Yorkshire kept their Vitality Blast quarter-final hopes alive by breezing to a target of 163 against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

The Vikings were fired by second-wicket pair Adam Lyth and captain and star man David Willey as they won for the seventh time in 13 North Group games, by seven wickets with 27 balls to spare.

It means tomorrow’s final group clash with Nottinghamshire at Emerald Headingley (6.30pm) is a winner takes all affair as both sides sit on 14 points.

Yorkshire have jumped above Notts into fourth on net run-rate, meaning they would qualify with a tie or No Result.

Lyth and Willey advanced the chase from 3-1 after four balls, sharing 150 in 13.2 overs and finishing with 66 off 41 balls and 79 off 44.

Earlier, Willey claimed 3-30 from four overs against his home county, including a triple wicket maiden, as Northants posted 162-8. Josh Cobb top-scored with 68 not out.

Yorkshire could have been better in the field after the hosts elected to bat, although they still restricted a struggling Northants side light on batting.

The Steelbacks, missing a number of key batsmen through injury, sit bottom of the table having only won once.

Yorkshire managed to starve key man Cobb of the strike. He arrived at the crease two balls into the fifth over and batted through. But he only faced 39 balls.

Still, he kept home hopes alive with five sixes and four fours, reaching his fifty off 32. He passed 50 for the third time in four matches.

Tim Bresnan and Liam Plunkett both dropped catches early on, the latter off his own bowling as Cobb got a leading edge on 30.

But Plunkett impressed on his return from a hip injury, removing Alex Wakely and Crook to return figures of 2-25.

Matthew Fisher also claimed two cheap wickets, both in the fifth over – his first – as he had openers Charlie Thurston caught at third-man and forced Ben Duckett to miscue to point off the shoulder of his bat as the score fell to 33-2.

Cobb was particularly strong on the leg-side.

Captain Willey then bowled a brilliant penultimate over of the innings, a triple wicket maiden as he had Luke Procter and Brett Hutton caught behind and Graeme White caught at deep square-leg, with those wickets coming in the space of four balls as the score fell to 148-8.

Yorkshire lost Tom Kohler-Cadmore four balls into their chase as he skewed Hutton to point, where White took a low catch (3-1).

But Willey and Lyth ensured that was only brief success for the beleaguered hosts.

They hit leg-side sixes at the end of the third over and start of the fourth before Willey twice slashed Ben Sanderson through backward point for four to take the score to 41-1 after four.

In fact, with Yorkshire 11-1 after two overs and then 63-1 after five, they took 52 off three overs from Hutton, Sanderson and Richard Gleeson.

Lyth reached his fifty first – his third of this season’s Blast – off 26 balls before Willey also reached his third off 34 balls before really cutting loose.

The England left-hander was particularly brutal over leg-side and down the ground, and he hit five sixes in a 12-ball period off Seekugge Prasanna, Hutton and White to all but end the game.

Both Lyth and Willey fell in successive balls with Yorkshire 10 short of victory (153-2) before Gary Ballance hit the winning runs.

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