T20 Finals’ Day: Mark Wood fashions Durham’s win over Yorkshire

Yorkshire Vikings' Jonny Bairstow is bowled by Durham Jets' Mark Wood during the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston, Birmingham. (Picture: Rui Vieira/PA Wire)

Yorkshire Vikings' Jonny Bairstow is bowled by Durham Jets' Mark Wood during the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston, Birmingham. (Picture: Rui Vieira/PA Wire)

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WHEN the dust has settled as it quickly must, for there is no let-up in the schedule, Yorkshire can console themselves with this thought.

They did not throw away their T20 semi-final against Durham at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Yorkshire Vikings' Joe Root unsuccessfully appeals during the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston, Birmingham. (Picture: Rui Vieira/PA Wire)

Yorkshire Vikings' Joe Root unsuccessfully appeals during the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston, Birmingham. (Picture: Rui Vieira/PA Wire)

They had it taken away from them.

And the man who snatched it from their grasp was Mark Wood, the England pace bowler who took a T20 career-best 4-25 in a brilliant performance.

After Durham made 156-6 from their 20 overs, Ben Stokes returning from injury to contribute the highest score of 56 to a total that looked around 25 light, Wood got to work beneath the Birmingham floodlights.

His first over, the second of the innings, was not a portent of the problems to come.

Twelve runs came from it, Adam Lyth using the bowler’s 90mph pace to swing him over square-leg for six and then dragging his next ball through mid-wicket for four.

But Wood’s next over changed the complexion – if not tangibly in the form of wickets, then certainly on a subtle level.

He ran rings around Joe Root, who could barely lay a bat on him, Root’s innings ending soon afterwards when he top-edged a pull to square-leg off Chris Rushworth.

Still, with Lyth going great guns at the other end, and with Jonny Bairstow and Gary Ballance also back from international action, Yorkshire had more than enough firepower to suggest that they would go on to overhaul Durham’s score.

So much so that even after Alex Lees had been dismissed in the 10th over, well caught by a tumbling Stokes at deep mid-wicket off Scott Borthwick to leave Yorkshire 75-3, Paul Collingwood, the Durham captain, was sufficiently concerned to bring back Wood for another over.

It was a master stroke.

With the first ball of that 12th over, Wood yorked Bairstow for three and then, two balls later, he had Ballance superbly caught by Collingwood himself, the 40-year-old hurling himself to his left at leg gully to reduce Yorkshire to 86-5.

But Wood’s work was not done.

After Lyth perished for 64 from 42 balls, caught at point off the excellent Rushworth, Wood returned to bowl the penultimate over with Yorkshire wanting 23 with three wickets left.

Liam Plunkett edged the first ball to the boundary but was bowled by the second, and Wood made it two wickets in three balls for the second time in the match when he cleaned up Tim Bresnan.

Adil Rashid and Azeem Rafiq could not get the 15 needed off the final over, bowled by Usman Arshad, as Yorkshire finished on 149-9 to lose by seven.

On a day of squally showers and blustery winds, the match had been delayed by 50 minutes due to rain.

Lees, the Yorkshire captain, admitted that he was unsure what he would have done had he won the toss, but one sensed that he was not too disappointed to be asked to chase given that Duckworth-Lewis calculations could potentially have come into play.

Proceedings began painfully for David Willey, when he was struck on the left hand while bowling by a blistering drive from Mark Stoneman.

Although Willey battled on bravely, it was a blow that threatens to end his season.

Stoneman added insult to injury when he hit four boundaries in the fourth over, bowled by Bresnan, pulling the all-rounder towards the Hollies Stand and then dispatching him twice over mid-on and once over long-off.

Yorkshire gained a grip in the fifth over when Rafiq struck with his third ball, Bairstow smartly stumping Keaton Jennings down the leg side.

Durham fell to 47-2 in the eighth when Stoneman was bowled attempting to drive Plunkett, who was then pulled for four by Stokes to raise the Durham fifty.

Stokes followed up with a pulled six off Willey before rain resulted in a 20-minute delay but no reduction in overs. When the action resumed, Stokes lofted Rashid for six over mid-wicket as 15 came off the spinner’s first over.

Lees turned to Root to bowl the 11th over, and he should have had a wicket with his third delivery only for Bairstow to miss a stumping with Michael Richardson, on three, out of his ground.

In Root’s next over, Richardson deposited a full toss into the crowd over long-on and then Stokes slapped him for six over mid-wicket, in the process raising the Durham 100.

Stokes and Richardson added 72 in seven before Richardson was trapped lbw on the back foot by Rashid, leaving Collingwood’s men 119-2 in the 15th.

Stokes went to fifty from 32 balls and was central to Durham’s hopes of a big finish.

But after using his feet to drive Rafiq to the long-on boundary, Stokes fell to the off-spinner’s next ball when he cut tamely to Bresnan at cover.

In the next over, Jack Burnham was dropped around the corner by Root off Bresnan, a difficult low chance to the fielder’s left, but one that Root would have expected to take.

Bresnan conceded only two in a superb last over, which included the wicket of Burnham, who skied to Bairstow, as Durham managed only 35 from the last five, including four boundaries.

It did not look as though they had enough runs in the bank, but Wood ensured it was sufficient credit.

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