First strike of season for Yorkshire as they land T20 trophy in Dubai

Adil Rashid
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YORKSHIRE warmed up for tomorrow’s Champion County game against MCC with victory in the Emirates T20 tournament in Dubai.

In the T20 Finals Day-style event, they first of all beat Lancashire by 21 runs in the semi-final before crushing Sussex by 74 runs in the final.

Sussex beat MCC by 18 runs in the other semi-final, with England Test captain Alastair Cook –who will line up against Yorkshire in the Champion County fixture –scoring 35 from 26 balls for MCC, including six fours and a six.

Cook’s fluent innings followed his criticism earlier in the week that England were wrong to drop him as one-day captain before the World Cup.

Yorkshire, who have six players in the 16-man Test squad which Cook will lead to the West Indies next month, were in some trouble at the start of the final when they crashed to 10-3.

Matthew Hobden, the 21-year-old pace bowler, looked to have made a potentially decisive intervention when he removed Adam Lyth (6), captain Alex Lees (0) and Jonny Bairstow (0) in the space of one over.

But Yorkshire hit back strongly as unbeaten contributions from former Sussex wicketkeeper/batsman Andrew Hodd (79) and Jack Leaning (51) helped them recover to an imposing final total of 176-4.

It proved too much for Sussex, who had won the three previous Emirates T20 tournaments, the south-coast county subsiding to 102 all-out as Adil Rashid celebrated his call-up for England’s Test tour to the West Indies with standout figures of 4-16.

Chris Nash, who scored 34 from 26 balls, was the only man to offer significant resistance as Yorkshire won handsomely in the end.

Earlier, Yorkshire totalled 
159-5 in the game against Lancashire, Bairstow top-scoring with 54.

Lancashire were 77-1 in the 10th over of their reply, but more good work from Rashid, who took 2-18, scuppered their progress as they eventually finished on 138-7.

The Champion County match, which although played overseas is the traditional curtain-raiser to the English season, is a four-day contest played under floodlights with a pink ball.

The action starts at 10.30am UK time at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Yorkshire are likely to be led by Lees, with club captain Andrew Gale suspended for the game and also for the opening County Championship match against Worcestershire next month after his verbal altercation with Lancashire’s Ashwell Prince during the Championship match at Old Trafford last August.

The MCC will be led not by Cook but by Nick Compton, who made the last of his nine Test appearances at Headingley against New Zealand in 2013.

Also in the MCC ranks are former England pace bowler Graham Onions and batsman Michael Carberry, who was overlooked for England’s World Cup campaign.

Yorkshire have a full-strength pace attack at their disposal in the form of Ryan Sidebottom, Liam Plunkett, Jack Brooks, Steve Patterson and Tim Bresnan, along with the spin of Rashid.