Harry Brook has a blast in T20 Yorkshire Roses triumph over Lancashire
Brook’s Blast average this season stands at 115.75 in 10 innings after his sixth unbeaten effort royally entertained Emerald Headingley’s 4,000 spectators, pushing the Vikings to 180 for four.
The Lightning then responded with a 171-for-eight fight, recovering from 70-for-four to demand 20 from last time around.
But the fast New Zealand Ferguson claimed wickets with the last three balls to seal a nine-point victory and doom the Lightning to a fifth loss in 11 games.
For Yorkshire, a seventh out of 11 win took them to 15 points – a total widely accepted as a qualifying score. It was their first victory at Roses Blast since 2017.
Yorkshire, having chosen to beat, lost Mark Stoneman and Jordan Thompson to fall to 30 for two in the fifth before Brook and captain Adam Lyth split 77 in nine.
Lyth’s 52 out of 40 balls represented his first 50 balls of the 2021 Blast. Brook is the competition’s top scorer with 463 points and the best average.
From 107 for two in the 14th, Lancashire has put things back admirably. But 20 points came out of Matthew Parkinson in the 17th, including two more sixes for Brook, to take the hosts to 140 for four and herald a late fireworks display.
On a day when a host of hundreds of signings were announced, Brook, 22, a Northern Supercharger for a few months now, proved he could be one to watch in the competition.
He hit the first three balls of Saqib Mahmood’s last for four, giving his team halfway momentum.
Lyth’s off-spin defeated Kiwi Finn Allen following an ugly second-round punch – 13 to one – to strengthen Yorkshire’s grip on what would be a first quarter-final appearance since 2016.
Matthew Waite and Ferguson also ousted Alex Davies and Dane Vilas on the power play – 34 for three.
Considering the Lightning’s recent batting struggles in 20-a-side cricket, it was hard to see a way back.
But Jones and Steven Croft, with 41, superbly shared 85 to give their team the hope of 70 for four in the 11th. Undefeated Jones got the best score with 61.
Ferguson, however, had Luke Wells and Tom Hartley caught on either side of the Luke Wood bowling alley to seal the win in style with Yorkshire’s T20 first hat trick.
Lancashire captain Vilas said: “We are very disappointed that we lost, it is difficult. These games are huge and we have to start winning them. We put pressure on ourselves.
“Saying that, it was an incredible fight from Rob Jones and Steven Croft to get us so close at the end.
“Unfortunately, we left them a little too much work to do at the back. Jonesy is bitterly disappointed but he was amazing.
“We have three games left and we know we have to win all three. And I hope we can avenge this defeat at Old Trafford.
Lancashire slide to sixth in the nine-team division and their next T20 game will be at home against the Norhtamptonshire Steelbacks next Friday. Before that, they’ll return to County Championship mode on Sunday, when Kent visits Old Trafford.