Willey’s blast steers the Vikings to a vital victory

David Willey
David Willey
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David Willey walloped 70 off 38 balls and claimed a wicket as Yorkshire Vikings eased past Birmingham by 29 runs at Headingley to secure their second NatWest T20 Blast win in five matches.

The Bears, replying to 179-5, crumbled to 58-6 in the eighth over amidst a number of miscued shots.

Captain Tim Bresnan who took 3-23 struck twice in his first two overs and England limited overs all-rounder Willey once as the score fell to 31-3 in the fifth.

Two more wickets fell in Adil Rashid’s first over, the seventh, including a run out.

Seventh-wicket pair Keith Barker and Aaron Thomason revived things and gave the Bears a glimmer with a 64-run stand, but Azeem Rafiq removed them both in the 16th over on the way to 150 all out in 18 overs.

Earlier the Vikings raced out of the blocks as Adam Lyth, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Willey all hit sixes in the power play, which yielded 62 runs for the loss of the former two batsmen.

Willey continued the assault, taking 20 of 21 off former Yorkshire seamer Oliver Hannon-Dalby in the sixth over, including a huge pull over backward square-leg which cleared the White Rose Stand and went out of the ground.

Ten of Yorkshire’s 12 sixes came in the first 9.3 overs of their innings on a good Headingley pitch, with Willey reaching 50 off 27 balls.

He shared 83 in 8.1 overs for the third wicket with measured Shaun Marsh (30 off 31) before being run out coming back for two to long-leg off a free hit.

That left Yorkshire at 124-3 in the 13th, but the hosts were unable to maintain the momentum.

Birmingham bowled much better in the second half of the innings, with Barker and New Zealand overseas seamer Colin de Grandhomme impressive without taking a wicket.

Barker conceded only four off the penultimate over of the innings, with Rankin finishing with 3-39 from his four.

Man of the match Willey said: “It was great to score some runs, but it was a team performance. Everyone contributed where they were required. I’ve not played a great deal of cricket this summer, and it’s been difficult. It’s not been plain sailing, so it was nice to go out there, free the arms and hit the ball.”