Jonny Bairstow leads Yorkshire Vikings to third straight victory

Gazette & Herald: Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow

York ace Jonny Bairstow scored his third Twenty20 fifty to help Yorkshire to a third straight NatWest Blast win over Northamptonshire at Wantage Road tonight.

The 24-year-old hit 60 not out off 37 balls here to carry the Vikings to an imposing 181-3.

He shared 53 for the third wicket with Alex Lees (35) and an unbroken 90 in eight and a half overs with Adam Lyth, who hit 46 not out off 31.

This match was played out on a slow pitch, explaining why only 12 fours and three sixes were scored in the entire Yorkshire innings. But their running between the wickets was exceptional.

South African opener Richard Levi tested that theory with a brutal 76 off 47 balls for Northants, but he was one of two wickets for the excellent Azeem Rafiq, who finished with 2-19 from four overs.

The Steelbacks, needing 25 off the last, finished on 165-9. Steve Patterson, Rich Pyrah and Oliver Robinson all struck twice in a 16-run win. Robinson picked up his wickets in the last over.

Bairstow hit both his sixes over long-on against David Willey added to four fours, while Lyth backed up his double century in the Championship with two fours and a six.

Patterson, in the side in place of rested Jack Brooks, then struck twice in the fourth over of the reply to get rid of David Willey and Kyle Coetzer and leave the score at 33-2 after four overs.

The second one, which saw Coetzer depart, owed much to a stunning low catch from Robinson, who had to dive at the end of a short run in from the deep square-leg boundary.

Robinson’s first over - the 11th - went for 19 as Levi hit him for successive sixes to take the score to 91-3 with eight overs left.

But when he fell to Rafiq, caught at long-on, Yorkshire had the game by the scruff of the neck at 101-4 in the 14th.

After Pyrah and Rashid struck with successive deliveries at the end of the 17th and start of the 18th over, Robinson recovered superbly to remove Graeme White and Rob Keogh in the last five balls of the match.

Yorkshire are in LV= County Championship action against Sussex at Arundel on Monday.

Adil Rashid will not play due to the impending birth of his first child. Brooks will return to the side, while Rafiq will get the chance to build on tonight’s impressive display.

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