Tim Bresnan was once again Yorkshire’s white knight as they saw off Lancashire in a dramatic NatWest T20 Blast Roses battle on Friday night.
Bresnan became the first bowler since 2011 to take a six-wicket haul in England’s domestic T20 competition on an evening that provided plenty of talking points.
Game of the day
Yorkshire’s innings faded after some lusty hitting from openers Adam Lyth (50 from 29 balls) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (45 off 29) but they still posted a competitive 182 for seven. Lancashire were indebted to captain Steven Croft’s 62 for leaving them 23 to win from the final over. But they never got close as Bresnan took three wickets and added a run out for good measure, finishing proceedings in style by cleaning up Junaid Khan with a yorker as the visitors were skittled 19 runs short of their target.
Player of the day
Bresnan, who has helped England to Ashes glory in Australia and was an ever-present in their march to the World T20 title seven years ago, does not have too many gaps in his CV, but curiously his previous best bowling analysis in 140 matches in the shortest format was three for 10. The White Rose captain blew that out of the water by decimating Lancashire’s line-up to finish with six for 19 – a Yorkshire record – in front of a 15,750 Headingley sell-out.
Stat of the day
Bresnan’s haul is the first time a bowler has bagged six wickets in the NatWest T20 Blast. When Arul Suppiah and Tim Southee did likewise within days of each other in July 2011, the competition was known as the Friends Life T20.
Bresnan may hog the headlines but the moment of the night belongs to Jack Leaning. Lancashire pinch-hitter Arron Lilley would not have expected to be trudging off moments after carving Liam Plunkett’s full toss to the cover boundary. But he had not reckoned on a backtracking Leaning plucking the ball out of the air with a stunning one-handed grab. The Yorkshireman rose from the ground and allowed himself a deserved double-fist pump to the crowd in celebration after pulling off a catch-of-the-season contender. Prepare to see this on a few highlight reels.
Hales keeps quiet
Alex Hales had butchered the bowling attack of Durham in his last outing in the sprint format, falling one blow short of equalling the world record for the fastest century, and he followed that up with a double hundred in the County Championship this week. But one day after being overlooked for England’s Test squad, the outrageously in-form Nottinghamshire batsman was dismissed for a golden duck against Birmingham Bears as he slammed a drive straight down the throat of Ian Bell at mid-off.
Jennings the bowler
Keaton Jennings would have been hoping to draw a line under being dropped by England but his woes with the bat continued as he struggled to four from 10 balls before edging behind. However, his under-rated medium pace bowling came in handy for Durham as he took two crucial wickets to help the Jets to a 13-run victory over Worcestershire. They remain rooted to the foot of the North Group, a full 14 points behind Nottinghamshire, who saw off Birmingham by five wickets. Northamptonshire, meanwhile, slipped off the pace to the leaders after Mark Cosgrove’s 79 steered Leicestershire to a 48-run triumph.
Tight in the south
Hampshire’s six-wicket victory over Kent at Canterbury took them to the top of the South Group – although only five points separate James Vince’s side from eighth-placed Surrey, while Essex moved off the bottom of the standings and up to seventh after defending 172 for nine to defeat Middlesex by nine runs at Chelmsford. Sussex currently occupy the fourth and final spot after overcoming Gloucestershire by five wickets at Hove, but the standings could change significantly in the next few weeks.