Lancashire v Yorkshire: Vikings unable to scale heights of Lightning’s mammoth total


Yorkshire's Tim Bresnan smashed a 23-ball half-century against Lancashire  the fastest fifty of the night  with two fours and five sixes (Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire).

Anyone of a nervous disposition should look away now.

On a night of mayhem in Manchester, Yorkshire conceded their highest total in T20 cricket, Lancashire scoring 231-4 from their 20 overs.

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It beat the previous highest against them of 222-6 by Derbyshire at Headingley in 2010, and it eclipsed Lancashire’s previous best in the format of 229-4 against Worcestershire at New Road in 2014.

Predictably, it left Yorkshire with a mountain to climb that, despite their best efforts, they were unable to scale.

Left to make 19 runs more than they had ever made in a T20 
innings, Yorkshire managed 
202-8 in reply as the required run-rate soared away from them.

Defeat by 29 runs left them second-bottom of the North Group and probably needing to win at least four of their remaining five games to reach the quarter-finals.

Like a surgeon performing a delicate operation, they have precious little margin for error.

If Yorkshire are to qualify, their margin of error with the ball must certainly improve.

After inserting Lancashire on a hard surface brimful of runs, with a crowd of 17,000 crammed into Old Trafford on a sultry evening, Yorkshire were not accurate enough in the unhelpful conditions.

The tone was set in the opening over.

Glenn Maxwell, whose bowling has so far proven more useful to Yorkshire than his batting, conceded 16 runs as Paul Horton twice struck him to the cover boundary and Ashwell Prince lofted him for a straight six towards the old pavilion.

Prince and Horton laid the platform by adding 75 runs in the first six overs of powerplay, their explosive stand broken one run later when Horton slapped a Maxwell full toss to Andrew Gale at cover.

Lancashire – deprived of their most successful player in this year’s tournament in James Faulkner, who was withdrawn just before play after being charged with a drink-driving offence – gorged themselves on some wayward bowling.

Prince raced to a 26-ball half-century – also smiting a six off each of Tim Bresnan (recalled after being dropped for last week’s game at Leicester), Rich Pyrah and James Middlebrook (the latter included in the absence of the Ashes-bound Adil Rashid).

Prince had advanced to 59 when he skied Pyrah high into the night, wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow holding a steepling catch.

Karl Brown picked up from where Prince left off, taking 19 off a Bresnan over in a game when no Yorkshire bowler conceded less than eight runs an over.

The powerful Brown bettered that in an over from Pyrah which he pummelled for 27 runs, including three sixes and two fours.

It lifted him to fifty from 25 balls and brought up a 50 partnership with Alex Davies to which Davies’s contribution was just three.

When Brown finally fell, caught at long-on by Maxwell off Aaron Finch, Lancashire were 169-3 in the 15th over and Brown had contributed a T20 career-best 69 from 35 deliveries.

Davies was fourth out at 187, caught by Bresnan at cover off Matthew Fisher, before Pyrah limped out of the action after sliding awkwardly on the turf trying to stop a boundary.

Steven Croft rounded off the innings with an unbeaten 27 from 16 balls to put the icing on the cake from the hosts’ perspective.

Yorkshire’s reply began promisingly – they were 42-0 after four overs, at which point the scores were identical – but they were rocked by the loss of both overseas players, Finch and Maxwell, in the seventh over bowled by Stephen Parry, the left-arm spinner’s spell of 3-29 scuppering the chase.

Finch holed out to long-off after striking 33 from 19 balls with five fours, while Maxwell was caught behind for a single.

It was then a case of Bairstow or bust, and the wicketkeeeper briefly offered hope by striking Parry and then Croft for a six over long-on, the first of the maximums smashing into the windows of The Point building and scattering a handful of corporate guests.

But after Gale was run-out and Andrew Hodd caught at deep mid-wicket slog-sweeping Parry, the loss of Bairstow with the total on 102 in the 12th over – bowled by Croft – effectively ended Yorkshire’s hopes.

Still they did not give up.

After Aaron Lilley had Jack Leaning caught at long-on and Pyrah taken at backward-point, Bresnan smashed a 23-ball half-century – the fastest fifty of the night – with two fours and five sixes.

Bresnan was brilliantly caught off the next ball he faced on the long-off boundary by Prince off Lilley, the off-spinner finishing with 3-31 from his four overs.

Middlebrook finished undefeated on 29 from 14 balls, but Yorkshire had left themselves too much to do.

They played their full part in an engrossing contest, which produced 433 runs in 40 overs, but Lancashire ran out worthy winners.