Northamptonshire Steelbacks v Yorkshire Vikings

Vitality Blast, North Group 

Sunday June 2, 2024, 3.30pm 

Wantage Road 

Toss: Yorkshire won it and elected to bat. 

Steelbacks: Ricardo Vasconcelos, Matthew Breetzke, David Willey c, Ravi Bopara, Sikandar Raza, Saif Zaib, Lewis McManus w, George Bartlett, George Scrimshaw, Ben Sanderson, Freddie Heldreich. 

Vikings: Joe Root Dawid Malan, Shan Masood c, James Wharton, Donovan Ferreira w, Jordan Thompson, Matthew Revis, Dom Bess, Jafer Chohan, Dom Leech, Dan Moriarty.

Match summary: Brilliant Yorkshire claimed a superb Blast win over early North Group pacesetters Northamptonshire, by 29 runs defending a target of 187.

The Vikings won their second game in three, putting an end to the Steelbacks’ two-game winning start to the competition. 

Dawid Malan top-scored with 41 for Yorkshire in their 186-6, but all-rounders Dom Bess and Jordan Thompson both stood out for the visitors with runs and wickets – the latter with a super catch as well. 

Bess hit 28 and struck twice with his off-spinners, while Thompson hit 20 and returned a superb 3-18 from four overs, including his 100th career T20 wicket. Northamptonshire finished on 157-8. 

Jordan Thompson

Picture by David Rogers/Getty Images. You couldn’t keep Jordan Thompson out of the game at Northampton today.

Report: A new look opening partnership, Joe Root and Dawid Malan, made a bright start, reaching 55-0 after six overs. 

Adam Lyth missed out because of an arm injury suffered in the field during Friday’s defeat at Leicestershire. 

Root took the early lead, particularly dominant through the leg-side after the Vikings had won an important toss. 

He heaved Ben Sanderson over mid-wicket for two boundaries and worked the same bowler a bit straighter, just wide of mid-on for another en-route to his 35 off 25 balls.

Malan was happy to tick along at the other end on a sluggish pitch used for the morning Charlotte Edwards Cup game between the Northern Diamonds and Sunrisers.

But things were about to change, courtesy of the canny medium pace of ex-England all-rounder Ravi Bopara, who moved to Wantage Road over the winter on a T20 only contract from Sussex.

He claimed 4-34 from four overs, first getting Root well caught on the deep mid-wicket fence by a juggling George Bartlett to leave the score 67-1 in the ninth over.

He then bowled James Wharton next ball, had Donovan Ferreira caught at long-off and Malan bowled, leaving the score at 100-4 in the 13th over. Frustratingly, Ferreira and Malan fell having just hit sixes.

Joe Root

Picture by David Rogers/Getty Images. Joe Root avoids a short ball en-route to 35 opening the batting.

Ferreira twice hoisted Bopara over mid-wicket in the 11th and fell next ball – the bowler gave the South African a send-off which required a warning from the umpires – before Malan was bowled two balls after hitting the veteran down the ground.

Thankfully, however, Shan Masood, Dom Bess and Jordan Thompson set about a brilliant end to the innings, which included 68 runs coming from the last five overs.

Masood and Bess shared 64 inside seven overs for the fifth wicket – a Yorkshire T20 partnership record for that wicket in matches against Northampton. 

Bess was inventive and Masood more powerful. He twice smacked George Scrimshaw over mid-wicket for six in his 36 not out off 17 balls, while Bess hit 28 off 24.

He hit successive boundaries off David Willey at the start of the 18th over, one to third and the other to fine-leg, taking the score to 154-4. The first of them, reverse scooped over short third’s head, was a particular impressive shot. 

Bess fell late on, but Thompson hit a four and two sixes – one over long-on and the other over long-off – off home captain Willey in the last over before holing out off the last ball of the innings.

Matthew Revis struck in the powerplay to bowl South African overseas opener Matthew Breetzke – 37-1 in the fifth – as Yorkshire made a settled start to their defence.

