Jordan Thompson shines but Yorkshire Vikings fall to Derbyshire Falcons
IT was no surprise that a left-hander with long levers should dominate Yorkshire’s batting performance at Queen’s Park on Saturday.
But it was Jordan Thompson rather than Nicholas Pooran who did the bulk of the biffing and bashing.
Pooran shone briefly on his Yorkshire debut, the West Indies overseas signing pulling his first ball from leg-spinner Matt Critchley for six before departing for 12 from seven deliveries.
But Thompson was more of an enduring flame, thumping a career-best 50 from 27 balls with five sixes to help Yorkshire to 164-8, Derbyshire replying with 166-5 to claim a five-wicket victory with five balls left.
Batting at No 8, Thompson, the 22-year-old Leeds-born all-rounder, rescued Yorkshire after they slumped to 77-6 in the 12th over after winning the toss, Pooran having just holed out at long-off in front of the pavilion.
Pooran, who came in at No 7 and also kept wicket, did not quite connect with the delivery from left-arm spinner Mark Watt, who returned Derbyshire’s best figures of 4-19 from four overs.
At that stage, it was by no means certain that Yorkshire would reach a competitive score on a sunny, windswept afternoon, which improved after heavy lunchtime showers threatened further frustration after the club’s opening match against Notts at Headingley on Friday was washed out.
But Thompson and Jonny Tattersall added 66 for the seventh-wicket inside seven overs to ensure that the sizeable travelling support in a sell-out crowd of 5,500 saw what ultimtely developed into an entertaining game.
It was a game that literally could not have started any better for Yorkshire, Adam Lyth swinging the first ball from Darren Stevens over the square-leg boundary for six to the side of the scoreboard.
Lyth launched the next delivery over long-off for a one-bounce four and soon had the 21 runs he needed to eclipse first-team coach Andrew Gale as the club’s highest-T20 scorer with 2,261 on his 102nd appearance.
But Lyth had not added to his tally of 21 here when he uppercut Ravi Rampaul to third man, where Stevens, the 43-year-old all-rounder on loan from Kent, took an agile catch that belied his uber-veteran status.
Yorkshire fell to 36-2 when Tom Kohler-Cadmore – standing in as captain for the first five T20 games while Steve Patterson takes a break – played on, and then to 40-3 when David Willey was lbw to the wily Watt.
Harry Brook struck Watt to short cover and Gary Ballance, once of Derbyshire, was bowled by the spinner as he tried to paddle.
But after Pooran came and went, Thompson hammered four leg-side sixes and another straight en route to a maiden first-team fifty, reached from 26 balls.
Thompson perished trying for another big hit to the first ball of the penultimate over, skying medium-pacer Logan van Beek to wicketkeeper Daryn Smit.
Yorkshire lost their eighth wicket to the final ball of the innings, Matthew Fisher skying Rampaul to Madsen at long-on, Tattersall finishing unbeaten on 39 from 31 balls with three fours, a jaunty contribution.
Derbyshire’s reply was soon in distress, the wonderfully-named Fynn Hudson-Prentice driving Willey to Kohler-Cadmore at mid-off.
Dom Bess, the off-spinner on loan from Somerset for the first 10 group games, struck with his first delivery when Luis Reece was trapped in front.
Bess later returned to pin the dangerous Madsen, leaving Derbyshire 67-3 in the eighth, and the contest firmly in the balance.
But captain Billy Godleman and Leus du Plooy, the South African left-hander, used all their skill and experience to add 65 in nine overs, lifting their side to within 33 of victory with 3.4 overs left when du Plooy sliced Thompson to short third-man, having struck 30 from 21 balls, including two leg-side sixes off Bess.
Sadly for Derbyshire, Stevens did not use all of his skill and experience as, making room to hit Lyth’s off-spin through the offside, he was bowled for two.
The hosts needed 25 from the last 13 deliveries, successive leg-side sixes off Lyth and Thompson bringing the equation down to 13 from 11 balls.
It was a formality from there, and when the last ball of the penultimate over, bowled by Thompson, went for four through mid-wicket off Critchley’s bat, only four were needed from the 20th over bowled by Willey.
Godleman survived what looked like a stone-dead lbw shout from the first ball, and when the second went for five wides to give the hosts victory, Godleman walked off to a hero’s reception, having struck 70 from 56 balls with three fours and four sixes, Critchley finishing unbeaten on 14 from six deliveries.