Yorkshire Vikings secured their place in the Royal London’s one day cup Quarter Finals with a four-wicket win over Northampton Steelbacks at their home ground, Headingley.
A Below Par First Innings
Northampton won the toss and elected to bat first in what was fantastic conditions for Cricket. Yorkshire set the tone early, as Willey got the game going with a maiden. Willey also went on to pick up the opening wicket of Duckett, who was caught behind by Tattersall. This left the Steelbacks just 5-1 in the third over. They soon found themselves 9-2. Northampton struggled to ever be in a comfortable position throughout their innings, as wickets tumbled frequently.
After being reduced to 23-3, a rebuild job had seemed to be on the cards for the Steelbacks. However, Yorkshire cult hero Tim Bresnan, saw to the end of this, picking up the wicket of Wakely (42 from 52), c.Fisher. This wicket had left the Steelbacks 83-5; introducing Northampton’s tail-end to the game much earlier than their travelling fans would have hoped.
It wasn’t all negative from the Northampton batting performance, as twenty-one-year-old debutant Thurston made a 60-ball half century, before falling just two deliveries later for an impressive 53. Thurston would end up top scoring in Northampton’s disappointing 241 all out.
Continuing his fantastic return to County Cricket following the end of the IPL, it was Willey who again stood out with the ball in his hand. The all-rounder ended with figures of (3-2-24-9.5) and an economy rate of just 2.44.
Nervous Start for Yorkshire
The target of 242 set by Northampton had seemed some-what 50 runs below par on what would have been a troubling total for Yorkshire. This was a side who were returning to Headingley after a record-breaking batting performance (379-7) at Old Trafford only two days prior.
The Steelbacks had however brought nerves into the Yorkshire side, who knew only victory would seem them secure a place into the knockout stages of the competition, by picking up the wickets of Yorkshire’s openers Lyth (9) and Kohler-Cadmore (4) in quick succession. This left Yorkshire 14-2 after just 4.1 overs.
Willey Shines Again
Yet the introduction of both England Captain Root and Willey to the crease for Yorkshire were a pleasing sight to the home crowd. Yorkshire fans have become too accustomed to batting collapses this season.
Willey had no mercy for his old side, racing to 50 from 42 deliveries. This steadying of the ship for Yorkshire alongside Root (18) had seen the Vikings restored to 89 when the England Captain fell to Keogh.
Pujara was then brought to the crease one final time for Yorkshire before he returns to the Indian side. Pujara was unable to continue his fine form in the One Day Cup, being trapped LBW for just 6. It was indeed a fantastic delivery by Keogh that had found the rough and turned just outside Pujara’s off stump. Interestingly, this wicket was the first and only wicket of the afternoon not to be a catch. This stat alone highlights just how much of a batting track Headingley had offered and the below-par nature of the Steelbacks innings.
Willey was eventually caught in the deep from the bowling of left-arm spinner Zaid for 71 from 90. The All-Rounder had treated the home crowd to eight 4’s and two 6’s during his time at the crease.
Seeing It Through
The fall of wickets had been an opportunity for Yorkshire to prove how deep their batting went. The introduction of Ballance to the crease alongside keeper-batsman Tattersall at numbers 6 & 7 respectively show just how deep this team could batt. Ballance eased to 66 from 61 deliveries, with eight boundaries alongside another sublime half-century from Tattersall (52* from 51). The two had put on a stand of 87 together in just under 14 overs. This depth in the talent of batting had proved to be enough to secure Yorkshire’s place into the knockout stages.
It wasn’t without some entertainment from Bresnan as he played his part with the bat, scoring 13*. Bresnan scored a beautiful straight six before hitting the winning runs as the Sun begun to drop upon God’s Own Country.
What Next for the Vikings?
Yorkshire has now set up an away-day for the Vikings as they now travel to Chelmsford to face Essex. The Quarter Final will take place next Thursday. The one day match is another D/N match starting at 2 pm which will be televised live on Sky.