Yorkshire CCC retain Dubai title title to give captain Alex Lees belief for T20 summer

Spinner Karl Carver impressed with the ball for Yorkshire in Dubai on Friday.
Spinner Karl Carver impressed with the ball for Yorkshire in Dubai on Friday.
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ALEX LEES said Yorkshire have set the template for their T20 season after they retained the Emirates Airlines Trophy in Dubai.

Yorkshire won the T20 tournament for the second year running by beating Lancashire in the final by 13 runs after earlier defeating MCC by the same margin in the semi-final.

The competition follows the format of T20 Finals Day, and Lees said it was useful preparation for the English event.

“We’ve got to take that as a template going into the T20 season,” said Lees, who was appointed Yorkshire’s one-day captain last December.

“The key thing over the winter has been working on our skills in white-ball cricket, so that when it comes to the crunch, we can execute our skills under pressure.

“We looked to give a few young lads opportunities here, and it’s something we’ll look to do certainly in our T20 campaign in the season.

“It’s always good to have a mixture of youth and experience, and the young lads performed really well.”

Yorkshire might well have lost both matches yesterday only for a young bowling attack to come up trumps.

After Yorkshire made 155-5 against MCC, Lees top-scoring with 47 from 34 balls and Gary Ballance contributing an unbeaten 43 from 25, MCC were apparently cruising at 55-0 in the sixth over and then 70-1 in the eighth.

Initially, Yorkshire had been put to the sword by Tom Westley, who opened the batting with Ian Bell and took five fours off an Adam Lyth over, but the innings fell away once left-arm spinner Karl Carver had Westley caught by Ballance for 46 from 27.

Carver returned 3-20 from four overs, while Will Rhodes claimed 2-25 from four overs, Ben Coad 1-15 from three and James Wainman 1-29 from four.

The experienced hand of Steve Patterson chipped in with 1-30 from four overs as Yorkshire reduced their opponents to 142-8 from their 20 overs.

In a low-scoring final, Ballance led the way with 46 from 38 – and Lees hit 28 from 24 – as Yorkshire posted 132-8.

It looked a vulnerable total as Lancashire reached 56-1 in reply inside seven overs, but Carver again did the damage with two quick wickets.

With Rhodes, Wainman and Patterson also claiming two wickets apiece, and Coad the other scalp, Lancashire fell away to 119-9, with Luis Reece’s 35 from 22 their highest score.

Carver finished with outstanding figures of 2-17 from four overs as Yorkshire once more showed their strength of character.

“I’m delighted with the result,” said Lees.

“At the halfway point, we didn’t think 130 was probably going to be good enough.

“But hats off to the boys – each and every bowler was outstanding.”

Yorkshire return to action tomorrow when they start their four-day Champion County game against MCC in Abu Dhabi.