Birmingham v Yorkshire
Vitality Blast, North Group
Friday June 10, 2022, 6.30pm
Toss: Birmingham won it and elected to bat
Teams: Birmingham – Stirling, Bethell, Davies w, Hain, Hose, Benjamin, Brathwaite c, Lintott, Briggs, Stone, Miles.
Yorkshire – Lyth, Malan, Willey c, Kohler-Cadmore w, Brook, Tattersall, Revis, Drakes, Bess, Rashid, Leech.
Match summary: A fabulous bowling performance gave Yorkshire the opportunity to bounce back from Wednesday’s bitter Roses disappointment to claim a notable victory over Birmingham Bears, their first ever by a 10-wicket margin against any team in the history of T20 cricket
?Yorkshire’s fourth North Group win in eight games was secured as the Bears were skittled for 101 in just 16.5 overs before openers Adam Lyth and Dawid Malan knocked off the 102 target with ease against a by now dispirited home side.
Lyth finished 58 not out off 45 balls and finished the game with his third six.
Captain David Willey led the way with 3-17 from 3.5 overs, while Dom Drakes, Adil Rashid and Matthew Revis all claimed two wickets apiece and limited overs debutant Dom Leech one.
In reply, the Vikings comfortably reeled in their target – significantly boosting their net run-rate in the process, which could be important come the end of the group campaign – and won with a whopping 7.1 overs to spare.
Report: If you could set a blueprint for a T20 game, especially the bowling and fielding display, this was it.
Birmingham were not given an inch by an on-song Yorkshire, who had virtually sewn the win up within 28 balls of the game starting as the hosts slipped to 28-4, losing danger men Paul Stirling, Alex Davies, Sam Hain and Jacob Bethell for single-figure scores on a used hybrid pitch.
Stirling lost his leg-stump as he shuffled across against David Willey three balls into the first over, Davies was undone by extra bounce from Dom Drakes and chopped on, Hain was caught behind trying to scoop at Matthew Revis and Bethell miscued a drive at Dom Leech to cover.
It was only the latter’s fourth ball in white ball cricket for Yorkshire’s first team, and the seamer’s fourth ball of 2022 following a side injury.
It was the complete opposite of the latter stages of the Lancashire game when everything that could go wrong did.
There was no loose stuff bowled and catches were held, with only two Bears, Adam Hose (20) and Chris Benjamin (26), making it to 20.
Willey claimed two key wickets in his 3-17 from 3.5 overs. Following Stirling was Benjamin caught at deep mid-wicket pulling as he had shown glimpses of dragging Birmingham out of the mire.
He had just pulled Leech for six, only the second and last of the innings, but fell as the score slipped to 75-6 in the 12th over.
England leg-spinner Rashid was excellent too. He trapped Hose lbw sweeping – 47-5 in the ninth – and later held a smart return catch to get rid of Chris Miles, leaving the Bears 85-8 in the 15th over.
There was, at that stage, a chance of a record lowest ever total against Yorkshire, but that stain in the record books still belongs to Glamorgan, who posted only 90 in the 2016 quarter-final at Cardiff – a game in which Rashid claimed 4-26 and Willey 1-11.
In reply, there was virtually no drama as Adam Lyth and Dawid Malan cruised to the total.
Malan was dropped on 12 at cover off Craig Miles in the sixth over, though twice drove him through the covers handsomely in the same over as the score moved to 45-0.
In the next over, Lyth uppercut England fringe fast bowler Olly Stone for six over third to ensure the Vikings passed 50.
Lyth later pulled Bears captain Carlos Brathwaite for a flat six over square-leg to reach a 40-ball fifty, by which time the score was 94-0 after 11 overs. Only eight more runs were needed.
Lyth finished the game off in the 13th over with another six, flicked over mid-wicket off Brathwaite, while Malan finished on 38 off 33.
Jordan Thompson, meanwhile, missed the game with a bruised finger.
Turning point: The victory was all but sealed for Yorkshire inside the first five overs of the match, with David Willey, Dom Drakes, Matthew Revis and Dom Leech all striking as the Birmingham score slipped to 28-4.
Magic moment: Dom Leech’s fourth ball, on his white ball debut for Yorkshire, brought the wicket of Jacob Bethell caught in the covers by Adam Lyth, leaving Birmingham in all sorts of bother at 28-4 in the fifth over. It has been a frustrating start to the summer for Leech, who had impressed in pre-season before suffering a side injury.
Stat of the match: This victory redressed the balance after Yorkshire lost last season’s Blast group game here by 10 wickets having been bowled out for 81.
What they said – Captain David Willey: “We’ve played some good cricket in the period I’ve been back (from the IPL).
“To set it up like we did with the ball….it was great to see Leechy come in and get a wicket on debut. It will be the start of good things to come, I’m sure.
“We bowled well, put them under pressure, set it up and then the two experienced campaigners came out and played beautifully to get us across the line in plenty of time.
“It was a tired pitch, and it was actually quite nice to have something in favour of the bowlers after the last couple we’ve had at our place.
“We hit good areas and had decent plans. I think we’ve had good plans in every game, but the execution hasn’t been there at times. At other times, it has been. But, in this format, if your execution’s not there on good pitches you’ll get punished.
“Paul Stirling is a very dangerous player. If he gets going, he can hurt you. It was nice to get him. To get a wicket in the first over put them on the back foot, and they never really got going after that.
“Everyone, when called upon, delivered. The boys hit good areas, change of pace when required. We chased it down exceptionally well. It was a good professional job.”
What’s next: Yorkshire return to LV= Insurance County Championship action on Sunday, facing Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl (11am). Their next game in the Blast is against Durham at the Seat Unique Riverside next Friday.
Captain David Willey, Dawid Malan and Adil Rashid all now link up with England’s ODI squad for a three-match series in the Netherlands, starting next Friday.