Friends provident t20: Roses euphoria forgotten as Yorkshire are thrashed
Joking aside, it was hardly surprising the re-named Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground was less than full for yesterday's game.
Only 3,170 turned out on a glorious evening as the football took precedence over a spot of hit and giggle.
At least the Chester-le-Street public were rewarded for their loyalty.
On a sobering evening for the visitors, Durham romped to a six-wicket win that exacted revenge for their nine-wicket defeat at Headingley Carnegie.
After Yorkshire took first use of a pitch full of runs, they limped to an inadequate 131-8.
It left their bowlers too much to do, Durham cruising home with 29 balls to spare which, in Twenty20, constitutes a thrashing.
Following the euphoria of their victory over Lancashire the previous night, Yorkshire came crashing to earth with a bump.
It was the fourth defeat in their opening six group games and they have an uphill task to reach the quarter-finals.
A chance for redemption arrives tomorrow when they take on Leicestershire at Grace Road (2.40pm start).
But they will need to improve on their efforts in the North East, which were some way short of the expected standard.
Ironically, it had all started so promisingly for Andrew Gale's men.
Gale and Jacques Rudolph – restored to the top of the innings after Gale and Herschelle Gibbs opened against Lancashire – added 40 inside five overs on a surface that offered pace and bounce.
There are few better strikers of a long ball than Gale, who served notice of his power with two of the crispest sixes one is likely to see.
First, the Yorkshire captain shimmied down the pitch and cracked pace bowler Mitch Claydon over wide long-off, a stroke that left the former Yorkshire bowler scratching his head in bemusement.
Gale then hammered Albie Morkel for an even bigger maximum over long-on, the ball sailing out of the ground at the Finchale end.
But after racing to 28 from 15 balls, Gale's innings came to a disappointing end when he was caught at backward-point off Morkel as Durham finally established a foothold in the game.
Yorkshire's innings quickly degenerated.
Gibbs was caught by a diving Ben Harmison at deep mid-on off Liam Plunkett, the South African having managed only one contribution of note in his opening five games. Then Rudolph, who has yet to hit top gear in this year's tournament, was bowled by Harmison trying to steer through third-man as Yorkshire slid to 56-3.
Gerard Brophy was bowled round his legs with the score on 61, attempting to sweep left-arm spinner Ian Blackwell, who effectively checked the scoring rate.
Blackwell struck again when he took a brilliant return catch from Jonathan Bairstow as Yorkshire plunged to 81-5.
It needed Anthony McGrath – fresh from his Twenty20 career-best 73 against Lancashire – to steady the ship and prevent the innings descending into freefall.
Whereas too many of his colleagues were inappropriately rash, with some of the shot selection leaving much to be desired, McGrath attacked in sensible style and found a willing partner in Adil Rashid.
The pair added 41 for the sixth wicket in 5.4 overs to ensure their side had something to bowl at – albeit not nearly enough.
Rashid struck a run-a-ball 21, his cameo ending when Harmison had him caught at mid-off in the 18th over.
Then, as Yorkshire strove in vain to hoist a competitive total, Richard Pyrah was caught at long-off and Tino Best bowled trying to make room as the innings stuttered to a close.
McGrath finished unbeaten on 34 from as many deliveries, Blackwell the pick of the bowlers with 2-16. If Yorkshire were to make up for their batting display, early wickets were vital.
Best provided them by striking twice in the first three balls of his opening over – the second of the innings – when he had Phil Mustard caught at mid-wicket and then knocked out Blackwell's off-stump with a ferocious ball that beat the batsman for pace.
But Ross Taylor and Dale Benkenstein kept their heads to get the innings up and running, the pair accumulating steadily before gradually opening their shoulders.
They added 101 in just 11 overs to settle the issue, Benkenstein finishing unbeaten on 57 from 39 balls and Taylor cracking 49 from 35.
Benkenstein treated the crowd to four towering sixes, striking Steve Patterson over mid-wicket, Pyrah over mid-off and Azeem Rafiq over long-off and long-on.
Rashid took two wickets in three balls with the total on 102 when he had Taylor caught behind and Ben Stokes well caught by Best diving forward at deep mid-wicket, but Yorkshire's goose was already cooked.
Friends Provident Twenty20: v Leicestershire at Grace Road, Sunday, June 20 (2.30pm)