Monday, 22 October 2012
CLt20: Yorkshire head home but did country proud
Yorkshire ended their CLt20 campaign with a narrow 4 wicket defeat to the mighty Chennai Super Kings and once again showed the cricket world what a talented young squad has been assembled by the White Rose county.
(PHOTO: Gary Ballance, who cracked 58 including 5 sixes to keep Yorkshire in the game)
CSK won with an over to spare, but not before being made to sweat by a Yorkshire side missing a host of its star players. As Ryan Sidebottom, Moin Ashraf, Phil Jaques missed the dead rubber due to injury there were also Jonny Bairstow, Richard Pyrah and Tim Bresnan watching from home.
Add to that the absence of Mitchell Starc, who is representing the Sydney Sixers with huge success in South Africa, and the side is barely recognisable from the one that enjoyed a successful English summer in the game’s shortest form.
When inputting the 2012 fixtures into the Yorkshire website in November last year there was no thought of the season continuing into late October. It is testament to the spirit and quality of the Yorkshire setup that those playing at Kingsmead in Durban today almost defied the odds to finish the season on an almighty high.
The CSK side had all played international cricket and shared a combined 147 Test caps, 629 One-Day International appearances and 182 international t20 matches between them. Yorkshire, in the form of Adil Rashid and David Miller, managed a total of 34 international appearances. So CSK had 958 and Yorkshire 34 international caps, but the gulf in supposed class was never there to be seen.
Yorkshire began their innings after being inserted by CSK’s stand-in skipper Suresh Raina, like a house on fire with Andrew Gale meaning business as he first deposited Doug Bollinger over deep midwicket for a maximum and greeted Ben Hilfenhaus with a second six over backward point.
But at 35-0 after 5 overs the wheels came off only to be beautifully replaced by Gary Ballance and David Miller.
The top three fell quickly after Andrew Gale had enjoyed his best start of the campaign in hitting 23 from 22 balls. He skied Albie Morkel’s first ball to Dou Bollinger at mid-off, Adam Lyth repeated the stroke to Vijay off Ben Hilfenhaus and Joe Root was strangled down the leg-side by Morkel to see the score descend to 43-3 at the end of the eight over.
But Ballance smashed his second CLt20 half century, only run out in the last over trying to steal the strike. His 58 from 38 balls included a four and 5 sixes of pure class as he added 78 in 9.2 overs with the returning David Miller (28 from 26 balls).
Suresh Raina, captaining in place of MS Dhoni, was swept for 12 in his first over (the 11th of the innings), and Ravindra Jadeja was thumped for two sixes in his first. Dhoni shed the gloves today to bowl two ordinary overs as he was smashed by Ballance for two consecutive sixes.
Bollinger had Miller caught at cover, but Ballance continued his assault by thumping a brace of maximums off Hilfenhaus in the 19th over.
Man of the Match Badrinath was instrumental in keeping CSK in the game after Vijay and Faf du Plessis fell to aggressive shots in the Powerplay.
Badrinath added 48 with Raina (31 from 30) and 43 with Dhoni. Badrinath was bowled by Iain Wardlaw. The right-armer then bowled Dhoni with a yorker, but CSK were too close to the winning line for the late pressure to tell.
Great credit must go to the Tykes makeshift seam attack who all recorded tidy figures. Wardlaw finished with 2-23, Steve Patterson 2-22 and Oliver Hannon-Dalby 2-23.
Yorkshire may be on their way home as the winless bottom side in Group B, but they have given great entertainment out in South Africa over the last three weeks, impressed the crowds and put Yorkshire firmly back onto the world stage. A tournament official told me that the Yorkies had consistently given as much or more in training sessions as their rivals and as Martyn Moxon said after the game: “We can go back to Yorkshire with our heads held high.”
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Andrew Gale leads his side to Kingsmead Durban to play the Chennai Super Kings, the giants of the IPL, as Yorkshire aim to end a successful season with one last hurrah.
A side likely to be very depleted due to the absence of Ryan Sidebottom and Moin Ashraf (both with hamstring injuries) and Phil Jaques (hip). Azeem Rafiq was also a doubt after dislocating a finger in the last match against the Highveld Lions.
It's a deasd rubber after the Sydney Sixers and Highveld Lions have already secured semi-final berths from Group B, but that doesn't mean it will be any less fiercely contested with everyone having points to prove and pride to fight for.