6/14/2018 0 Comments
Steve Patterson and Gary Ballance inspired Yorkshire to victory over Essex at Chelmsford to set up a semi-final clash at the Ageas Bowl against Hampshire on Monday.
The White Rose skipper Patterson took 4-36 as the visitors restricted Essex to 234 all out after Ballance struck 91 to help the Tykes to 259-7 after winning the toss and electing to bat first on a tacky used wicket.
It was left to Ballance and Jack Leaning to steady the sinking ship after Jamie Porter ripped through the top order to leave the northerner in a spot of bother at 45-4, indeed perhaps the Eagles will now regret not bowling the Leytonstone-born man his full allocation of overs. Instead, the 24-year-old was left with the mightly impressive figures of 3-25 from his nine overs.
The pair shared 129-runs for the fifth wicket to help guide the visitors toward respectability, but when Ballance departed for 91 edging behind to Adam Wheater off the bowling of Neil Wagner you felt the Tykes were still in a battle to make a total anywhere near par. That task took another blow as Simon Harmer trapped Leaning (57) leg before with the score on 188.
Essex smelt blood and were suddenly dreaming of dismissing the visitors for less than 200, especially given how scratchy Matt Fisher looked early on in his innings. The 20-year-old could barely lay bat on ball, swishing aimlessly as Matt Coles sent down a maiden in the 43rd over. Coles though then tried to be fancy and started to get his tricks out, but he strayed in line and length, and that played into the hands of Fisher and Bresnan who suddenly started seeing the ball like a football propelling the ball to all parts of ‘Fortress Chelmsford’.
The duo added a vital 71 for the seventh wicket to give the White Rose something to defend, Bresnan fell to the last ball of the innings for 41 – but the pair had done their job and managed to wrestle back some of the momentum. Although, the experts at the interval predicted that Steve Patterson’s men were well short of par you expected that early wicket would put Essex under immense pressure in front of an expectant Eagles crowd.
Alastair Cook returned to the side to open with Varun Chopra, separating the Essex usual opening batting duo of Adam Wheater and Chopra – a partnership that has been very explosive and fruitful for the Eagles this season. Cook and Chopra though were very circumspect in their approach as the pair patiently went in search of the 260 runs they required for victory. The former England captain looked unusually nervy and scratchy at the crease, and his mode of dismissal perhaps epitomised that edginess. With the score plodding along on 26 without loss in the eighth over the Chef went for an uncharacteristic hoick and skied a ball to mid-on to give Patterson a routine catch to fall for 11.
Stand-in skipper Tom Westley – deputising for the banned Ryan ten Doeschate, came and went in unfortunate fashion, run out backing up for two. The usually clean hitting Varun Chopra clothed a ball straight down deep mid-wickets throat, and the nerves around Chelmsford were jangling.
Dan Lawrence was triggered to a ball that looked to the naked eye as if it was sliding down leg although ball tracking had it just clipping leg stump to fall for 15 and suddenly the host were four down and staring at another knockout defeat in the face.
Ravi Bopara, Ashar Zaidi and Simon Harmer all came and went failing to offer the support that the impressive Adam Wheater desperately craved. Matt Coles swung at everything that came at him and ultimately saw his leg stump rocked back by the accurate Matt Fisher (2-32) and Essex were entering the last chance saloon with Neil Wagner and Wheater.
It was an ill-disciplined display by the top order and Wheater and Wagner showed just that, the pair added 57-runs for the ninth-wicket, a new record for Essex against Yorkshire. While those two were there the sense of a miracle happening, and the Eagles pulling something out of the fire were genuine.
The diminutive Wheater continued his fine recent form to reach a magnificent 78 off 70 balls and the patient Wagner was rotating the strike cleverly to continue to chip away at the deficit. When the experienced Patterson claimed his fourth and final wicket to remove the Essex wicketkeeper, you could almost hear David Lloyd screaming ‘start the car’ from his Accrington living room.
Wagner tried his best with Porter, but it wasn’t to be as the Kiwi became the last to fall for a gutsy 35 to give Yorkshire a deserved win which sets up a clash with Hampshire on Monday in the semi-finals.
The Tykes win was all the more impressive given the lack of first-teamers available for the visitors, so it will be pleasing the Andrew Gale’s men to see the youngster step up when it really mattered with Karl Carver (2-65), Ben Coad (1-50) and Fisher (2-32) all producing excellent bowling displays under pressure.
By David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
All Alastair Cook Alex Hales BBC Radio Commentary Ben Coad Ben Duckett Birmingham Bears Chris Read County Championship County Cricket Dan Kingdom Darren Sammy David Bowden Day/Night Cricket Derbyshire Durham England Cricket Essex Glamorgan Gloucestershire Hampshire Harry Hill James Anderson James Vince Jamie Ramage Joe Root Jofra Archer Jonny Bairstow Kent Kevin Hand Watch Kevin Hand-Watch Lancashire Leicestershire Mark Kidger Middlesex Natwest Blast Neil Harris Northamptonshire Nottinghamshire Previews Retrospective Reports RLODC Round Ups Round-ups Season Review Somerset Stuart Broad Surrey Sussex T20 Blast Team Of The Week Virdi Vitality Blast Warwickshire Wocestershire Worcestershire Yorkshire