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Yorkshire to face Sussex in Friends Life t20 semi-finals
YORKSHIRE booked their first Friends Life t20 Finals Day appearance with a stunning display of power hitting against Worcestershire in tonight’s quarter-final at Headingley.
The White Rose county will travel to Cardiff’s SWALEC Stadium on Saturday, August 25 after half-centuries from Joe Root, David Miller and 46 not out off 20 balls from Gary Ballance underpinned a mammoth score of 212-5.
And they will face Sussex in the semi-finals, with the exact time to be confirmed by the ECB in the coming days. Hampshire and Somerset will meet in the other last four tie.
The statistics tell you just how dominant Andrew Gale’s team were against Worcestershire after he had elected to bat first.
Their score was just one shy of their highest ever in the competition, while 72 runs came off the last four overs of the innings and all nine of the home side’s sixes came within the last 25 balls as Miller and Ballance went berserk.
Mitchell Starc continued his excellent form with three wickets in the Worcester reply as they were restricted to 183-6, securing a 29-run success.
Fellow Australian Phil Hughes impressed with 80 not out off 53 balls for the Pears, but he lost partners regularly and was left with too much to do.
“Every interview I do seems to be about the fact that we haven’t reached Finals Day, so to get that monkey off our backs is fantastic,” admitted a delighted Gale. “Now we’re there, we want to go and win it.”
Yorkshire lost three wickets in the first nine overs despite scoring at a decent rate, including Phil Jaques run out off only the fourth ball of the innings. And they could have come unstuck had it not been for the performances of their star trio.
Root picked the perfect time to score a career-best 65 off 40 balls to lay the platform, while Miller hit 50 off 25.
And when Root was caught and bowled off the bowling of Aneesh Kapil at the end of the 14th over, it was the precursor to an incredible spell of hitting in a similar mould to the 37-ball hundred scored by Scott Styris for Sussex on Tuesday. The 17th over cost 26 and 25 came off the 20th.
Starc and Rich Pyrah struck inside the first three overs of the Worcester chase before Hughes and James Cameron kept the contest alive with a 75-run stand for the third wicket. Worcester were even ahead of Yorkshire’s score until the 15th over at 149-4, but Starc returned to build on an impressive spell from Azeem Rafiq (1-26).
Adding to the early scalp of Vikram Solanki, he had Daryl Mitchell caught at mid-off and bowled Kapil before travelling to link up with the Australia ‘A’ squad immediately after the match.
“We’re going to beg Cricket Australia as much as we can and keep knocking on that door, but I can’t really see Mitchell coming back for Finals Day,” added Gale.
Yorkshire travel to Grace Road to face Leicestershire in the County Championship on Friday.