Yorkshire’s hopes of Royal London Cup glory are over after a 129-run defeat to Essex in today’s Eliminator clash at Chelmsford as they were unable to chase 318.
The Vikings promising campaign fell two steps short of the final as Essex opener Josh Rymell’s maiden first-team hundred set up a win which takes them to Cardiff to face Glamorgan in Monday’s semi-final.
The winner will advance to Thursday’s final at Trent Bridge.
Yorkshire were faced with a target above par on a used pitch which was far from impossible to bat on without being easy.
Essex scored 194 runs in the final 20 overs of their innings to reach 317-7 before Yorkshire fell from 68-1 to 102-6 and could not recover.
They were later bowled out for 188 in 38.4 overs.
George Hill was Yorkshire’s standout performer with 3-51 from 10 overs, while Matthew Revis top-scored with an entertaining 42 following the costly cluster of wickets.
Rymell, aged 20, hit 121 off 130 balls in only his seventh first-team appearance across all competitions, including six of those in this competition.
He batted through until the 47th over of the innings after the hosts had elected to bat.
Essex reached 123-3 after 30 overs and scored 76 in the next 10 and 118 in the final 10.
Hill continued his excellent form with the ball, claiming the wickets of Tom Westley brilliantly caught behind by Harry Duke, Feroze Khushi and Rymell. Ben Coad also struck twice.
Matthew Waite made the initial breakthrough by getting Sir Alastair Cook caught at cover for 16, leaving the score at 26-1 in the sixth over.
Duke then took a fabulous one-handed catch diving to his left after Westley had got an inside edge against Hill.
While there was more pace in this pitch than there was at Glamorgan on Thursday, scoring didn’t look particularly easy and Yorkshire will be frustrated with some loose bowling at stages.
Rymell offered a tough chance on 36 to Dom Bess at cover off Hill’s bowling.
Rymell’s innings was supplemented by a series of valuable contributions, most notably down the order with Adam Wheater making 34 off 20 balls, Harmer 31 not out off 13 and Aron Nijjar an unbeaten 23 off 11. The trio hit two sixes apiece.
A 68 stand in 58 balls between Rymell and Paul Walter (33 off 33 balls), advancing from 108-3 in the 27th over, really gave Essex impetus, while Wheater later showed aggression which Harmer matched right at the end.
Yorkshire lost Duke three overs into the chase, bowled by Jack Plom, as the score fell to 5-1.
Fourteen runs then came from each of the eighth and ninth overs from Plom and Ben Allison, with Will Fraine and Will Luxton each hitting back-to-back boundaries. Yorkshire reached the 10-over mark at 43-1.
Fraine was dropped on 25 by bowler ten Doeschate shortly afterwards.
But he was the first of the damaging loss of five wickets for 34 which all but ended the Vikings chase.
Fraine, for 31, was well caught by Ben Allison running from deep mid-wicket towards long-on off Harmer (68-2 in the 16th over) before Luxton was bowled for 34 by left-arm spinner Nijjar in the 19th – 73-3.
Hill chipped Harmer to mid-on in the next over, followed by Jonny Tattersall bowled by Nijjar as the score fell to 88-5 in the 23rd.
And when Ballance was lbw to Westley’s part-time off-spin for 10 in the 26th over, Yorkshire were on the ropes at 102-6.
Either side of Bess cutting Westley to backward point – 125-7 in the 30th – both Revis and Waite hit two sixes apiece, and the Vikings went beyond 150 in the 33rd over.
The pair shared a counter-attacking partnership of 46 inside seven overs, ended when Plom bowled Revis as the score fell to 171-8 in the 37th.
In the next, Waite was stumped by Wheater for 31 – 179-9 – before Coad miscued Plom to mid-on in the 39th to bring the game to an end.
Yorkshire are next in action against Sussex Sharks in the Vitality Blast quarter-finals at Durham’s Emirates Riverside a week on Tuesday.