Birmingham Bears v Yorkshire Vikings

Vitality Blast, North Group

Friday June 14, 2024, 7.05pm 


Toss: Bears won it and elected to bowl. 

Bears: Alex Davies c&w, Rob Yates, Chris Benjamin, Sam Hain, Dan Mousley, Jacob Bethell, George Garton, Jake Lintott, Danny Briggs, Hassan Ali, Richard Gleeson. 

Vikings: Adam Lyth, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Shan Masood c, Donovan Ferreira w, Dom Bess, Jordan Thompson, Matthew Revis, Jafer Chohan, Conor McKerr, Dan Moriarty.

Match Summary: Yorkshire were hurt by a costly batting collapse from 77-1 to 122-8 as they posted only 145 all out and were beaten by four wickets with 11 balls to spare against Birmingham Bears.

The Vikings suffered their second defeat in five North Group games, added to three wins, as they were unable to make the most of an excellent start having been inserted.

Spin excelled for the Bears. All seven wickets in that collapse fell to Danny Briggs, Jake Lintott and Dan Mousley, and Joe Root’s eye-catching 39 with three sixes was the visiting top score.

Excellent Jordan Thompson then struck four times in a spirited defence, but the bowlers’ task was just too great. Sam Hain top-scored for the hosts with a calm 53 not out off 40 balls. 

Joe Root

Picture by John Clifton/ Joe Root top-scored for Yorkshire.

Report: Things started so brightly for Yorkshire thanks largely to Joe Root and Dawid Malan, who contributed 39 and 38 respectively – they both faced 27 balls – and advanced the visitors at pace from 15-1 in the second over after Adam Lyth had played on to Richard Gleeson’s pace.

The pair added 62 in seven overs for the second wicket and took particular toll on their England team-mate Chris Woakes, who was playing his first first-team match of the summer following the death of his father.

Before Lyth’s departure, Malan had hoisted Woakes over deep square-leg for six in an opening over which cost 13. 

After that, Root reverse scooped Pakistan quick Hassan Ali over third for six – a stunning shot – and later pulled Woakes over to the Hollies Stand twice in two balls, moving into the thirties and helping Yorkshire to 64-1 in the seventh.

Malan also cleared the ropes again, this time off Danny Briggs. But the Bears were about to hit back – and, unfortunately, they did so with what was realistically a knockout blow.

Root, trying to hit his fourth six, skewed left-armer Briggs to short third – 77-2 in the ninth. 

And although Shan Masood hit his first ball for six, against Briggs, over long-on, his stay was only short-lived as he reverse swept Lintott’s left-arm wrist spin to backward point for 10, 89-3 in the 11th.

Dawid Malan

Picture by David Rogers/Getty Images. Dawid Malan helped Yorkshire get off to a fine start with the bat.

That no batter outside of Yorkshire’s top three managed to reach 15 tells the story of frustration as batters came and went with regularity, including Malan caught at cover having miscued Briggs – 108-5 in the 13th over. 

Donovan Ferreira fell for 13, as did Matthew Revis, as Briggs and Lintott claimed three wickets apiece added to one to a third spinner in Dan Mousley, the offie.

Debutant fast bowler Conor McKerr added 10 at the end to stem the bleeding having common at 122-8 after 16 overs. But it just wasn’t enough.

Former England quick Gleeson finished with two wickets as the Vikings were bowled out in 19.5 overs.

Dan Moriarty and Dom Bess then continued the spinners’ night – on a surface which still had some pace in it despite gripping – to raise Yorkshire’s hopes once more.

Moriarty had Alex Davies caught at cover and Bess bowled the other Bears opener Rob Yates to leave the score at 16-2 in the fourth over.

But Mousley intervened to steer the game his side’s way, sealing their third win in five. This one came on the back of two defeats.

England A left-hander Mousley swept Root’s off-spin for six early in his innings and helped the Bears reach 42-2 after six overs, needing 104 more. He showed plenty of invention and had 40 out of 57-2 after eight overs. Jordan Thompson then bowled the first over of seam in the Birmingham innings.

Dan Moriarty

Picture by Alex Whitehead/ Dan Moriarty struck early for Yorkshire, giving them hope of a comeback.

And that worked for Yorkshire, as Mousley swung Thompson out to wide long-leg, falling for 41 off 29 balls – 60-3 in the ninth. 

Mousley had been supported by Sam Hain in a 50-run partnership for the third wicket. It was now Hain’s job to bat through the innings, which he did busily.

By the time McKerr entered the attack, Birmingham were 75-2 after 10 overs, and he only bowled one over for 14. 

Jacob Bethell was now, like Mousley had been, the aggressor, and hit a couple of sixes off spin, and the game was getting away from Yorkshire as their half-century stand came up inside five overs – 112-3 in the 14th.

Thompson did get Bethell, for 32 off 15 balls, and Chris Benjamin caught at deep mid-wicket and lbw with successive deliveries – 116-5 in the 14th. But it was too little, too late, as Hain saw his side over the line, reaching his fifty off 39 balls.

Just before that, Thompson had Woakes caught at deep mid-wicket as he finished with an excellent 4-31. 

Magic moment: Joe Root pulled England team-mate Chris Woakes for two sixes in as many balls into and then towards the famous Hollies Stand. He took the lion’s share of 18 off the seventh over, raced into the thirties and took the score to 65-1. 

Jordan Thompson

Picture by David Rogers/Getty Images. Jordan Thompson was superb with the ball.

Turning point: Yorkshire’s loss of seven wickets for 45 inside nine inside overs, falling from 77-1 in the ninth to 122-8 in the 16th, was a collapse they were unable to recover from. 

Stat of the match: Joe Root played his 50th match in T20 cricket for Yorkshire. His first, in June 2011, was also against Warwickshire – but at Headingley. He has scored 1,167 runs in that time with eight fifties, added to 17 wickets. 

What they said – Joe Root: “The way myself and Mala were going, we thought we were on for 180-190. That would have been a good score. But, if you keep losing wickets in quick succession and don’t build any partnerships, then it makes it very difficult at the back end to get near that. 

“In the end, we were 25 short of being in with a real chance there. 

“It’s a little bit disappointing. But, at the same time, you’d rather fall foul like that than not really pushing it.

“It comes down to execution. You could look at all the dismissals, including mine. Mala had already hit a six in that over. So did I need to go after it? But, on the flipside, if I’d got hold of that, their best spinner is under pressure and they’re right up against it for the middle phase of the game.

“It’s always ifs and buts in this game.

Joe Root

Picture by David Rogers/Getty Images. Joe Root spoke after Yorkshire’s defeat at Edgbaston this evening.

“It was a hybrid wicket, so they always perform slightly unusually. They don’t really spin, but they can hold and get an extra bit of bounce. That, as a spinner, is really useful.

“Fair play, they utilised it well in that middle phase, put us under pressure and we didn’t have the right answers. But it’s a good learning curve for us because we have quite a young middle order.”

What’s next: Yorkshire return to Headingley on Sunday to face Leicestershire Foxes at 3pm, after the Northern Diamonds play Western Storm at 11am in the Charlotte Edwards Cup. 

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