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Yorkshire finish on a high with T20 win in desert

Yorkshire's Tom Kohler-Cadmore.
Yorkshire's Tom Kohler-Cadmore.
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“IT has been an explosive couple of days at #ZayedCricketStadium where the 6 mesmerizing #AbuDhabiT20 teams have shown great vigor by thrilling spectators with some smashing cricket. The 1st match is @Yorkshireccc Vs HurricanesBBL, 2 raging forces you don’t want to miss! YVvHH.”

Despite the best efforts of Abu Dhabi Cricket’s Twitter feed, which thereby promoted the opening game of Saturday’s finals day with typical hyperbole, Yorkshire versus Hobart was the proverbial dead match.

Both sides had already been eliminated after losing their opening fixture to Lahore Qalandars, who went on to win the final against Multiply Titans by 15 runs, and they had nothing to play for but the equally proverbial pride.

Not only was it a dead match, indeed, but also, as it turned out, a dead one-sided one, Yorkshire cruising to victory by nine wickets with 43 balls to spare to finish their 2018 season on a positive note.

It was a performance, in some ways, that was bittersweet; had a controversial umpiring decision not gone against them in their six-wicket defeat to Lahore on Thursday, Yorkshire might well have gone all the way in the three-day competition, a brazen money-making exercise in the desert watched by pretty much one man and his camel.

As it was, Sohail Akhtar, the Lahore captain, was recalled to the crease after being given out for 51 with his side 93-3 in the 11th over in pursuit of Yorkshire’s 184-5, Adam Lyth adjudged to have touched the boundary rope after all while catching him at long-off off Josh Poysden before Sohail completed a match-winning hundred.

“I thought we were a bit unlucky,” reflected Yorkshire first XI coach Andrew Gale, who hailed the competition a success. “We got done by the third umpire decision and, had that gone our way, I’m sure we’d have got over the line.”

There was no such controversy on Saturday as Yorkshire made light work of the much-changed Big Bash finalists.

Yorkshire showed three changes themselves, captain Steve Patterson and all-rounder Tim Bresnan resting and Jordan Thompson also making way as Matthew Waite, Karl Carver and Ben Coad came into a side which Lyth led.

Lyth’s first act was to lose the toss as Hobart chose to bat on a tacky pitch in hot conditions – “we wanted to bowl anyway,” he said.

Much like the tournament itself, Hobart’s innings rather went in one ear and out of the other as they staggered up to 140-7, no sort of total in today’s T20.

Yorkshire’s spinners did the damage, Karl Carver taking 2-29 from four overs on his first T20 outing for the firsts since Worcestershire’s Ross Whiteley smashed him for six sixes in an over at Headingley last year.

It was a fine performance by the left-armer, who had Caleb Jewell stumped for the highest score of 38 and then Sean Willis – who made the only other notable contribution of 35 – caught sweeping to Poysden at deep mid-wicket.

Poysden chipped in with 1-22 from four overs, including the wicket of Jordan Clark, who took a hat-trick for Lancashire against Yorkshire at Old Trafford this year, while Lyth chipped in with 1-21 from his four overs, having Keegan Oates stumped by the excellent Jonny Tattersall.

Coad was Yorkshire’s most economical bowler (1-8 off three overs) and Josh Shaw (2-39 off three) their most expensive.

Shaw’s first wicket was that of Ben Duckett, who snubbed Yorkshire in favour of Notts in August, and his last Johan Botha, who contributed 23 off 22 to an under-par total which Hobart captain Charlie Wakim conceded was about 50 light.

It certainly challenged Yorkshire about as much as the average adult being asked to recite the two-times table.

Indeed, they were only just short of halfway to their target 
after the first six overs (69-1), 
Lyth the casualty when he skied Clark to cover after striking 21 from 13.

Harry Brook arrived to cream four fours in an over off pace man Nathan Ellis, Brook making it seven fours in his first nine balls faced when he struck the first three deliveries of Clark’s next over to the boundary too.

Kohler-Cadmore was in typically destructive mood, racing to a 32-ball half-century and finishing with exactly half of the runs as Yorkshire ended on 144-1.

Kohler-Cadmore (72 off 42) and Brook (42 off 22) added an unbroken 99 from 52 deliveries, two high-class talents who give Yorkshire plenty of hope for the future.