SPECTATORS were treated to a new concept at Headingley on Monday night – The Hundred And Two.
Rain reduced the match to 17 overs per side (102 balls per side side) – not quite the England and Wales Cricket Board’s new 100-ball format, but not far off.
Indeed, had the match been two balls per side fewer we might have expected to see hordes of mothers and children streaming into the ground a la the ECB’s stated target audience.
As it was 4,979 people turned out on a mostly clement night, albeit after a violent downpour had pushed the start-time back from 6.30pm to 7.30pm and shaved six overs off the night’s allocation.
Preliminary indications pertaining to The Hundred And Two, a hardly less wacky concept than the one presently on the table, are that Derbyshire are pretty useful at it, the visitors prevailing by 77 runs to record their fourth successive T20 victory against Yorkshire and their second in just over 48 hours.
After Yorkshire won the toss Derbyshire scored 179-7, Wayne Madsen striking 66 from 28 balls with 10 fours and two sixes and Wahab Riaz 42 from 30 deliveries with six fours and a six.
Jordan Thompson, with 3-23 from three overs, was the pick of the bowlers, with Yorkshire dismissed for 102 in reply from 14 overs.
Victory took Derbyshire one place above Yorkshire, who dropped to sixth in the North Group ahead of Tuesday night’s match against Leicestershire at Headingley.
After extensive efforts by Andy Fogarty and his ground staff to get the ground fit, which included significant quantities of sawdust being applied to both sides of the square, Yorkshire made the perfect start.
Billy Godleman tried to heave the first ball of the match from David Willey into the middle of next week and was comprehensively bowled as he charged down the pitch, Yorkshire immediately seeing the back of a man whose T20 career-best 71 not out had helped Derbyshire to a five-wicket win against them at Chesterfield on Saturday.
Victory took Derbyshire one place above Yorkshire, who dropped to sixth in the North Group ahead of tonight’s match against Leicestershire at Headingley.Chris Waters
To call Godleman’s shot rash would hardly be to under-state the case, but the visitors recovered to 53-1 at the end of the powerplay, which was reduced from the usual six overs to 5.1.
This recovery was inspired by Wahab Riaz, the 33-year-old Pakistan pace bowler who was promoted up the order to give the ball a whack.
Wahab did exactly that, lofting Tim Bresnan for six over long-on and into the construction site of the new Emerald Stand.
When Bresnan switched to the Kirkstall Lane end Wahab hit him for two straight fours and then sliced him to the cover boundary, racing past his previous T20 career-best of 33 not out.
After adding 66 for the second wicket with Calum MacLeod in 6.4 overs, MacLeod picked out deep mid-wicket off Thompson, one of two changes to the Yorkshire side that lost at Chesterfield as batsman Harry Brook also returned, with England’s Adil Rashid on Test duty and international colleague Liam Plunkett omitted.
MacLeod’s 28 from 19 balls with six fours was built on by Madsen, who was soon sweeping off-spinner Azeem Rafiq for four and then launching him over long-on into the upper tier of the new stand, Adam Lyth catching the rebound when it cannoned back down off a concrete slab.
Wahab missed out on a maiden T20 fifty, swiping Rafiq to deep mid-wicket in front of the East Stand where Willey took a fine catch considering that the ball was travelling and the sun was in his eyes.
Madsen reached his 15th T20 half-century from just 21 balls before he was one of two wickets to fall in three balls to Thompson in the 14th over, caught at long-on after Hardus Viljoen had been held around the corner.
In the next over Thompson took a catch at long-off to remove Matt Critchley off Rafiq, Derbyshire losing their seventh wicket to the penultimate ball when Gary Wilson hit Steve Patterson to cover, Yorkshire also conceding nine wides.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore struck Ravi Rampaul for a remarkable six over mid-wicket in the early stages of the hosts’ reply, the ball sailing over the West Stand and out of the ground, but he was then caught behind off pace bowler Lockie Ferguson’s first delivery.
Ferguson then got rid of Lyth, pulling to deep mid-wicket, and Yorkshire slipped to 42-3 in the sixth when Kane Williamson was superbly caught low down at cover by MacLeod off Alex Hughes.
Gary Ballance flicked Ferguson to short fine-leg, Brook was caught behind taking on a short ball from Viljoen after swatting the same man for two straight sixes, and the game – already up – was officially done when Willey holed out to deep mid-wicket for the top-score of 24 from 22.
Hughes had Bresnan caught behind before bowling Thompson, and Viljoen applied the last rites by bowling Jonny Tattersall and Patterson.