Yorkshire Vikings v Leicestershire Foxes
Vitality Blast, North Group
Friday June 16, 2023, 6.30pm
Toss: Yorkshire won it and elected to bowl.
Teams – Yorkshire: Adam Lyth, Dawid Malan, Shan Masood c, James Wharton, Matthew Revis, Jonny Tattersall w, Jordan Thompson, David Wiese, Dom Bess, Ben Mike, Jafer Chohan.
Leicestershire: Nick Welch, Harry Swindells w, Rishi Patel, Colin Ackermann c, Louis Kimber, Wiaan Mulder, Rehan Ahmed, Callum Parkinson, Josh Hull, Michael Finan, Naveen ul-Haq.
Match summary: Yorkshire took a giant stride towards the quarter-finals with a club record equalling sixth straight T20 win, with fifty makers Adam Lyth and Dawid Malan sharing a club record opening stand of 158 in 14 overs as Leicestershire’s 195-5 was overpowered in dominant fashion. The Vikings won by eight wickets with 11 balls to spare. Lyth finished with 90 not out off 50 balls and Malan 79 off 45.
Report: Malan and Lyth made mincemeat of this target, moving Yorkshire to 12 points after nine matches – second in the North Group on 12 points behind Birmingham on net run-rate.
It was obvious pretty early on that Leicestershire’s total just wouldn’t be enough on a ground that regularly produces 200 totals.
There have already been two above 215 here in this season’s Blast.
Malan cleared the Western Terrace off Josh Hull’s seam as the second over went for 18 – 21-0.
Malan took boundaries on both sides of the wicket as he made the early running with 35 of 56-0 after six overs. But Lyth found his rhythm too.
He actually overtook Malan on 37, by which time the Vikings were flying with 78-0 early in the ninth over.
Like Kimber, Lyth reached his fifty with a six off 28 balls, this one pulled off Rehan Ahmed’s leg-spin.
And when Malan followed him to the same milestone off 31 balls later in the 10th over, the hosts were cruising at 104 without loss.
It was nothing more than a consolatory strike when Malan carved Michael Finan’s left-arm seam out to deep cover at the end of the 14th over, ending a knock with nine fours and three sixes.
Finan also removed James Wharton before Lyth hit the winning runs early in the penultimate over.
Leicestershire’s innings was a topsy turvy one. They dominated the first six-over powerplay with 63-0 before falling to 110-4 in the 13th over, including two wickets for Ben Mike in as many balls.
The first was courtesy of a fantastic piece of relay boundary fielding at long-on between David Wiese and Shan Masood as Rishi Patel fell, Wiese doing all the hard work by palming the ball back before falling over the rope.
Dom Bess bowled nicely for 0-22 from four overs, while Jordan Thompson also returned 1-28.
But Mulder and Kimber revived the innings by sharing 53 inside six overs for the fifth wicket.
Mulder clattered Mike for two fours and two leg-side sixes as 22 came off the 17th over, while Kimber reached 50 off 34 balls in the 20th over with a sliced six – his second – over backward point off Wiese.
But it just wasn’t enough as Yorkshire took a giant step towards the quarter-finals.
The 158 shared between Malan and Lyth beat the previous opening stand record of 131 between Lyth and Phil Jaques against Derbyshire in 2012.
Magic moment: David Wiese engineered the dismissal of Rishi Patel with a stunning piece of relay boundary fielding at long-on off Ben Mike in the ninth over. He palmed what looked like six back to Shan Masood, who had closed in to around 10 yards away and completed the catch. It gave Ben Mike his first wicket and left Leicestershire at 82-2.
Turning point: Eighteen runs, including a leg-side Dawid Malan six over the Western Terrace, came against Josh Hull in the second over of the Yorkshire chase, taking the score to 21-0. The writing was on the wall from that moment.
Stat of the match: Let’s have two, shall we.
Yorkshire’s previous run of six straight wins came in the 2012 run to the final between June 27 and August 25.
Malan is the leading run-scorer in this season’s Blast with 488 in nine games.
What they said – Dawid Malan: “It was a good day. I actually thought we let them get a few too many with the ball. I don’t think it was that good a wicket. It was just that with the short boundary, bowlers try to hide the ball and there’s always a way to score. We profited with that in the chase.
“We were guilty with giving them too many, with a few dropped catches – myself included. That probably cost us 10-15 runs.
“I’m happy with my form. But, as long as we keep winning games, that’s more important than my runs. Still, it’s nice to get a few and contribute.
“The pitch was quite stoppy, and when the spinners bowled it into the pitch it was quite hard to hit. It was just that there was a short boundary.
“We managed to get ahead of the rate early. If you don’t lose wickets in this format, it’s hard to stop a team.
“Lythy’s played well all year. He’s just not got a score in this. Sometimes you hit the fielders or get out in different ways.
“I enjoy batting with Lythy. Usually he’s the one getting off to a flyer and I chew it for a bit. So it’s nice to have it the other way around for a bit.
“We’re learning as a side. When we focused on winning every single game and the pressure was on, I think we froze a bit as a team and didn’t get over the line. Now, we’re focusing on what we believe is the right way to go about our cricket. It’s showing dividends. When the pressure’s on, we’re focusing on what we do well instead of the outcome.
“My groin’s ok. It was the same one I did at the T20 World Cup in November (injured at Chesterfield). It felt like I tweaked it early on and it got worse and worse as that game went on.
“I had a scan and it came back negative so I got back out there and lasted one ball in the second innings. That wasn’t great!
“Each day it’s got better and better and the pain’s slowly going away.”
What’s next: Match number 10 in the North Group sees Yorkshire return to Chesterfield to take on Derbyshire on Sunday (2.30pm). After their three-wicket win in the Championship on Wednesday, Shan Masood and co will be hoping to make it two wins in a week at Queen’s Park.