-4, notching up 198-6 as Jordan Thompson claimed 4-34 to earn the Vikings a fifth successive Vitality Blast win.

James Wharton celebrating his 111 not out in the 2023 Vitality Blast fixture against Worcester

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com – 09/06/2023 – Cricket – Vitality Blast – Yorkshire Vikings v Worcester Rapids – Clean Slate Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England – Yorkshire’s James Wharton.

Wharton starred throughout – posting 111 not out off 56 balls – with the 22-year-old and his second-wicket partner, Dawid Malan (79 off 48), sharing a 159-run partnership. A county-record partnership, surpassing 150 from Adam Lyth and David Willey against Northants in 2018. 

After posting some impressive performances for the second team, Wharton made a huge impact in just his fourth career T20 match, but the batter solely focused on the team after his major haul. “It’s just nice when you’re given an opportunity to go and do alright. It was a nice feeling, but I’m over the moon we got another win,” he said after the game. 

“We were confident (with 224 on the board), but we also know it’s such a quick-scoring ground here and the outfield’s rapid. You just never know.”

Having won the toss and chosen to bat, Yorkshire started slowly, losing Adam Lyth to Michael Bracewell’s off-spin, caught at midwicket. Unfortunately for the Rapids, Lyth’s dismissal only brought Wharton to the crease, and the 22-year-old right-hander started strongly and only got better as the match went on. 

Despite that, the day could have gone very differently for the youngsters, as Brett D’Oliveira dropped Wharton on 19 at mid-on from a Pat Brown delivery. 

Dawid Malan batting for Yorkshire in the 2023 Vitality Blast fixture against Worcestershire

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com – 09/06/2023 – Cricket – Vitality Blast – Yorkshire Vikings v Worcester Rapids – Clean Slate Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England – Yorkshire’s Dawid Malan hits out against Worcester on his way to 79.

After this near-miss, Wharton went into overdrive. He sealed his half-century after just 20 balls, and for a time, he looked likely to pass Yorkshire’s fastest-ever century – off just 47 balls – made by Ian Harvey in 2005. 

While this wasn’t to be, a delightful scoop at the end of the 18th over sealed the youngster’s maiden century, and ensured victory for the Vikings. Remarkably, the century included just three sixes. Dawid Malan chipped in with four sixes as part of his equally impressive 79 – his fourth 50+ performance in five games. 

Overall, Worcester’s work in the field allowed Yorkshire to build the platform for victory. Malan’s four sixes each came on the leg side, taking advantage of the poor fielding. 

The Vikings’ commanding batting display – setting 225 to win – put the pressure on Worcestershire, but the Rapids were no means out of the game at the halfway point, especially given the visitors had scored 226-5 at Nottinghamshire earlier in the month. 

Despite decent efforts for Brett D’Oliveira and Kashif Ali, who posted 47 and 48 respectively, the Rapids were unable to successfully chase the Vikings’ score and lost Michael Bracewell to injury after hitting 11 from seven balls. Ultimately, losing the New Zealander would give Yorkshire the impetus to come out on top. 

To relive this historic 2023 Vitality Blast win for Yorkshire Vikings and Wharton’s titanic performance, check out the match highlights below:

If you want to join the action and watch Yorkshire Vikings in the 2024 Vitality Blast home opener against Worcestershire Rapids, tickets are just £10 for adults and £5 for juniors when purchased before the early bird deadline on Wednesday 1 May. 

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