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Record-breaking Lyth Inspires Vikings Victory

— 17 August 2017


  • TOSS: Returning captain Gary Ballance won it for Yorkshire and elected to bat.

    TEAMS: Vikings: Lyth, Kohler-Cadmore, Willey, Marsh, Sarfaraz Ahmed w, Ballance c, Bresnan, Rashid, Plunkett, Rafiq, Patterson. Steelbacks: Levi, Rossington w, Cobb, Duckett, Wakely c, Keogh, Crook, Kleinveldt, Sanderson, Azharullah, Gleeson.

    MATCH IN A TWEET: Wow! Adam Lyth hit a breathtaking 161 to help keep Yorkshire’s NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final hopes alive.

    STAT: Where do we start? There are many contenders for stat of the night, but Yorkshire posted 260-4 and Lyth hit 161. They were both English T20 records and so close to being world records.

    WHAT IT MEANS: Yorkshire are second in the North Group table with 15 points from 14 games, but there are still four teams who can overtake them and secure a place in the top four when the group stage wraps up tomorrow.

    Derbyshire, Birmingham and Leicestershire are all on 15 points, while champions Northants are on 14.

    Lancashire are on 13 points, but it is virtually impossible for them to overtake Yorkshire given the net run-rate gap between the two counties.

    REPORT: Lyth and five-wicket star Azeem Rafiq led the way with bat and ball as Yorkshire clinched a 124-run victory, bowling their visitors out for 136 in 14.5 overs to at least end the group stage with a bang.

    Yorkshire have rattled the 220s more than once in this competition, with Tim Bresnan admitting earlier in the summer they were capable of 240.

    “And the rest!” was his response tonight when it was pointed out “There’s your 240”.

    Lyth’s was the third highest score by anyone in this format, with Chris Gayle’s 175 in the IPL in 2013 still the highest.

    The Vikings fell just four runs short of breaking the world record score in an innings. It is the joint-second highest behind scores of 263 by IPL side Bangalore and Australia.

    Northants raced out of the blocks in reply at 110-2 in the ninth over, lost their last eight wickets for 26 runs. Rafiq returned 5-19 from four overs of off-spin, while Adil Rashid also claimed 3-31.

    Earlier, Lyth shared 127 in 9.4 overs for the first wicket with Tom Kohler-Cadmore and 121 in a further 9.1 with David Willey, who was playing against his former county.

    Kohler-Cadmore hit 41 off 24 balls and Willey 40 off 22.

    Left-handed Lyth hit 20 boundaries and seven of 13 sixes, reaching 50 off 21 balls, 100 off 50 and 150 off 66.

    Former Viking Ben Sanderson conceded 0-77 from four overs, the second worst analysis in T20 history.

    Richard Levi hit a 27-ball half-century and went on to make 65 off 32 balls for the visitors. At 85-1 after six overs, Northants were ahead of Yorkshire’s power play score score of 80 without loss.

    But they subsided quickly from 110-2 in the ninth, with key man Levi handing Rafiq his third wicket when he found long-on.

    Rafiq had earlier bowled Adam Rossington and had Josh Cobb caught behind.

    When Levi and Ben Duckett fell in the space of two balls at the end of the ninth and start of the tenth to Rafiq and Rashid, with the latter bowled reverse sweeping, Northants were goners at 110-4.

    Rafiq then got rid of Steelbacks captain Alex Wakely and all-rounder Steven Crook in the space of three balls in the eleventh over to complete his five-for before Rashid helped to mop up the tail.

    HERO: Man-of-the-match Lyth was sensational with the best of Yorkshire’s six T20 hundreds. Ian Harvey has two of them and David Willey, Jonny Bairstow and Herschelle Gibbs one apiece.

    KEY MOMENT: Yorkshire were out of sight after six overs at 80-0. Yes, Northants responded well early on with the bat, but the pressure of the chase told.

    WHAT THEY SAID: “I’m pretty speechless to be honest,” admitted Lyth.

    “The power play went very well and I kicked on from there. I kept on trying to clear the ropes. It was my night tonight.

    “The Championship stuff hasn’t gone so well for me this year, but the white ball stuff has been very good. I showed tonight what I’m capable of doing if I get through the first six.

    “I’m over the moon with my performance, but the main thing is that we got the win. Hopefully results go our way tomorrow and we qualify.

    “Azeem Rafiq has been very, very good. Our spinners have been very good this year.

    “There was a couple of games in the middle where we didn’t play well enough. If we play cricket like we have tonight, we can go a long way.

    “Fingers crossed, results go our way and we can go far in this comp.”

    WHAT’S NEXT: Yorkshire’s next scheduled game is in the County Championship against Middlesex here at Headingley, starting on Tuesday September 5.

    If they qualify for the quarter-finals of the Blast tomorrow night, their tie will be played between Tuesday and Friday next week.