ON THE 40th anniversary of his 100th first-class hundred, Headingley rose again to Geoffrey Boycott, who was paraded during the interval of last night’s Roses match.
The former Yorkshire and England opening batsman was presented with a commemorative shirt in front of the pavilion.
As the sell-out 15,750 crowd applauded, or else raised a pint glass from the well-oiled West Stand, it was one of those occasions when Roses rivalries were temporarily suspended as Yorkshire and Lancashire cheered him as one.
Twenty20 was a mere twinkle in the administrators’ eyes when Boycott scored 191 against Australia on August 11, 1977, famously on-driving Greg Chappell through mid-on to the foot of the Football Stand to reach three figures.
Nowadays, a side are almost disappointed if they do not score at least as many runs in 20 overs, such has been the explosion of run-scoring in recent years.
Yorkshire, who have three times exceeded 200 in this season’s Blast, almost posted a fourth total north of that figure against a Lancashire team whom they comfortably beat by 19 runs to cap Boycott’s night of celebration.
In drizzly conditions, with the weather no respecter of Boycott’s anniversary, Lancashire’s bowlers initially sprayed the ball around like drunken gardeners in charge of temperamental hosepipes.Chris Waters
They scored 77-0 in the six-over powerplay after choosing to bat, Adam Lyth and Tom Kohler-Cadmore giving them a flying start, and they were 123-2 at the 11-over mark.
However, the hosts scored 59-5 in their last nine overs as Lancashire hit back through tight spin bowling and thrilling catching, the hosts closing on 182-7 as Lyth top-scored with 50 from 29 balls with four fours and four sixes, Kohler-Cadmore producing the other notable contribution of 45 from 29 balls with three fours and three sixes.
It was more than enough to see off opponents who replied with 163 all-out, Lancashire captain Steven Croft top-scoring with 62 from 46 balls with five fours and three sixes, and Yorkshire captain Tim Bresnan capturing 6-19 from four overs, Yorkshire’s first six-fer in the competition and the third-best figures in English T20.
On a night when victory lifted them back into the quarter-final places ahead of today’s penultimate group game against Leicestershire at Grace Road, Yorkshire began brightly when Kohler-Cadmore struck the second ball of the match for six over mid-wicket off Croft.
Lyth followed suit when he picked up Junaid Khan for a maximum over backward square-leg, the openers trading boundary for boundary.
In drizzly conditions, with the weather no respecter of Boycott’s anniversary, Lancashire’s bowlers initially sprayed the ball around like drunken gardeners in charge of temperamental hosepipes.
They finally broke through when Lyth, one ball after reaching a 28-ball fifty, lofted the final delivery of the eighth over, bowled by leg-spinner Matt Parkinson, to deep mid-wicket to leave Yorkshire 95-1.
Immediately, with the drizzle having turned to steady rain, the umpires led the sides from the field and there was a 25-minute delay.
The interruption seemed to unsettle Yorkshire, who lost Kohler-Cadmore to a catch on the straight boundary off Parkinson, who then had David Willey held at deep mid-wicket.
Parkinson, a 20-year-old from Bolton, claimed his fourth wicket en route to a career-best 4-23 when Sarfaraz Ahmed was brilliantly caught by a diving Croft at long-on.
Shaun Marsh, Jack Leaning and Bresnan, the last three wickets to fall, were all caught on the mid-wicket boundary, Leaning again chipping in well at the climax with 24 from 15.
Lancashire’s reply was soon in distress when Bresnan took two wickets in the third over, Liam Livingstone skying to mid-off and Karl Brown to deep mid-wicket.
Bresnan should have had three wickets in four balls, but Sarfaraz dropped a relatively simple chance behind the stumps, moving to his right, to reprieve Arron Lilley, whom he then should have stumped off Azeem Rafiq.
Lilley eventually fell to an astonishing catch on the cover boundary by Leaning, who plucked a cut shot from a Liam Plunkett full toss out of the sky with an outstretched right hand while diving backwards.
It was a catch that deserved to win any game, and Lancashire slipped to 107-4 in the 14th when Steve Patterson took the all-important one of Jos Buttler off his own bowling as the England man fell for 23 from 16 deliveries.
The game was well and truly up for the visitors when Adil Rashid had Croft stumped to leave them 125-5 in the 17th, which became 141-6 in the 18th when Bresnan bowled McLaren.
Bresnan took three wickets in a madcap last over, having Dane Vilas caught at long-off and Jordan Clark at deep mid-wicket off the second and third deliveries before running out Stephen Parry off the fourth ball.
Bresnan then cleaned up Junaid Khan with the final delivery, his figures only bettered in English T20 by Arul Suppiah (6-5) and Tim Southee (6-16).