Derbyshire Falcons beaten as Yorkshire Vikings keep T20 hopes alive
England leg-spinner Adil Rashid kept alive Yorkshire Vikings hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the t20 Natwest Blast in a thrilling game that ended in a one run defeat for the Derbyshire Falcons at Derby.
Rashid took 3 for 20 in four overs as the Vikings successfully defended a total of 166 for 6 which was built around 65 from 45 balls by New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.
The Falcons were on course when Hamish Rutherford, 44, and Neil Broom, 37, were together but Rashid dismissed them both and with David Willey striking twice in the penultimate over, they fell short on 165 for 8 and now have little chance of making the last eight.
The Vikings looked set for a much bigger total when Willey took 21 off the fourth over from Jimmy Neesham, pulling and driving the New Zealander for consecutive sixes but the Falcons recovered impressively as only 35 came from the next six overs.
Adam Lyth was caught at third man for 19 , Alex Lees went first ball when he edged a drive at Shiv Thakor, and Willey drove Wes Durston low to long-off where Wayne Madsen took a well-judged catch diving forward.
When Jack Leaning missed a slog-sweep at Matt Critchley and Will Rhodes failed to clear long-off, the Vikings had slipped to 101 for 5 in 15 overs but Williamson and Bresnan played well to get the innings back on track.
Williamson took three fours off the next over from Andy Carter and after completing 50 from 38 balls, straight-drove Thakor into the sightscreen for his second six.
They added 48 in five overs before Williamson was bowled by Neesham as he moved across his crease but 16 came off the final over from Carter with Bresnan pulling the last ball for six.
The Falcons chase began badly with Durston playing across a full length ball from Bresnan but Rutherford drove Willey over cover for six and twice straight drove Liam Plunkett for four.
Azeem Rafiq conceded just a single from his first over but Rutherford drove him for six in his next over before Broom lifted Plunkett over square leg and onto the roof of an ice-cream van.
The Vikings badly needed a wicket and Adil Rashid delivered in his first over when Rutherford was stumped to end a stand of 73 in 8.1 overs and the England spinner struck again when he beat Broom in the flight.
When Wayne Madsen was lured down the pitch and stumped, the game had shifted towards the Vikings but Chesney Hughes revived the Falcons cause by pulling and driving Bresnan for two sixes in the 17th over.
The game took a decisive twist in the 19th over when Hughes skied Willey to cover and Neesham pulled hard to deep midwicket where Plunkett held a superb catch above his head and although Critchley hit Rafiq’s last ball for six, it was not enough to save the Falcons.