Yorkshire’s Jordan Thompson won’t lose focus after record-breaking heroics

YORKSHIRE and Twenty20 cricket have never quite got along.

Quickfire: Viking's Harry Brook hits out against the Rapids on his way to 83 from 54 balls. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
Quickfire: Viking's Harry Brook hits out against the Rapids on his way to 83 from 54 balls. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

If they were a romantic couple they would forever be in and out of relationship counselling.

If they were business partners they would always be fighting over strategy and direction.

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If they were items of food, they would not be complementary combinations such as strawberries and cream, or bacon and eggs, but incompatible ones like custard and vinegar or Marmite and salmon.

Take that: Yorkshire's Jordan Thompson launches another huge hit in the win over Worcester Rapids. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Eat those together and it would be the culinary equivalent of watching The Hundred, the cricketing game show that starts next month.

But it might just be that the times are a-changin’ when it comes to Yorkshire and the T20 format.

A club that has never won the tournament and only twice reached Finals Day went top of the North Group at the halfway stage, with five wins from seven games.

Permission to get carried away, I hear you cry?

Record breakers: Yorkshire's Jordan Thompson and Harry Brook punch gloves on their way to an English record sixth-wicket T20 stand of 141. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Permission granted.

One man with his feet firmly on the ground, however, is Jordan Thompson, co-architect of the remarkable recovery that saw Yorkshire beat Worcestershire in their latest match at Headingley on Wednesday.

When Thompson walked to the crease to join Harry Brook, Yorkshire were 50-5 in the 11th over having been 18-4 at the end of the six-over powerplay after choosing to bat.

When the pair strode off after 20 overs, still unseparated with the final score 191-5, they had shared an English record sixth-wicket T20 stand of 141, Brook striking 83 from 54 balls with six sixes and four fours, and Thompson – named man of the match – 66 from 28 deliveries with five sixes and five fours, Yorkshire going on to triumph by 12 runs.

“It was a great win but we’ve got to maintain it now,” said Thompson, as Yorkshire prepared to begin the second half of their group campaign against Leicestershire at Grace Road this evening.

“We’ve got to keep the momentum going and, if we can get a few more wins before the Championship starts up again shortly, that would give us a lot of confidence. We’re playing well and we’ve got a strong team, and we’re working towards trying to get ourselves into Finals Day.

“But there’s a long way to go and, of course, you can play really well in the group stages and go through to the knockouts only to have one bad day, one bad game, and find yourself out of the competition, so we know we’ve got to keep working hard.”

With Thompson and Brook to the fore, Yorkshire have so far made light work of losing four players to England: their captain, David Willey, batsmen Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan, plus leg-spinner Adil Rashid.

Although they were boosted by Joe Root’s return in the opposite direction, following the conclusion of the Test series against New Zealand, it is a stark fact that the Yorkshire side that beat Worcestershire showed six enforced changes to the one that had begun the competition just 13 days earlier, with the missing England quartet joined by Tom Kohler-Cadmore (broken finger) and Will Fraine (side strain).

“We’ve lost four England lads and then Tom and Frainey to injury, and to have such a big shake-up of the batting order is never nice in any form of cricket,” added Thompson.

“But we know we can bat all the way down. You look at who’s below me in the order, for instance – we’ve got Waitey [Matthew Waite], Bessy [Dom Bess], Fish [Matthew Fisher], and Lockie [Ferguson] can hit a long ball as well. We bat all the way to No 11.”

Not many can bat like Thompson, who said that he has “never struck the ball better” than he did on Wednesday.

“That’s the best innings I’ve ever played,” he said.

“Every shot I tried to play came off.

“Myself and Brooky, we just kept going and everything seemed to go our way.

“We get on very well off the pitch, and we just enjoyed each other’s company out there and allowed each other to flow.”

Yorkshire squad versus Leicestershire: Ballance, Bess, Brook, Ferguson, Fisher, Hill, Leech, Lyth, Poysden, Root (captain), Tattersall, Thompson, Waite.