Northamptonshire v Yorkshire
Vitality Blast, North Group
Friday June 24, 2022, 6.30pm
Toss: Northamptonshire won it and elected to bowl.
Teams: Northamptonshire – Curran, Lynn, Zaib, Cobb c, Neesham, Keogh, Taylor, McManus w, White, Buck, Sanderson.
Yorkshire – Lyth, Allen, Kohler-Cadmore w, Willey c, Brook, Khan, Thompson, Waite, Revis, Hill, Bess.
Match summary: Matthew Waite and Harry Brook starred as Yorkshire took a giant step towards the quarter-finals with a big win over fellow challengers Northants.
The Vikings replaced the Steelbacks in the North Group’s top four after winning for the seventh time in 12 games as they defended 190 to win by 62 runs with 17 balls remaining.
They recovered from 11-3, and later a loss of three more wickets for 11 runs, to post 190-7. Harry Brook made 67 off 31 balls, while all-rounder Waite added 35 not out off 20 at the end.
Waite’s seamers then accounted for in-form duo Chris Lynn and Saif Zaib, both caught at mid-on, as Northants slipped to 42-4 and couldn’t recover in the face of a sensational bowling and fielding display, slipping to 128 all out.
He finished with 3-18 from three overs, with both contributions career best hauls in T20 cricket.
Shadab Khan struck once and Dom Bess twice as part of a team hat-trick as the Steelbacks handed Yorkshire their second win in as many nights following success at Worcester.
Yorkshire have replaced their hosts inside the top four in the North with two games remaining.
They are fourth, but only a point behind Birmingham in second, their next opponents at Headingley next Friday.
Report: To put a performance in like this in a game which they had to wait to win, Yorkshire should take a huge amount of credit.
The Vikings endured a nightmare start, with Finn Allen, Adam Lyth and Tom Kohler-Cadmore all offering catches off Josh Cobb’s spin and the seam of Ben Sanderson and Tom Taylor, leaving them at 11-3 in the fourth over at a venue which has been run filled in this competition throughout 2022.
Allen miscued to cover in the first over, Lyth picked out deep square-leg in the second and Kohler-Cadmore miscued high to mid-on in the fourth.
But what followed was another exhibition of batting from a superstar of Yorkshire Cricket, Harry Brook, who made 67 off 31 balls with six sixes and four fours.
Brook hit five of those sixes in a 21-ball fifty and was the chief protagonist in reviving the innings alongside captain David Willey, who made a useful 31 in a 90-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Brook pulled three of those sixes and was leg-side dominant in a reminder of what supporters can expect over the next five years following the announcement of a new contract earlier this week.
Unfortunately, three more wickets fell for 11 runs as the innings juddered to a halt again, all to left-arm spinner Graeme White as the score became 112-6 in the 13th.
Willey, who had only just hit back-to-back boundaries off Nathan Buck, holed out to long-off for 31 – 101-4 in the 11th – before Brook and Shadab Khan fell in the space of three balls in the 13th.
Brook seemed harshly done by when adjudged caught behind sweeping at the experienced White, who then had Khan caught at wide long-on, leaving the score at 112-6.
However, there was another recovery in the offing, started by Jordan Thompson (30) and finished by Matthew Waite, who ended with 35 unbeaten in 20 balls.
They shared 56 inside seven overs for the seventh wicket before Waite ensured momentum was maintained as 22 came off the last eight balls of the innings following Thompson’s departure at 168-7 in the 19th. Both hit a six apiece.
Willey then struck four balls into the Northants chase when he forced left-handed Ben Curran to chop on – 4-1.
Further success was around the corner. Cobb let go of his bat, which ended up on the floor at square-leg, as he miscued Khan’s leg-spin to backward point before Waite continued his impressive night to get dangerous Chris Lynn caught at mid-on for five, leaving Northants at 22-3 in the fifth over.
He also had in-form Saif Zaib (10) the same way in the seventh – 42-4.
Jimmy Neesham pulled the first six off the innings off Khan in the 10th over, by which time the score was 68-4. It was shortly followed by a second. But it was only brief respite as three wickets fell in three balls.
Khan (2-31) had Neesham caught at backward point with the last ball of the over before fellow spinner Dom Bess (2-25) had Rob Keogh stumped by Kohler-Cadmore and Lewis McManus caught behind reverse sweeping with the first two balls of the 11th, leaving the score at 76-7.
From there, the game drifted towards an inevitable conclusion.
Willey struck again, as did 26-year-old Waite – bowling White – and Matthew Revis as Northants succumbed inside 17 overs to 128 all out.
Turning point: You could look at the two recoveries in Yorkshire’s innings as key, and they clearly were. But Northants would have accepted chasing 191 before the game.
However, they slipped to 22-3 inside five overs of the chase as Yorkshire bowled superbly through David Willey, Shadab Khan and Matthew Waite, who all struck.
Magic moment: Yorkshire claimed a team hat-trick, reducing Northants to 76-7 in the 11th over. Shadab Khan had Jimmy Neesham caught at backward point before Dom Bess had Rob Keogh stumped at the start of the 11th and got Lewis McManus caught behind reverse sweeping next ball.
Opener Lynn had scored two hundreds for Northants in his first taste of county cricket, indicating how big a wicket he was. And Yorkshire’s players certainly celebrated the wicket with gusto.
Stat of the match: In four of six previous home games, Northants had posted totals over 210 on four occasions, highlighting just how impressive a win this was.
What they said – Matthew Waite: “It’s a massive two points for us. We’ve got two games left, and we’re right in with a shout now. It was a fantastic performance from us, all round.
“I’m very happy. I had a tough game at Derby and a bad over last night. So to come here and contribute to a win is very nice.
“I struck them well at the end, which is something I’ve worked a lot on in the past. I’m so happy that came off.
“With the ball, I keep learning every game. T20’s not an easy game and the batters are getting better and better. It’s just about doing the basics well, hitting a hard length and it paid off tonight.
“Derby was a tricky over, conceding 19 and they won the game (last Saturday). But every time you have a bad game, you learn and reflect. That’s when you get better. Everybody’s been through it. It’s happened to a lot better bowlers than me.
“We got to the quarter-finals last year and fell at that hurdle. So it would be fantastic to put that right.
“I’ve been to Finals Day once before in 2016, which was a brilliant experience even though I didn’t play. It would be great to get there again. But we still have some work to do.”
What’s next: Yorkshire have a week away from action, next playing Birmingham Bears at Headingley in their next Blast game next Friday at Headingley (6.30pm). It is their penultimate North Group game.