Yorkshire played against Lancashire once in each of the first two seasons of the 20-overs competition but the two rivals have met twice a year ever since. Many of the games have been televised and there has always been a very special atmosphere in the evening events with sell-out experiences being a common occurrence. The consequence of this is that there have been several exciting games and Paul Dyson now describes one of these.
July 7, 2006 at Old Trafford: Yorkshire 156-7 in 20 overs (A McGrath 52, DS Lehmann 30), Lancashire 141-9 in 20 overs (MJ Chilton 38). Yorkshire won by 15 runs.
Both counties came into this match with exactly the same record – WLWL – so whoever emerged victorious would be in a better position to qualify for the quarter-final stage, there being only eight group matches.
Craig White won the toss for Yorkshire but was soon suffering the ignominy of being run out without facing a ball, the effective fielder being Dominic Cork – another former England all-rounder. Michael Lumb was soon caught by the wicket-keeper but then came what was to be the highest stand of the match. Darren Lehmann had joined Anthony McGrath and both proceeded to score with a strike-rate of 120-125. McGrath was not in the least bit overshadowed by his more illustrious Australian partner and he timed the ball beautifully scoring 52 from 43 balls. Lehmann finished with 30 from 24 balls, the stand being worth 73. Four wickets then fell for 28 but Gerard Brophy and Richard Dawson added 35 together for the seventh wicket and the visitors finished with a competitive total of 156. Simon Marshall, a leg-spinner, was the most economical bowler and the only one to take as many as two wickets.
Australian Stuart Law and New Zealand’s Nathan Astle posted 38 for Lancashire’s first wicket, Law making a rapid 26 from a mere 15 balls. Chilton took over and helped the hosts reach 85 for two but he was batting slowly and 72 were now needed from seven overs. With the wickets of Astle and Steven Croft, some clever bowling from McGrath helped maintain the pressure but the loss of six wickets for 13 runs meant that the last pair needed to score a further 39 to win. The eighth wicket to fall had been that of skipper Mark Chilton who had tried to hold the innings together but his 38 from 37 balls was too slow for the situation which his team-mates had found themselves in. Deon Kruis had taken two wickets with consecutive deliveries but McGrath conceded only 4.50 per over and was comfortably the most economical. Mitchell Claydon also took two wickets.
Partly as a result of this crucial win Yorkshire finished in third place and qualified for the next stage for the first time, this being the competition’s fourth season. At Chelmsford, however, they were comfortably beaten by Essex by five wickets and it would be a further six years before the White Rose would be seen on finals day.