Yorkshire Vikings v Birmingham Bears
Vitality Blast, North Group
Thursday June 10 2021, 6.30pm
Toss: Yorkshire, who opted to bowl first.
Yorkshire – Lyth, Bairstow w, Malan, Kohler-Cadmore, Brook, Fraine, Willey c, Thompson, Rashid, Waite, Ferguson.
Birmingham – Pollock, Hose, Rhodes c, Hain, Burgess w, Mousley, Brathwaite, Bresnan, Miles, Briggs, Lintot.
Match summary: Yorkshire secured a convincing opening night Vitality Blast victory – by six wickets with nine balls remaining – over Birmingham Bears at Emerald Headingley, aided by a series of valuable contributions. Jordan Thompson took three wickets and Jonny Bairstow top-scored with 34.
Report: Jonny Bairstow top-scored with 34 off 22 balls as Yorkshire eased to a 145 target in front of a 4,000 strong Headingley crowd.
The Vikings began their North Group campaign with a bang as Bairstow shared 59 for the second wicket with England colleague Dawid Malan.
Both fell in the seventh and ninth overs – Malan for 23 – as the score fell to 69-3 before Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Harry Brook and Will Fraine saw their side home with nine balls remaining.
Jordan Thompson equalled a career best 3-23 from four overs of seam as the Bears stuttered to 144-8, with Sam Hain’s 59 off 41 holding things together.
All Bears wickets were caught as new ball duo Matthew Waite and David Willey also struck twice apiece.
Later, Kohler-Cadmore and Brook (24) shared 49 for the fourth wicket for Yorkshire as they built on their good work of Bairstow and Malan.
Kohler-Cadmore finished with a measured 31 not out, while Fraine iced the game by smashing 18 not out off eight balls, including hitting the winning runs.
Magic moment: Jordan Thompson’s superb caught and bowled effort to dismiss Bears overseas star Carlos Brathwaite for three.
The giant West Indian got a leading edge trying to turn a back of a length ball to leg, only to loop a chance over the bowler’s head.
Thompson turned, dived full length and held on as the visitors slipped to 73-5 in the 10th over, the all-rounder going on to equal his career best haul of 3-23 from four overs.
Turning point: The Bears slipped to 29-3 inside four overs, with Ed Pollock and captain Will Rhodes both caught miscuing full tosses. The excellent Sam Hain tried to fashion a recovery with his half-century, but he was left with too much to do.
Debutant: Yorkshire’s New Zealand star Lockie Ferguson (1-29 from four overs) came back superbly at the death having conceded 17 off his first two overs, including a boundary off his first ball late in the power play.
He conceded only 12 off his last two overs and picked up the wicket of Tim Bresnan, caught behind by Jonny Bairstow in his final over.
Returning hero: Tim Bresnan was making his first appearance against Yorkshire since leaving before the start of last summer’s shortened campaign.
Dropped on nine by Jonny Bairstow off David Willey, Bresnan contributed significantly as the Bears recovered from early strife to respectability.
He shared 49 for the seventh wicket with Sam Hain and made 23 off 20 balls, including a six over long-off off Matthew Waite which was caught in the crowd.
Bresnan later removed Dawid Malan for 23 (64-2 in the seventh over), caught at mid-wicket. But he had already been smashed for two sixes by Jonny Bairstow and finished with 1-25 from 3.3 overs.
Stat: Yorkshire’s star-studded top four in their batting order Adam Lyth (2,998), Jonny Bairstow (3,375), Dawid Malan (6,307) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (2,341) went beyond the 15,000-run mark in their combined T20 careers.
What they said: Will Fraine – “It’s good to get off the mark and get that first win in the bag.
“With the side we’ve got, we were coming into this game really confident.
“It was a good pitch, but we managed to restrict them well.
“There’s some crazy stat that if you lose three wickets in the power play, you lose something like 80 percent of your games. I think we bowled great up top.
“You never know with those chases, and I would be lying if I said there weren’t a few nerves when I went out to bat. But everyone is buzzing.
“That’s the first time I’ve played with Jonny and Rash. I had a good chat with Rash before the game about how cool it was to just be in the same team as those guys.
“It’s nice to perform in front of them. They are your team-mates and back you. But they are judging you in a way.
“It’s nice to show everyone that I can do well and remind myself as well. Last year went well, but it’s all about backing it up and moving my career forwards.”
What’s next: Yorkshire are back in action immediately, travelling to far Durham at Emirates Riverside tomorrow evening (6.30pm).
Ben Stokes could return from a finger injury to face the Vikings. It is Durham’s first Blast fixture.