Derbyshire 105 for 4 (du Plooy 48*, Leech 3-13) beat Yorkshire 175 (Brook 77, Scrimshaw 3-20) by six wickets (DLS method)
Brook held Yorkshire’s innings together with great maturity, making 77 from 50 balls in a total of 175 which flirted with collapse throughout. His captaincy had begun with a golden duck, but a team victory at Durham. It was a judicious innings, full of exquisitely timed strokes, and he probably felt he had done enough.
But a prolonged break for rain reduced Derbyshire’s target to 105 from 10. It was nip and tuck throughout, but Derbyshire needed 19 from the final over. Brook opted for Matthew Waite, ahead of Matthew Revis, as the rain returned, and the rest was probably a blur. It certainly was for Waite.
Waite, who had to cope with a wet ball, never really settled to his task. There were a lot of conversations, involving not just Brook but also Shadab Khan and, briefly, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, some gesticulating by the bowler and best-laid plans came to naught. Derbyshire, who are playing cool-headed T20 cricket under the influence of Mickey Arthur, have beaten Yorkshire twice this season and are now on the verge of replacing them in the top four.
He was entrusted with the new ball and took two wickets in his first over. Luis Reece scooped his first ball over fine leg for six, but he was plumb lbw to the next. After two swish and misses, Wayne Madsen edged to the wicketkeeper for a third-ball duck. Brook was forced to bring him back for the eighth over with Shan Masood and du Plooy in control and again he came up trumps by having Masood well caught at short third. Dom Bess jarred his knee in the process – a repeat of an injury he suffered a couple of weeks ago – and left the field injured.
Yorkshire can hardly afford any more injury blows. They are making do without their normal T20 captain, David Willey, Adil Rashid and Dawid Malan, who are in the Netherlands with England. Their top-order batting is as destructive as it has been in T20 for many years, the main reason to imagine that Willey, who is leaving for Northants at the end of the season, has a fighting chance of keeping his promise to leave them with their first T20 title by way of recompense.
That Willey is leaving, grumbling that Yorkshire are putting the restoring of their reputation ahead of cricketing success (surely the two aims are intertwined?), can be laid at least partly at the door of the malcontents who disrupted the AGM in protest at the county’s reforms, and delayed the formation of a new independent board, which in turn meant that finalising of contract offers did not progress as fast as he wanted.
Trying for successive straight sixes off the legspinner Matty McKienan, he should have been stumped. His 37 from 17 balls ended on the last ball of the Powerplay when he drilled McKiernan to midwicket, leaving Yorkshire dicily placed at 62 for 3.
The prime reason for that was Mark Watt, the Scotland spinner, who bowled three Yorkshire batters with near yorkers. His first over was a double-wicket maiden as Adam Lyth, opening his front leg, fell to Watt’s first ball; and Kohler-Cadmore made room to the off side and swung across one. Shadab Khan, who found batting form in a Pakistan ODI in Multan last Sunday, slapped the ball around to good effect and dented the roof of the St John Ambulance stationed behind the press box before he fell at 109 for 4 with nine overs remaining.
With Shadab’s departure went Brook’s support. Beyond the top order, they are misfiring. Fraine and Jordan Thompson are both having unrewarding seasons with the bat and Revis is too low in the order to make an impact. Fraine struck Yorkshire’s fastest white-ball 50 on this ground last season, in a Royal London Cup game reduced to 10 overs, but not for the first time his hitting was underpowered as he struck Hughes to long-on. Thompson is a bullish sort, but he had a tortuous time, 12 from 17 without a boundary to his name.
Thompson was the first of three wickets in the final over for George Scrimshaw, who Derbyshire followers put in the same speed category of the likes of Mark Wood. Injuries are largely restricting him to short formats, but he had Thompson and Revis caught at the wicket, and Bess lbw. Scrimshaw and Watt both had three wickets apiece, at economical cost, and the Vikings lost their last five wickets for six runs in 11 balls. With bat and ball, they lacked for experience when the pressure was at its highest.
David Hopps writes on county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps