NatWest T20 Blast 2017
Fri 21 July, 18:30

Headingley, Leeds

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Yorkshire Vikings

Yorkshire Vikings

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Yorkshire Vikings


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Report: Yorkshire Vikings v Birmingham Bears, NatWest T20 Blast 2017

David Willey walloped 70 off 38 balls and claimed a wicket as Yorkshire eased past Birmingham Bears by 29 runs at Headingley to secure their second NatWest T20 Blast win in five matches.

The Bears, replying to 179 for five, crumbled to 58 for six in the eighth over amidst a number of miscued shots.

Captain Tim Bresnan (three for 21 from three) struck twice in his first two overs and England limited overs all-rounder Willey once as the score fell to 31 for three in the fifth.

Two more wickets fell in Adil Rashid’s first over, the seventh, including a run out.

Seventh-wicket pair Keith Barker and Aaron Thomason revived things and have the Bears a glimmer with a 64-run stand, but Azeem Rafiq removed them both in the 16th over on the way to 150 all out in 18 overs.

This was the ideal start to Yorkshire’s run of three successive home matches, including Worcestershire on Sunday and Durham on Wednesday.

They had previously claimed four points from their first four matches.

The Vikings raced out of the blocks as Adam Lyth, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Willey all hit sixes in the power play, which yielded 62 runs for the loss of the former two batsmen.

Lyth hoisted the sixth ball of the match from Barker over long-on before finding cover off Boyd Rankin to fall two balls into the second.

Kohler-Cadmore pulled Rankin over mid-wicket for back-to-back sixes in the fifth over to move to 27 before edging the next ball behind.

Willey continued the assault, taking 20 of 21 off former Yorkshire seamer Oliver Hannon-Dalby in the sixth over, including a huge pull over backward square-leg which cleared the White Rose Stand and went out of the ground.

Ten of Yorkshire’s 12 sixes came in the first 9.3 overs of their innings on a good Headingley pitch, with Willey reaching 50 off 27 balls.

He shared 83 in 8.1 overs for the third wicket with measured Shaun Marsh (30 off 31) before being run out coming back for two to long-leg off a free hit.

That left Yorkshire at 124 for three in the 13th, but the hosts were unable to maintain the momentum.

Birmingham bowled much better in the second half of the innings, with Barker and New Zealand overseas seamer Colin de Grandhomme impressive without taking a wicket.

Barker conceded only four off the penultimate over of the innings, with Rankin finishing with three for 39 from his four.

Bresnan struck twice in his first two overs to get rid of Sam Hain and Ian Bell for six apiece, caught and bowled and caught at mid-on, as the Bears fell to 19 for two in the fourth over.

Willey then had Tim Ambrose caught at mid-wicket in the fifth over before Rashid trapped Grant Elliott lbw with his third ball in the sixth over and Will Porterfield was run out next ball.

When de Grandhomme slapped Rafiq into the deep in the next over, Birmingham’s chances of a third win were all but gone.

Barker hit 35 and Thomason 31 to give Yorkshire something to think about before falling in the space of three balls in the 16th to Rafiq, caught at wide long-on and stumped. Rafiq claimed three for 37 from four.

Birmingham, who host Derbyshire at Edgbaston on Sunday, lost their last four wickets for 28.

Preview: Yorkshire Vikings v Birmingham Bears, NatWest T20 Blast 2017

Birmingham Bears will face Yorkshire Vikings at Headingley tomorrow seeking to regain momentum after following up successive wins with back-to-back defeats in the NatWest T20 Blast.

After four games the Bears are in the middle of a North Group table which remains so tight at this early stage that the four ultimate qualifiers are impossible to spot.

But one certainty is that the successful quartet will be the teams that build winning momentum starting about now – with the weekend ahead bringing a double-header, in the Bears’ case away to the Vikings tomorrow (6.30pm) then against Derbyshire Falcons at Edgbaston on Sunday (2.30pm).

In a 14-game group, such momentum is crucial – and will come from those teams who learn as they progress through the group phase, says Birmingham first-team coach Jim Troughton.

“We need to keep the guys fresh-minded and keep challenging them with their skills and making sure we improve every game,” he said. “It’s a long comp so we need to get the guys peaking at the right time.

“We came out of the blocks really well with two wins but, even within them, we were honest with ourselves and knew we were still not at our best. And we have come up short in the last two games – narrowly, but still short.

“We have identified areas where we need to strengthen and that might confirm some things from last year that we talked about in the winter. We need to make sure we learn early enough from these last two games that we can put ourselves in a good space with the right momentum through the competition.

“It’s been two good performances followed by two okay performances. In T20 you are going to get stung a few times and you need to learn from that.”

We have had some spinners in during the week so get some more practice against them because I think teams might come at us with the same tactic.

Jim Troughton

One focus for practice this week has been batting against slower bowlers after Leicestershire Foxes’ array of spin and slow-medium played a vital role in their side’s victory.

“We have had some spinners in during the week so get some more practice against them because I think teams might come at us with the same tactic.” Troughton said. “Last Sunday’s game was the first in a while where we have lost two wickets in the first powerplay, and to a part-time spinner, so that’s an issue and we need to put it right.

“There are certain things we are working on, but T20 is volatile. You can look at powerplays and phases of a game where you won and lost it, but an innings like Luke Ronchi’s on Sunday is a game-changer. Sometimes, one bloke can turn a game on its head and we have certainly got players capable of doing that.”

Tomorrow’s visit to Yorkshire Vikings will be tough and then it will be back to Edgbaston on Sunday for a duel with Derbyshire Falcons when Troughton knows his players can expect noisy, and much-appreciated, backing.

“The support at the home games so far has been great,” he said. “We are always really well-supported at Edgbaston and the players appreciate it massively. Hopefully there will be even more in for the Derbyshire game and we will be doing absolutely everything we can to give the fans a win.”


  • Ian Bell (Captain)
  • Tim Ambrose (Wicket-Keeper)
  • Keith Barker
  • Colin de Grandhomme
  • Grant Elliott
  • Sam Hain
  • Oliver Hannon-Dalby
  • Ateeq Javid
  • Jeetan Patel
  • Ed Pollock
  • William Porterfield
  • Josh Poysden
  • Boyd Rankin
  • Aaron Thomason
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