YORKSHIRE’S NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final hopes were dented by Birmingham Bears as they failed to combat a Jeetan Patel hat-trick and a Laurie Evans blitz at Headingley.
Ex-New Zealand off-spinner Patel left Yorkshire tottering at 62-5 in the ninth over after Andrew Gale had won the toss for the first time in nine matches in all competitions, and Patel finished with a career-best 4-19 from his four overs.
But the hosts were boosted to a competitive 147-6 by a seventh-wicket partnership of 68 unbroken between Tim Bresnan and Adil Rashid, who underpinned a recovery from 79-6 in the 13th.
They united for 7.2 overs, and hit 45 off 36 balls and 29 off 20 respectively. Bresnan’s effort, including six fours, was a career best.
Ryan Sidebottom struck twice with the new ball as Birmingham slipped to 29-3 in the fifth over of their reply, and they later fell to 83-5 in the 13th.
But Evans hit a sensational unbeaten 69 off 43 to help seal a five-wicket win with two balls to spare, and Yorkshire are likely to have to beat Nottinghamshire here next Friday in their final North Division match to seal a last-eight place.
Evans hit nine fours and two sixes, playing the scoop to third-man particularly well. He hit a four through the covers off Bresnan to seal a win which keeps Birmingham’s quarter-final hopes alive.
Patel, having got Alex Lees stumped midway through the seventh over, started his hat-trick by getting compatriot Kane Williamson lbw with the third ball of the ninth, leaving Yorkshire at 62-3. He then bowled Gale and Adam Lyth.
It was the first hat-trick in English T20 since Northamptonshire’s David Willey took one in last August’s final against Surrey at Edgbaston.
It was also the third to be taken against Yorkshire since the start of the competition in 2003. Leicestershire’s Jeremy Snape took one against them in 2007 and Birmingham’s (Warwickshire’s) Keith Barker did likewise in 2010.
After Jonny Bairstow had holed out to long-off against Ateeq Javid’s part-time spin, Bresnan and Rashid were able to rebuild the innings, including 25 runs coming off the last two overs.
Will Porterfield to Bresnan, Jon Webb and Tim Ambrose all departed as Birmingham also stuttered in reply. Webb was superbly caught by Aaron Finch at mid-wicket after a top-edged pull went very high.
And when captain Varun Chopra chipped Azeem Rafiq to short mid-on, they were 40-4 in the eighth and still 108 away. Rikki Clarke fell to Rashid, leaving the score at 83-5, before the target became 50 off five overs.
Evans and sixth-wicket partner Javid took that target to 46 off four, 36 off three and 23 off two. Right-handed Evans scooped Sidebottom for six with the last ball of the penultimate over to take the target from 13 off seven balls to seven off six.
Yorkshire face Middlesex in the LV= County Championship at Scarborough, starting on Saturday.
They have named a 12-man squad for their 12th match of the season as they look to overhaul a 16-point gap between themselves in third and leaders Notts.
Yorkshire: Gale, Bairstow, Bresnan, Brooks, Leaning, Lees, Lyth, Patterson, Pyrah, Rashid, Sidebottom, Williamson.
NatWest T20 Blast North Group
Yorkshire Vikings v Birmingham Bears
at Headingley Carnegie
(Yorkshire won toss)
A J Finch c Javid b Clarke 13
K S Williamson lbw b Patel 24
A Z Lees st Ambrose b Patel 15
J M Bairstow c Best b Javid 12
A W Gale b Patel 0
A Lyth b Patel 0
T T Bresnan not out 45
A U Rashid not out 29
Extras (lb7 w2) 9
Total 6 wkts (20 overs) 147
Fall: 1-16 2-47 3-62 4-62 5-62 6-79.
Bowling: Clarke 3-0-16-1, Hannon-Dalby 4-0-35-0, Gordon 2-0-23-0, Patel 4-0-19-4, Best 4-0-29-0, Javid 3-0-18-1.
Birmingham Bears Innings
W T S Porterfield c Gale b Bresnan 4
J P Webb c Finch b Sidebottom 15
V Chopra c Pyrah b Rafiq 9
T R Ambrose c Lees b Sidebottom 6
R Clarke c Rafiq b A U Rashid 23
L J Evans not out 69
Javid not out 18
Extras (b1 lb1 w2) 4
Total 5 wkts (19.4 overs) 148
Fall: 1-10 2-22 3-29 4-40 5-83.
Bowling: Williamson 1-0-8-0, Bresnan 3.4-0-18-1, Sidebottom 4-0-38-2, A U Rashid 4-0-28-1, Rafiq 3-0-24-1, Pyrah 4-0-30-0.
Birmingham Bears beat Yorkshire by 5 wkts
North Group table
P W L T NR Pts
Lancashire 12 8 2 0 2 18
YORKSHIRE 13 6 4 0 3 15
Nottinghamshire 11 6 3 0 2 14
Worcestershire 12 6 4 0 2 14
Warwickshire 13 6 5 0 2 14
Northants 11 4 4 0 3 11
Durham 12 4 6 0 2 10
Leicestershire 12 4 7 0 1 9
Derbyshire 12 1 10 0 1 3