By Gary Watton
August 20 2016
Congratulations to Northamptonshire Steelbacks for emerging triumphant for the second successive year in the English Twenty20 Blast. Fortunately they did us all a favour and defeated dastardly Durham in the final. Earlier, the Durham Jets had just squeezed past the Yorkshire Vikings in the second semi final. The latter looked well set for a potential victory, chasing a total of 157 which seemed well within reach. However, the Tykes were undone by outstanding seam bowling from the deadly duo of Rushworth and Wood whose efforts eclipsed that of Yorkshire's bowlers.
The result was especially tough on Adam Lyth and Liam Plunkett, neither of whom deserved to be on the losing team. Apart from the excellent Lyth, the Ls of Leaning and Lees were the only other batters to reach double figures in a desperately disappointing run chase. Chief culprits proved to be our England trio of Bairstow, Ballance, and Root who between them accumulated a pitiful ten runs. A total of fity runs between them would have been anticipated and would have led to a comfortable win, but as the wickets kept tumbling in the last nine overs, so Yorkshire's challenge petered out, when a win was there for the taking.
After this hard luck story, the red rose 'only' have two tournaments left to focus upon. There must be a nagging fear that the county will come up just short again this summer. However, they are still only one win away from a Lords one-day final, while overcoming Middlesex in the County Championship remains perfectly possible. Next on the agenda is our match 'in hand' at home to struggling Nottinghamshire in the County Championship. There is little margin for error now at this time of the year. Another draw may not be tolerated by the expectant Yorkshire faithful.
Twenty20 Blast: Durham Jets versus YORKSHIRE VIKINGS; in Birmingham; Saturday the twentieth of August 2016. Durham Jets won the toss.
Durham Jets: 156 for six (off twenty overs)
Stoneman b Plunkett 25 (47-2)
Jennings st Bairstow b Rafiq 11 (31-1)
Stokes c Bresnan b Rafiq 56 (128-4)
Richardson lbw b Rashid 29 (119-3)
Burnham c Bairstow b Bresnan 17 (154-6)
Pringle b Plunkett 10 (144-5)
Collingwood not out 2
Arshad not out 1
YORKSHIRE VIKINGS: 149 for nine (off twenty overs)
Lyth c Stoneman b Rushworth 64 (120-6)
Willey c Collingwood b Rushworth 3 (21-1)
Root c Burnham b Rushworth 7 (30-2)
Lees c Stokes b Borthwick 22 (75-3)
Bairstow b Wood 3 (86-4)
Ballance c Collingwood b Wood 0 (86-5)
Leaning c Pringle b Arshad 19 (122-7)
Bresnan b Wood 9 (139-9)
Plunkett b Wood 9 (138-8)
Rashid not out 5
Rafiq not out 6
Wood four for 25
Rushworth three for nineteen
Durham Jets win by seven runs.