Bess built on it when Willey drilled him to long-off, leaving the score at 58-2 in the eighth, and Northamptonshire were behind the rate and under pressure.

Shan Masood

Picture by David Rogers/Getty Images. Captain Shan Masood hits one of his two sixes today.

That became further so when the same bowler had Ricardo Vasconcelos caught at deep mid-wicket for 37 – 71-3 in the 10th –  

Thompson then struck twice in the 13th to all but put the game beyond Northamptonshire, at 90-5. 

He had Saif Zaib caught and bowled and Sikandar Raza caught at long-off, the latter his milestone scalp. 

You just couldn’t keep Thompson out of this game. He then helped Dan Moriarty remove danger man Bopara on 35, brilliantly caught low down diving forwards on the run from deep square-leg. And, at 124-6 in the 16th, it was realistically game over. 

He later removed George Bartlett caught at mid-off before Revis struck again to rubber-stamp things, getting Lewis McManus caught at deep mid-wicket (139-8 in the 18th).

Northamptonshire later failed to get 36 off Revis in the last over. The only down point was Dom Leech only bowling two overs because of a sore side, which will be assessed over the next week.  

Magic moment: Jordan Thompson struck twice in three balls in the 13th over. The second, Sikandar Raza caught at long-off – 90-5, was his 100th career T20 wicket in his 102nd appearance. 

His catch to get Bopara was a strong rival for this section of the report too. Simply stunning! 

Dom Bess

Picture by David Rogers/Getty Images. Dom Bess on the sweep at Wantage Road today.

Turning point: Yorkshire took 68 runs off the last five overs of their innings to push their total up to a commanding one. They were 118-5 after 15, but Shan Masood, Dom Bess and Jordan Thompson all contributed, with four sixes hit. 

Stat of the match: Former Viking David Willey took his 299th T20 wicket today, when he had Jordan Thompson caught at deep square-leg off the last ball of Yorkshire’s innings. 

Only three English bowlers have reached the 300-mark in this format, including Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid (331). Chris Jordan leads the way with 370 and Samit Patel next with 343. Left-arm quick Willey will soon join them. 

What they said – Jordan Thompson: “Friday night was a bit of a disappointment to say the least (conceding 30 off an over in defeat to Leicestershire). But I’m big enough, ugly enough and have played enough T20 cricket to know that you can turn it around in a couple of days.

“I picked myself up after Friday night. Like I say, it was a disappointment to bowl like that after I’ve played so much T20 cricket. But to come out with a clear mind today and to put in a performance with bat and ball was nice.

“I’ve batted against Dave (Willey) a lot in the nets, and he always seemed to keep me quiet. He knew he could get under my swing. Today, I stood still and backed my power. I didn’t feel like I had to hit it that hard. I felt my swing was really on point.

“The lads did a really good job – Donovan for a couple of balls against Bopara, for Bessy to play the way he did, he flipped the momentum against Raza. They’re the turning points in games. You look at this team, and it’s important that there’s boys chipping in all the way through whether that’s with bat or ball.

“It was nice to get some wickets there but also important to slow the run-rate down through the middle and use the facilities because it was hard if you bowled it into the pitch.

“I enjoyed the catch. I just got there with a full length dive. I nearly got one at Leicester which didn’t quite feel right, so I didn’t claim it. But that one went straight in, and it was an important moment (to get Bopara).

“It’s a nice milestone (100th wicket). One hundredth game a couple of games ago, so I’m one wicket behind my games – 102 games, 101 wickets. It would be nice to align them. It’s a nice milestone, and hopefully there’s many more to tick off.” 

Jafer Chohan

Picture by John Mallett. Jordan Thompson was destructive with the bat today and superb with the ball.

What’s next: Yorkshire have a week off now. They’re not in action again until next Sunday, at Headingley, when they face Derbyshire Falcons at 3pm. That is part of another double header day with the Northern Diamonds women. 

The Diamonds played here at Northampton this morning, losing their Charlotte Edwards Cup match off the last ball against Sunrisers. 

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