Yorkshire in Rapids win but England injury scare for Jonny Bairstow

EVEN on one leg, Jonny Bairstow can play shots that most batsmen can only dream about playing.
Yorkshire batsman Jonny Bairstow. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Yorkshire batsman Jonny Bairstow. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Yorkshire batsman Jonny Bairstow. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Take the six off pace bowler Dillon Pennington that sailed over long-on, out of the ground, and which was last seen heading towards the busy main road during evening rush hour.

Goodness knows what happened to that ball.

Still going up as it exited the ground, did it drop through somebody’s windscreen, perhaps? Did it strike a passing cyclist? Or did it fly clean over the road, the main A44 New Road, and land in the quite possibly appropriately-named Cripplegate Park?

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Either way, on a night when Yorkshire thrashed Worcestershire by 94 runs in clinical fashion, the cognoscenti were in agreement that it was the biggest six they had seen at this ground – perhaps the biggest six that anyone had seen.

The wonder of it, though, was that Bairstow was indeed effectively batting on one leg having moments earlier collapsed to the ground with a scream after dropping a delivery from seamer Charlie Morris into the leg-side and completing a quick single.

Play was held up for fully 10 minutes while he received treatment from Kunwar Bansil, the club physiotherapist, for a damaged right ankle that raises doubt as to his availability for England’s three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka that starts on Wednesday.

“Jonny will have a scan,” said Andrew Gale, the Yorkshire first-team coach, after the match. “It’s early days, but I don’t think he’ll be available for Friday’s match (against Durham at Headingley).

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“His ankle’s blown up. Hopefully it won’t be a ligament tear; it might just be a rolled ankle. I feel for him.

“He’s got a big summer coming up now in white-ball cricket with England.

“But you never quite know with ankles. They can be sore when you do them but, a week later, they’re not as bad as you think, or they can be six-to-eight weeks. We’ll just have to see what the scan says.”

At the time of the injury, which occurred from the final delivery of the 11th over, with Yorkshire 101-2 after they had been put into bat on a roasting, sun-kissed evening, Bairstow had scored 56 from 33 balls.

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By the time he departed to a standing ovation from the 800 or so crowd, having lofted the final delivery of the 17th over into the hands of long-on, Bairstow had doubled his score to 112 from 51 balls with 10 sixes and seven fours.

It was his second and highest T20 hundred for Yorkshire, the third-highest and seventh T20 century scored for the county, and it took them to a final total of 216-6.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore weighed in with a splendid 53 against his former club from 33 balls, his first half-century of the season, and shared with Bairstow 146 for the third wicket in 12 overs of murderous mayhem.

That was Yorkshire’s second-highest T20 partnership behind the 150 shared by Adam Lyth and David Willey for the second-wicket against Northamptonshire at Northampton in 2018, with Lyth acting as a runner for Bairstow here.

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Harry Brook chipped in with 22 from 12 balls, Ben Dwarshuis, the left-arm Australian quick, the stand-out bowler with 4-31.

Worcestershire’s bowling was ragged at times, with wayward deliveries – as well as the good ones – returned by Bairstow and Kohler-Cadmore with blistering power.

The fielding, however, was in the main good – emphasised by Riki Wessels, whose four catches in the innings, all at long-on – was a Worcestershire record for an outfielder in T20.

Worcestershire set another T20 club record – an unwanted one too – when five of their batsmen perished for ducks.

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The hosts crumbled abysmally from 110-3 in the 13th over to 122 all-out, losing their last seven wickets for 12 runs in 24 balls.

After 30s from captain Moeen Ali and Wessels had given them hope, the Rapids lived up to their name in terms of the clatter of wickets, which silenced the crowd as surely as a blue comedian in a Sunday school.

Adil Rashid removed both Moeen and Wessels, the latter with the aid of a catch by Kohler-Cadmore, who stood in for Bairstow behind the stumps with Gary Ballance acting as substitute fielder.

Rashid later had Ish Sodhi held at long-on to finish with the best figures of 3-32, Matthew Fisher, David Willey and Dominic Bess – the latter coming in for Jordan Thompson – each taking two wickets.

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“It was a near-perfect performance, really,” reflected Gale, who said that Rashid will also miss Friday’s match to rest up ahead of the England series.

Dawid Malan (achilles) is also a doubt for that game, while Test captain Joe Root will play “three or four” T20s, starting with Sunday’s fixture against Derbyshire at Emerald Headingley.

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