Steelbacks beaten again as Yorkshire Vikings secure six-wicket T20 success

Richard Gleeson claimed two wickets in Northants Steelbacks' defeat at Headingley
Richard Gleeson claimed two wickets in Northants Steelbacks' defeat at Headingley

Northants Steelbacks’ winless run continued in the Vitality Blast as they went down to a six-wicket defeat to Yorkshire Vikings at Headingley on Friday night.

Yorkshire made hard work of getting past the Steelbacks’ modest 129 for seven, but they did so with eight balls to spare.

The Vikings have now won six of their 10 games and sit inside the top four of a hugely competitive North Group table on 12 points, while Northants are bottom with just one.

T20 Debutant Charlie Thurston top-scored with 41 for a Northants side who have now lost eight of nine matches. The other was tied.

The Vikings fell to 22 for two inside five overs of the chase, but Kane Williamson steered the ship with an unbeaten 52 not out off 44 balls, including two sixes.

After electing to bat, Northants were tied down as Yorkshire’s quartet of seamers - including former County men David Willey and Jack Brooks - all bowled tidily to restrict the score to 35 for two after seven overs, when spin was introduced.

Brooks had a hand in the two wickets to fall, quite literally, as the score slipped to 16 for two in the fourth.

He had Richard Levi caught behind and deflected a Ben Duckett straight drive onto the stumps at the non-striker’s end to run out Josh Cobb.

Thompson then claimed the important scalp of Duckett (21) in the ninth over as the left-hander miscued to mid-off, leaving the score at 48 for three.

The Steelbacks reached halfway at 62 for three, and they never threatened to break free.

It was soon 62 for four when Steven Crook fell in similar fashion to Duckett, this time off Steve Patterson’s bowling in the eleventh.

Thurston pulled his third ball for six off Patterson, but it was brief respite for the Steelbacks as captain Alex Wakely holed out to long-off as Azeem Rafiq struck in the 14th - 79 for five.

Willey and Patterson again struck late on, the latter getting Thurston caught at deep cover in the last over, as each member of Yorkshire’s five-man attack struck.

Willey was the pick with one for 20 from four overs, while Patterson returned two for 26.

After Richard Gleeson had Adam Lyth dismissed in the first over and Willey was run out going for two, Tom Kohler-Cadmore (27) and Williamson took the sting out of the situation against an accurate attack.

The former then skied Seekkuge Prasanna’s leg-spin to long-off in the 10th (57 for three) before Williamson and Gary Ballance (24) found the gaps and accumulated in a 51-stand before the latter fell to Gleeson late on.

Williamson reached 50 off 42 balls with his second six in the 18th over and helped to finish the game in the next.

Northants did increase the asking rate to seven runs per over for the last seven, but it never looked like being their night even though runs did not flow for either side.