NatWest T20 Blast North Group: Aaron Finch leads Yorkshire to victory over Lancashire
Last Updated: 07/06/14 9:10am
Yorkshire ended Roses rivals Lancashire's winning run with a five-wicket win in a thrilling NatWest T20 Blast match at Old Trafford.
Even after a wonderful innings of 88 from Aaron Finch in pursuit of 179-6, it seemed table-toppers Lancashire might hold on.
But instead, with a dash of controversy after Paul Horton's hosts were docked six crucial runs for their slow over rate, Yorkshire just got over the line.
It fell ultimately to Rich Pyrah to complete the task when he speared Kabir Ali over cover for six, to inch the verdict with three balls and five wickets in hand.
Tom Smith's 50 from just 22 balls, the joint-quickest for Lancashire, and 60 from Horton were overshadowed by a very special catch from Adam Lyth to dismiss Smith, with a perfectly-timed leap high to intercept what would have been a six off Adil Rashid over long off to parry the ball back for a simple take inside the rope by Finch.
Finch twice clubbed Jordan Clark for huge sixes into The Point but when the Aussie was undone by a slower ball from Smith and caught at short third-man to end a 55-ball innings, Lancashire looked set to win.
But the telling moment came with information from beyond the boundary, with Lancashire's time fault which meant Yorkshire needed only eight off the last over - and Pyrah did the rest.
A fine half-century from captain Daryl Mitchell was enough for Worcestershire Rapids to pick up a five-wicket victory in their clash with the Leicestershire Foxes at Grace Road.
Leicestershire still only have one victory in this season's North Division after failing to defend their total of 164-6.
Greg Smith (24) and Ned Eckersley (24) both helped move the Leicestershire score along before being dismissed by Mitchell and Colin Munro in close succession.
It was left to Tom Wells to take the Foxes to a defendable total, he hit an unbeaten 45 from 28 balls, with Saeed Ajmal taking the wickets of Scott Styris and Rob Taylor in his final over.
Mitchell was the star of the show for the visitors as he scored an unbeaten 67 from 50 deliveries, with the Rapids reaching their total with four balls remaining to take their third straight win of the competition.
Led from the front
Varun Chopra led from the front as Birmingham claimed a six-wicket victory over Durham at Edgbaston with five balls to spare.
Chopra scored 51 from 50 balls as his side reached the target of 147 for the loss of four wickets, with Jonathon Webb and Shoaib Malik both contributing with 28 apiece.
Durham posted 146-7 from their 20 overs after being put in to bat by home captain Chopra.
John Hastings recorded the highest score of the visitors' innings with 36 after coming in at number eight, with the top order faltering and struggling to gain any momentum after being two down for 17 runs in the third over when openers Mark Stoneman and Phil Mustard were both out for six.
Birmingham's reply stuttered slightly with the loss of William Porterfield for 16 with the score on 23, but Chopra and Webb moved it on to 80 before the latter was caught by Borthwick off the bowling of Collingwood.
Malik and Chopra then built a solid partnership to set up victory, with Laurie Evans (21no) steering the Bears over the line in the final over.
Alex Hales set up Nottinghamshire for a five-wicket victory over Derbyshire with 63 from 32 balls at Derby.
Hales' quick-fire innings helped his side reach 165-5 and claim a comfortable victory with 19 balls remaining.
Marcus North had posted the highest knock of Derbyshire's innings with 57 from 47 balls, which included six fours, while Madsen scored 36 and Tim Groenewald chipped in with 19 from seven balls at the death.
Harry Gurney (2-24) was the pick of the Nottinghamshire bowlers, accounting for opener Stephen Moore caught and bowled from the first delivery of the match, with wicketkeeper Gareth Cross (five) his other victim.
But the best performance of the night with the bat came from Hales, who hit 11 boundaries and one maximum in a rapid opening burst before he was bowled by Alex Hughes.
His dismissal had left Notts four down for 112, following the dismissals of Lumb, James Taylor (two) and Patel (three), but Wessels and Mullaney saw the visitors over the line, with Chris Read also unbeaten at the death with seven.