Yorkshire 172-6 (Bairstow 68no, Styris 3-22) beat
Sussex 136-8 (Nash 80no) by 36 runs
First FLt20 Semi-Final, Cardiff
A fine unbeaten innings of 68 not out from 45 balls from Jonny Bairstow was enough to take Yorkshire to their first ever Twenty20 final. Having hit 149 runs during England’s Test defeat at Lord’s, Bairstow was inexplicably left out of the starting eleven for the first ODI yesterday and he wasted no time today in reminding the England selectors what they had been missing.
He brought up his fifty off just 39 balls and helped Yorkshire recover from a disastrous first 10 overs which had yielded just 61 runs and three wickets. Eight of those overs had been bowled by Michael Yardy and Scott Styris, who both delivered the ball at an average of 65mph and kept things tight by varying their pace and maintaining a tight line and length. Styris bowled the fourth ever maiden seen in the history of Finals Day and removed the top three Yorkshire batsmen on the way to figures of three for 22, while Yardy ended with none for 23.
However, Yardy, captaining Sussex for what could well turn out to be the final time, will be left to reflect on the wisdom of his decision to use two of his most consistent bowlers straight away. His change bowlers – Amjad Khan, Chris Liddle, Chris Nash and Will Beer – all conceded eight or more an over as Bairstow, partnered by South African batsman David Miller, put on 82 for the fourth-wicket from only 60 balls. Miller was finally extracted by Nash for 47 off 35 balls, but Bairstow remained until the end and ensured that Yorkshire took 111 runs from the last 10 overs to end on 172 for six.
Sussex, nonetheless, boosted by England internationals Luke Wright and Matt Prior, would have fancied their chances of chasing down anything less than 180. However, they were dealt an early double blow as Ryan Sidebottom removed Wright in his first over and Tim Bresnan, released by England following yesterday’s washout, had his England colleague, Prior, caught at mid-on.
Murray Goodwin (15 off 17 balls) and Chris Nash added 40 for the third-wicket, but that was to provide only the briefest of respites for the travelling Sussex fans. Their side lost a steady trickle of wickets throughout their innings to an assortment of Yorkshire bowlers and ended on 136 for eight, with Nash unbeaten with a valiant 80 off 58 balls. Bresnan and Richard Pyrah, who saw off Adil Rashid to earn a place in the starting eleven, ended with two wickets apiece, while Azeem Rafiq picked up one for 21 from his four overs.
© Cricket World 2012
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