Adam Lyth excels at Grace Road again but Yorkshire Vikings fall at the death

Adam Lyth: The Yorkshire opener continues to be comfortable in his surroundings at Grace Road.(Picture: PA)Adam Lyth: The Yorkshire opener continues to be comfortable in his surroundings at Grace Road.(Picture: PA)
Adam Lyth: The Yorkshire opener continues to be comfortable in his surroundings at Grace Road.(Picture: PA)
ADAM LYTH likes batting at Grace Road.

In 2012, he famously hit 248 not out, the highest score by a Yorkshire batsman who has carried his bat.

Asked how that felt, Lyth famously returned, with quizzical brow: “How do you mean? I always carry my bat with me.”

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Lyth averages 61 at Grace Road in one-day cricket too and, in Twenty20, he hit 69 in Yorkshire’s towering total of 255-2 here last summer, their second-highest in 20-over cricket.

Yorkshire Vikings' Adam LythYorkshire Vikings' Adam Lyth
Yorkshire Vikings' Adam Lyth

If he could carry this pitch around with him, as well as his bat, he would be back in the England side before you could say “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”.

Once again, Grace Road’s giant boundaries were not big enough for the Whitby-born left-hander, who three times cleared them with leg-side blows off Tom Taylor, Gavin Griffiths and Gareth Delany on his way to the top score of 71 as Yorkshire made 188-6 after being sent into bat, Jordan Thompson weighing in at the finish with 44 from just 19 balls with four sixes.

Sadly for Lyth and his team-mates, it was not quite enough as Leicestershire won by three wickets off the final ball, Ben Mike clinching it with a straight six off Lyth into the pavilion.

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“It was a cracking game, and unfortunately we didn’t quite get over the line,” said Lyth, who reached his third half-century in four T20 matches this summer from 24 balls and faced 46 in total.

“It was disappointing to lose because I thought it was a game we should really have won. I felt good out there myself, although I feel that I missed out on a big one, getting out with about seven to eight overs left. I felt that I left a few runs out there.

“But we’ve been playing some good T20 cricket overall, and we need to bounce back now at home to Lancashire on Monday.”

Yorkshire’s innings was something of a curate’s egg on a pleasant evening, one on which socially-distanced cardboard cut-outs of spectators were dotted around the boundary fence, a sight that became increasingly grotesque as the floodlights took effect.

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The visitors had a good six-over powerplay, scoring 67 for the loss of Tom Kohler-Cadmore, caught at cover, and were 98-2 at the halfway stage, captain David Willey falling to the final delivery of the 10th over when he chopped on a slower ball yorker.

Yorkshire then had a costly wobble, scoring only 28 in the next five overs as Lyth’s dismissal – pulling leg-spinner Delany to deep backward-square leg in front of the scoreboard – was followed by that of Will Fraine, run-out backing up at the non-striker’s end without facing, and Harry Brook, caught at long-on, leaving Yorkshire 124-5.

But Thompson and Jonny Tattersall added 64 from 31 balls to lift their team to an imposing 
total, the pair riding their luck at times but putting the bad balls away with aplomb and scampering fiercely between the 

Thompson had a couple of lives but his hitting was ferocious the left-hander punishing the left-arm spin of Callum Parkinson for successive sixes and repeating the feat off Davis.

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He fell to the final delivery of the innings, striking Tom Taylor high into the offside where wicketkeeper Lewis Hill snaffled the skier.

In reply, Leicestershire were 20 behind at the end of the powerplay, their total 47-1 after Matthew Fisher had Harry Dearden caught at long-on.

Arron Lilley biffed a couple of sixes as he upper-cut Ben Coad and lofted Fisher over mid-wicket before perishing trying for another maximum off Jack Shutt, whose fourth ball, a waist-high full toss, was slapped to Brook at deep mid-wicket.

Delany, a hard-hitting Dubliner, launched two sixes off Shutt and one off Thompson en route to a 32-ball half-century, adding 88 with his captain, Colin Ackermann, inside seven overs in a match-turning stand.

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Willey returned to have Delany top-edging a pull to wicketkeeper Tattersall, having scored 64 in an innings that spanned 41 balls.

Ackermann hit arguably the biggest six of the 18 scored on the night when he tonked Thompson over the pavilion and out of the ground, Thompson’s second over disappearing for 28.

When Delany fell, the hosts were apparently coasting, needing 40 from 33 with seven wickets left. But Coad had Taylor lbw for a golden duck and Fisher struck twice in four balls, Hill slicing to mid-off and Harry Swindells cutting to backward-point, where Coad took a flying catch.

Willey trapped Ackermann for 58 from 34 in the penultimate over, but Leicestershire scored the nine they required off the final over to clinch a thriller.

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