Another impressive innings from Jonny Bairstow helped Yorkshire Vikings to an unlikely victory over Durham Jets in the NatWest T20 Bash at Headingley.
Chasing a formidable target of 192, Bairstow instigated a Yorkshire recovery from 66-4 with a magnificent 92 from 42 deliveries with eight fours and four sixes as the Vikings charged home by five wickets with seven balls to spare.
Bairstow’s blast overshadowed a rousing unbeaten 91 from Durham’s 22-year-old rookie batsman Graham Clark which looked to have set his side up for a convincing win after they had batted first and smashed 191-6 on winning the toss.
In reply, Yorkshire’s bid to move clear of their next-to-bottom place in the table appeared to have suffered a massive setback off the first ball of their reply which Aaron Finch hit straight into the hands of Scott Borthwick on the mid-wicket boundary, the Australian having made only 76 in six innings so far this season.
Hastings was the wicket-taker and in a splendid all-round performance he had skipper Andrew Gale caught behind in his next over before Alex Lees was also held by Mustard off Usman Arshad to make it 28-3.
Bairstow was off the mark with a first-ball boundary and he showed further defiance by smacking Borthwick for a straight six but Yorkshire lost another crucial wicket at 66 when Maxwell was bowled aiming to cut Borthwick.
Now Jack Leaning joined Bairstow and the wicketkeeper-batsman charged to his 50 from 24 balls with four fours and three sixes to register his first half-century in the competition this summer.
The pair had put on 97 from 54 balls and Bairstow seemed to be cruising to his century until he skied Arshad to Paul Collingwood. Vikings were 163-5 in the 17th over but Bresnan came in to finish the game in brutal fashion with consecutive sixes off Arshad in the penultimate over, Leaning ending unbeaten on 39 from 31 balls with two fours and a six and Tim Bresnan 24 from eight deliveries with two fours and two sixes.
Gale said: “I was a bit stunned by the performance and it was a nice way to bounce back after the Roses match last week.”
“It was an outstanding performance but I was a bit disappointed that we gave them 20 or 30 runs more than we should have done.
“We didn’t start very well but Jonny Bairstow was outstanding. He is in the form of his life and we are very lucky to have him at the moment.
“At some stage England are going to come calling.”