Taylor takes five as Steelbacks thrash Yorkshire to keep Blast dreams alive

Former Yorkshire T20 captain David Willey made a winning return to Headingley as the Steelbacks kept their Vitality Blast qualification hopes alive with a brilliant 78-run win over the Vikings.
Tom Taylor took a career-best five for 28 for SteelbacksTom Taylor took a career-best five for 28 for Steelbacks
Tom Taylor took a career-best five for 28 for Steelbacks

The win means Northants’ are still in the hunt for a top four finish, while at the same time denting Yorkshire’s last-eight hopes.

Tom Taylor stole the show with a stunning career-best five for 28 from four overs, and that came after Willey and Ben Sanderson had reduced the home side to 22 for four with two early wickets apiece.

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Justin Broad top-scored with 47 not out and Willey also hit a breezy 28 as the Steelbacks posted 180 for six before bowling Yorkshire out for just 102 inside 16 overs, with Taylor the main man.

The loss means Yorkshire drop out of the North Group top four to fifth, while Northants are up to sixth and now just two points adrift of second-placed Worcestershire Rapids.

After Willey elected to bat, Germany international Broad’s inventive unbeaten 47 off 32 balls with six fours was the best of a quartet of useful contributions in a Steelbacks innings which stopped and started.

Fledgling leg-spinner Jafer Chohan shone with a career best one for 13 from four overs for the Vikings, who then slumped to 22 for four in reply and couldn’t recover.

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Ricardo Vasconcelos underpinned an excellent visiting powerplay at 55 for one with 37, though he was the only man to fall when Dawid Malan took a well judged catch at cover off Jordan Thompson.

And his wicket with the penultimate ball of the sixth over started a Steelbacks’ stumble.

Chohan, 20-years-old and in his 11th T20 game, was at the heart of things having not bowled at Chesterfield when Yorkshire conceded 212 for four against Derbyshire in that aforementioned Sunday loss.

He removed Chris Lynn for three off a top-edged sweep, with Adam Lyth taking a well judged catch like Malan’s running around from short fine-leg - 70 for two in the ninth.

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And more damage followed as Emilio Gay miscued a high catch off Thompson to mid-off for 40 and Saif Zaib was run out by a striker’s end direct hit from Shan Masood at short third - 94 for four in the 13th.

That was the first of three run outs in an innings revived by South African-born Broad, aged 22 and in only his third county appearance, and Willey.

They shared 60 inside five overs before Willey was run out at the striker’s end coming for a third for 28 off 18 balls following good work at deep midwicket by Bess and thrower Mike.

AJ Tye hit two sixes in 12 before falling short thanks to a direct hit from Thompson in his follow through.

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Steelbacks’ good end to their innings, including Broad hitting two of the last three balls to the boundary, was then carried forwards with the ball as they reduced the Vikings to seven for two inside 15 balls.

Sanderson had Lyth skying to short third, where Zaib took a good catch on the run over his shoulder, and then Willey had James Wharton caught behind.

This was not the pitch for a 200 plus total as is the norm at Headingley, and Yorkshire already looked in trouble.

Any doubt surrounding that theory was soon removed.

Willey bowled Masood as he gave himself room to play through the off-side before Matthew Revis was bowled by Sanderson, another ex-Tyke, in the next over as the score fell to 22 for four in the sixth.

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Not even in-form Malan’s presence at the crease could revive Yorkshire.

Seamer Taylor struck twice in two balls in the ninth over, with Jonny Tattersall caught at third and David Wiese bowled for a golden duck as the score fell to 49 for six.

Taylor later returned to bowl Mike and Malan, for 34, and get Thompson caught at wide mid-off. Australian Tye finished things off by bowling Chohan.