Yorkshire 220 for 5 (Root 64, Lyth 61) beat Derbyshire 121 for 9 (Fisher 3-21) by 99 runs
Joe Root‘s commanding 64 off 40 balls followed by two wickets with his offbreaks helped Yorkshire end their Vitality Blast hoodoo against Derbyshire with a thumping 99-run win at Emerald Headingley.
England’s Test captain hit two leg-side sixes and seven fours as the Vikings posted 220 for 5 before easily defending it to end a run of six straight North Group defeats against the Falcons.
Derbyshire, last season’s semi-finalists, had done the double over the White Rose county in each of the last three summers, but they rarely looked like extending their dominance as they crumbled to 19 for 4 in the fifth over of their reply and later finished on 121 for 9.
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New ball quick Matthew Fisher‘s 3 for 21 from four overs were the pick of the Yorkshire figures.
Root, who also claimed two for seven from two overs, and Adam Lyth underpinned Yorkshire’s eighth score of 220 or more in T20 history.
The second-wicket pair shared 84 inside nine overs to advance from 32 for one in the third after Tom Kohler-Cadmore, who fell for 16, had won the toss and elected to bat.
Lyth, 61 off 36 balls, and Root hit five sixes between them, all leg-side, before Will Fraine matched that total on his own in a blistering 44 not out off 16 balls at the death. Fraine hit his sixes on both sides of an excellent Headingley pitch.
Luis Reece took two wickets in the penultimate over with full tosses. But, largely, the Falcons bowlers – there were seven used to Yorkshire’s eight in the second half of the game – struggling for line and length proved to their detriment.
Lyth made the early running for the hosts before Root serenely caught him up and posted his fifth career T20 fifty for Yorkshire, four of which have come in his last six innings dating back to 2015. Root struck the ball crisply, with the odd reverse-sweep and late cut to third man thrown in for good measure.
He offered a sharp chance to Derby skipper Billy Godleman at cover on 43 off Matt Critchley’s legspin, though looked in little trouble besides in a clash between two sides who had their opening North Group fixture rained off on Thursday evening.
Both Lyth and Root eventually fell caught at deep midwicket sweeping at debutant legspinner Mattie McKiernan.
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When Root departed early in the 16th over, Yorkshire were 160 for 3, with Fraine then taking on the lead role as he set about an early career best score.
The former Nottinghamshire man took advantage of some loose bowling and smeared the the lion’s share of 22 off Fynn Hudson-Prentice in the last over of the innings.
Derby were then in the mire early in their chase – 19 for four in the fifth over – two wickets apiece for new ball quick Matthew Fisher and Root’s offspin.
Key men Reece, Wayne Madsen, Godleman and Leus du Plooy all departed without impacting the chase, with Root getting Godleman lbw and du Plooy caught at cover in the fifth over – his second. From there, it was game over.
Legspinner Josh Poysden strengthened that theory by also striking twice – in his first appearance since last July having suffered and recovered from a fractured skull – as the score slipped to 70 for 6 after 13 overs.
Critchley’s measured 26 was nothing more than a consolatory effort, and it was ended by Harry Brook’s medium pacers. Fisher and George Hill claimed further wickets.
“The platform was set so well from Adam Lyth and Joe Root, and the pitch was really good,” said Fraine. “It came off for me today. I had a good game plan, and luckily they missed their yorkers and I managed to get a few away.
“Rooty’s a joke – he’s a ridiculous cricketer. He was exceptional today. He was hitting balls halfway up the stumps off the back foot for four, and it was just like: ‘How can you do that?’
“I would for sure have him in that [England T20] squad. I think he’s such an underrated T20 player. He has a bag of tricks with his bowling: offies, leggies, he can do anything with the ball. He’s very handy there, he’s handy in the field, and he showed today his calmness with the bat. You don’t need to bottom-hand slog it. He was hitting the ball as hard as anyone and looked so good doing it.”