YORKSHIRE eased to the top of the Vitality Blast north group table with an 82-run home victory over struggling Northamptonshire on Saturday.

The Vikings bounced back from their second defeat of the season at Leicestershire on Friday night, and took a significant step towards the quarter-finals – now sitting on 13 points, level with Notts but with a better net run-rate.

More importantly, they are five points clear of Lancashire, who are outside of the top four quarter-final qualifying places with two Roses matches still to come.

There were three half-century partnerships in a Yorkshire innings which included 12 sixes.

The pressure applied meant the visiting chase was always going to be a tough one, and impressive off-spinner Dom Bess benefitted to the tune of three cheap wickets.

Jordan Thompson and Surrey loan signing Mark Stoneman, who turned 34 on Saturday, underpinned Yorkshire’s mammoth 224-3 at Headingley.

There were three half-century partnerships in a Vikings innings which included 12 sixes. Left-handers Stoneman and Thompson, batting at three in a re-jigged order due to unavailability, shared 79 for the second wicket to advance from 34-1 in the fifth.

Thompson and Harry Brook added 53 for the third wicket before Brook ended the innings by uniting for a quick-fire 58 with Gary Ballance.

Brook made 45 not out and helped take 27 runs off the final over of the innings. Both he and Ballance clobbered two sixes apiece.

Stoneman fell the ball after reaching his fifty off 30 balls and Thompson got to his half-century off 27 balls and, in all, hit three fours and seven sixes in 35.

In reply, the Steelbacks made a bright start and were 60-1 after six overs, only to lose Ricardo Vasconcelos, Mohammad Nabi and Wayne Parnell to Bess to slip to 78-4 after nine overs.

After Vasconcelos was caught at cover, Nabi and Parnell were caught in the deep.

The visitors were 84-4 after 10 overs, needing 141 more. The game was virtually up for them.

Matthew Fisher later struck twice in an over after Thompson had enhanced his memorable night with a wicket.

Matthew Waite wrapped up the win with three balls remaining, claiming the last two wickets.

Yorkshire have a three-day break before their next Blast fixture, away against Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston on Wednesday (6.30pm).

The Vikings beat the Bears on the opening night of the competition at Emerald Headingley earlier this month.

The Bears are also in quarter-final contention having won four of nine games.