YORKSHIRE Vikings moved into the qualification places in the North Group of the NatWest T20 Blast after another brilliant piece of fielding secured a 14-run victory over Leicestershire Foxes at Headingley.
Having struggled to reach 168-5 after being put into bat, Yorkshire’s total looked under-par as Leicestershire openers Josh Cobb and Greg Smith raced to a 61-run opening stand in only 40 balls.
But just as they did at Old Trafford a few weeks ago, an inspired piece of combination fielding between Adam Lyth and Aaron Finch at the long-off boundary broke the partnership and prompted a collapse, with Leicestershire losing eight wickets for 93 runs in 11.3 overs to fall short of their victory target.
Against Lancashire, Lyth had jumped in the air to stop a Tom Smith drive going for six and parried it straight to Finch.
This one was even better with Lyth possibly jumping higher to push the ball back into play and Finch claiming a superb one-handed catch by diving full-length to his right.
The catch was described by former England captain Michael Vaughan as the “greatest ever” and – just like at Old Trafford – it became the catalyst for Yorkshire fighting back to claim the victory that moved them into fourth place in the pool, the final qualification berth for the quarter-finals.
Despite Smith’s aggressive 56 off 49 balls, which included four fours and a six, the Foxes struggled to regain their composure after Finch’s catch with only Cobb and Tom Wells reaching double figures.
Yorkshire had earlier been grateful to a return to form for captain Andrew Gale, who had scored only 35 runs in his previous five innings in this form of cricket, but on this occasion steadied their innings when it looked like they were going to repeat their disappointing Trent Bridge display.
Gale top-scored for Yorkshire with 55 off 51 balls, which included five fours. This was his highest score in Twenty20 cricket since making 70 against the same opposition at Headingley two years ago.
Without Gale’s composure, Yorkshire’s innings may also have stuttered to a halt after they were restricted to only 35 runs in six overs during the middle period and needed Tim Bresnan and Richard Pyrah to add 45 off 21 balls and lift them to a competitive total.