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Ballance beams in Yorkshire CCC win
Yorkshire are into the main draw of the Champions League t20 after Gary Ballance and Adil Rashid starred in a pulsating win over 2009 finalists Trinidad & Tobago at Supersport Park in Centurion last night.
The White Rose have clinched a group ‘B’ place after their second qualifying win in two days, this time over the West Indians by six wickets with seven balls to spare.
After electing to bat first on a two-paced track, Trinidad made them work harder than they would have expected after recovering from 8-3 after three overs to post 148-9.
Captain and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin fashioned the recovery with an excellent 59 off 40 balls, including six fours and a six. But Ryan Sidebottom was brilliant as he returned figures of 3-13 from his four overs.
Yorkshire then slipped to 16-2 and 51-4 in the ninth over of their reply before Ballance and Rashid shared an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 103 in 10.2 overs.
Man-of-the-match Ballance finished with 67 not out off 37 balls and Rashid an unbeaten 33 off 27, with the former describing it as one of the best moment of his career.
“In terms of Twenty20, personally that’s got to be the favourite moment of my career, maybe even in all forms,” said the Zimbabwe-born 22-year-old, recently called up to England’s Performance Programme squad for this winter.
“I can’t really describe the feeling at the moment. We were in a bit of trouble, but Rash played well. We just said, ‘If we bat for five overs and keep the board ticking, we’ll take it deep’.
“Rash took the pressure off me. I like to take my time to get in, but he came in and timed it from the off against some quality bowlers.”
Joe Root, Sidebottom and Steve Patterson all struck inside the first three overs of the match to put Yorkshire in charge before Darren Bravo (45 off 49 balls) and Ramdin, both World Twenty20 winners with the West Indies at the weekend, shared 93 in 12.1 overs for the fourth wicket to take the score to 101-3.
It was just fortunate that two wickets fell in three balls in the 16th over, bowled by Rashid, to halt a dangerous charge.
Sidebottom struck with the first two balls of the last over to remove Kevon Cooper and Ravi Rampaul, while there were also three run-outs in the last four and a half overs.
Yorkshire’s top order then struggled against the likes of Rampaul and leg-spinner Samuel Badree, two more World T20 winners, before Rashid started the recovery and Ballance took it on.
The left-hander smashed two fours and six sixes in a stunning blitz.
Yorkshire’s first group ‘B’ match is against Mitchell Starc’s Sydney Sixers at Cape Town on Tuesday (12.30pm UK time).
They also play Sachin Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians, Highveld Lions and Chennai Super Kings.
“Now with a group of young lads, we really don’t have anything to lose,” added Ballance.
“We’re going to go and enjoy it, and you never know how far we can get.”