Yorkshire Vikings v Lancashire Lightning
Vitality Blast, North Group
Friday July 2 2021, 6.30pm
Toss: Yorkshire won it and opted to bat first
Yorkshire – Lyth c, Stoneman, Thompson, Ballance, Brook,, Hill, Waite, Duke w, Fisher, Bess, Ferguson.
Lancashire – Allen, Jennings, Davies, Vilas c&w, Jones, Croft, Wells, Wood, Mahmood, Hartley, Parkinson.
Match summary: We’re not sure what’s more notable! Yorkshire won for the seventh time in 11 games to all but secure a quarter-final place in the Vitality Blast. But they also won for the first time in seven Roses T20 games dating back to 2017.
Harry Brook’s unbeaten 91 led the Vikings to 180-4 before that total was defended, but only just in the end.
Lancashire recovered from 70-4 to need 20 off the last over and 10 off the last three balls against Lockie Ferguson. But the New Zealand quick claimed a stunning hat-trick, Yorkshire’s first ever in the Blast, to seal the game by nine runs.
Report: Harry Brook’s career best effort, including 10 fours and three sixes, off 50 balls was the key contribution to this pulsating victory. But it is a night Lockie Ferguson will remember forever thanks to his hat-trick at the death.
Yorkshire had lost five added to one abandonment since their last Roses T20 win in 2017, so this was a significant evening not only because it leaves the Vikings with one foot in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2016.
An added bonus is that this was Lancashire’s fifth defeat in 11 matches and significantly harms their quarter-final hopes.
Yorkshire, having elected to bat, lost Mark Stoneman and Jordan Thompson to fall to 30 for two in the fifth over before Brook, who hit 10 fours and three sixes, and captain Adam Lyth shared 77 inside nine.
Lyth’s 52 off 40 balls represented his first fifty of the 2021 Blast.
From 107-2 in the 14th over, Lancashire dragged things back admirably. But 20 runs came off Matthew Parkinson in the 17th, including two sixes over long-on for Brook, to take the hosts to 140-4.
Brook then hit the first three balls of the last over from Saqib Mahmood to the boundary, giving his side momentum they were not about to let slip.
Lyth’s off-spin bowled New Zealander Finn Allen following an ugly slog sweep in the second over – 13-1 – before Matthew Waite had Alex Davies caught at long-on and Lockie Ferguson got Dane Vilas caught behind.
At 34-3 in the sixth over, the task looked a forlorn one for the Lightning.
But Rob Jones and Steven Croft, with 41, superbly shared 85 to give their side hope from 70-4 in the 11th over, with unbeaten Jones on 61 trying his best to match Brook’s quality.
Thankfully, they had been left too much to do by their top order, and Ferguson claimed the wickets of Luke Wells, Luke Wood and Tom Hartley to send the crowd wild.
This surely has to be up there as one of Yorkshire’s best ever nights in the Vitality Blast.
Turning point: Harry Brook and George Hill shared three sixes, all over long-on, as 20 runs came off Matthew Parkinson in the 17th over, taking Yorkshire to 140-4.
Brook hit two of them to break the shackles after Lancashire had dragged things back with 13 coming from the previous three overs.
In the end, it proved the difference.
Magic moment: Brook’s heroics earned him the man-of-the-match award, and rightly so. But what a way to finish from Lockie Ferguson!
Lancashire needed 10 off the last three balls with Luke Wells on strike, and he hoisted a high ball over and wide of Adam Lyth at mid-off. But the skipper ran back to take a stunner.
10 off two. Luke Wood was yorked with a fast and straight one.
10 off one. Barring a miracle, game over. But still time for something special and a bit of history. Tom Hartley tried to smash the Kiwi over the Emerald Stand, only to miscue a catch to Lyth running around from mid-off towards mid-on.
Stunning. Sensational. Take your pick!
Stat: Harry Brook now averages 115.75 from 10 innings in this season’s Blast, including six not outs. Not surprisingly, that is the competition’s best average in 2021. He is also the leading run-scorer in the Blast with 463.
Oh what a night! It was a double celebration as the Northern Diamonds women also won their Charlotte Edwards T20 Cup match against Sunrisers at Chelmsford. The Diamonds chased 117 to win by eight wickets.
What they said: Harry Brook – “Like I’ve said in every interview, I’m just trying to play as low risk cricket as possible. Thankfully it’s paying off. If I take the lowest risk possible, I can’t really get out. Then, if I look to bomb it in the last few overs, it gives us a good chance to get a good total.
“I’m striking it well and I think I’ve just got older, stronger. But I’m looking to hit it in my areas. So that’s probably why I’m hitting it so well.
“It was a really good pitch, and we said at the interval that we had to bowl well in the power play. I think we did with three wickets. That just set us up.
“For them to get that close at the end was a phenomenal effort, and Rob Jones batted really well.
“Lockie is one of the best in the world. Even if we’d had 10 on the board in the last over, I would have backed him.
“You can see how calm he was. To do that at the end under such pressure was unbelievable. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know it was a hat-trick. Oh my god. Well bowled!”
What’s next: All counties have a week away from Vitality Blast action to recommence battle in the LV= Insurance County Championship.
Yorkshire travel to Wantage Road to face Northamptonshire on Sunday (11am), and a win could qualify for the top group in late August and through September.
The White Rose are back in Blast action on Friday night against North Group leaders Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge (6.30pm).