Cricket

Yorkshire pillage victory after rain delay to revive Cup hopes

3:00 AM ET

Yorkshire 175 for 5 (Kohler-Cadmore 67, Brook 47) beat Northamptonshire 351 (Vasconcelos 112, Levi 58, Cobb 58) by 5 wickets (with 2 balls remaining – D/L)

Yorkshire are hanging in there, but only just. Just about every match has gone down to the wire. Nerves have been constantly shredded. Too many matches have been taunted by rain. But they go to Worcester on Sunday still holding hopes of a play-off spot in the Royal London Cup after sneaking a rain-hit chase against Northamptonshire with two balls to spare.

The Worcestershire match is a must-win game and whatever fate awaits it is likely it will not be straightforward. They have had an extraordinary run of results: ties with Warwickshire and Derbyshire and a one-run defeat against Lancashire on a gloriously sunny Headingley day. Now this – a rain-hit match where they began chasing 352 confidently enough and, after the rain had done its worst, ended up thrashing around for 47 off 4.1 overs in a ground long since emptied..

Matches like this should probably major upon the real stand-out batsman, Ricardo Vasconcelos, a 21-year-old batsman-keeper from South Africa who hit his maiden List A century with considerable aplomb – 112 from 97 balls, an innings characterised by stylish off drives and ambitious, steely-wristed leg side-clips.

After all, mention the dreaded phrase “DLS calculation” and interest wanes. The bit before it rains is turned into a spreadsheet calculation; the bit after it rains feels entirely artificial. Cricket still has no solution to that.

But sometimes appearances at Cup finals all boil down to such low-key moments with importance cruelly thrust upon them, looked upon by a few diehards with hands in their jackets – such as the situation facing Jonny Tattersall, a spritely wicketkeeper-batsman who relishes pressure situations. He walked out with 12 needed from the final five deliveries, immediately swung Ian Holland over midwicket for six, pushed two down the ground then carved the winning runs over point.

Yorkshire had needed 32 from three overs with seven wickets remaining when Gary Ballance took command of the game by striking Rob Keogh’s offspin for three successive sixes. It’s a strange game when Rob Keogh bowls ahead of Jason Holder, the West Indies captain. Holder is by all accounts an impressive young man. But imagine doing that in yesteryear to the likes of Malcolm Marshall.

Northants, initially behind on Duckworth-Lewis-Stern when rained halted play, were handed a potential reprieve when rain relented (later than forecast) and looked favourites when Holland sprinted 30 yards to claim an outstanding diving catch to remove Tom Kohler-Cadmore off his own bowling – the more straightforward claims of two fielders running in the right direction strangely ignored.

Back to the real match: at 232 for 1 in the 35th over – a point at which the Yorkshire captain, Steve Patterson, later admitted “We didn’t know how to stop them scoring” – Northants had designs on at least 380. Even their 351, a disappointment after the loss of seven wickets for 63 in the last 43 balls, represented their highest List A total against Yorkshire and sixth best of all time. Yorkshire, for all their winter’s signings, do not look as if they have a bowling attack strong enough to compete seriously.

Vasconcelos had been restored to the side after illness. Physically overshadowed by his top-of-the-order partners, Richard Levi and Josh Cobb, he maintained an even tempo and had the distinction of being acclaimed twice for his century – the television scoreboard and official scorers having a run difference in their tallies. So TV provides the game with evidence for run-out decisions that can decide where trophies are won and lost, but two parallel scoring systems can run at the same time? Cricket never ceases to amaze.

Yorkshire were well on course when the rain arrived to complete what would have been their highest List A run chase with a stand of 109 between Kohler-Cadmore and Harry Brook. Brook played stylishly for his 47 then got out to the first ball of the DLS recalculation with a hair-brained offside hit. He had shown maturity on one side of the rain; naivety on the other. Maybe he doesn’t like DLS. Not many of us do. But at his age you have to deal with it.

Article source: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/1182815.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

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