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Yorkshire suffer final agony against Hampshire in Friends Life t20
10:20am Monday 27th August 2012 in Sport
A magnificent innings from David Miller could not prevent Hampshire from taking the Friends Life t20 title for the second time at Cardiff’s SWALEC Stadium.
Yorkshire’s overseas star lit up the final with an unbeaten 72 off 45 balls, including five fours and as many sixes, to keep his county in the hunt as they chased 151 on a slow, low and wearing pitch.
Hampshire captain Dimitri Mascarenhas defied a torn shoulder muscle to put the skids under Yorkshire with two wickets in a metronomic opening spell, with the score later slipping to 47-4 after nine overs.
It was a long way back for the White Rose as they needed to score another 104 from 11 overs without semi-final hero Jonny Bairstow following his departure to England’s left-arm spinner Danny Briggs.
But man-of-the-match Miller, who earlier scored 47 in the hammering of Sussex, had other ideas.
He controversially survived a TV umpire decision on a Neil McKenzie catch at mid-wicket while on seven to spark a shift in the contest’s momentum with three sixes off Sean Ervine in the 12th over before hitting two more to take the target down to 21 off the last two.
Miller, 23, also battled injuries to both hamstrings and both calves, but was given little support from his team-mates.
Briggs bowled an exceptional penultimate over to only concede seven and leave 14 needed off the last, bowled by left-arm swing bowler Chris Wood. Wood removed Tim Bresnan, Rich Pyrah and, with 11 needed off the last ball, Azeem Rafiq to add to the trophy won on their home ground at Southampton in 2010.
“That would probably be my number one knock,” said Miller. “I really enjoyed it, but it was bitterly disappointing because we got in a position to win.”
Skipper Andrew Gale said: “When we were 40-4 I thought someone had to play very well to get us in a position to win, and David played out of his skin. Going into the last over I was backing us.
“Unfortunately it didn’t go our way, but fair play to David for getting us in a position to win that game. If it wasn’t for him we would have been nowhere. We could have been bowled out for 80.”
Like Mascarenhas, Ryan Sidebottom also returned brilliant figures of 2-20 as Hampshire eked out a score of 150-6 after winning the toss, thanks mainly to 43 for opener Jimmy Adams and 36 for James Vince, a player many have likened to Michael Vaughan.
Yorkshire’s ground fielding was not at its best, but they were happy to be chasing 151 – a par score on this ground.
Gale added: “It would have been nice for us to be spraying that champagne around, I’m not going to lie. But when we reflect on this we’ll see we’ve achieved something as a group.”
Earlier, York-based Bairstow claimed the man-of-the-match award in the morning’s 36-run semi-final win over Sussex with a career best 68 not out to help his side recover from 36-3 to post 172-6.
He shared 82 in ten overs for the fourth wicket with Miller after medium pacer Scott Styris had taken three wickets. Bresnan and Pyrah then both struck twice apiece as Sussex rarely looked like chasing down the runs despite Chris Nash’s 80 not out. They finished on 136-8.
Yorkshire face Warwickshire in today’s final Clydesdale Bank 40 match at Scarborough.
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