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Bairstow and Lyth propel Vikings

An unbroken partnership of 90 from Jonny Bairstow and Adam Lyth helped fire Yorkshire Vikings to a 16-run win at Northants Steelbacks in the NatWest T20 Blast.

Bairstow clubbed 60 not out off 37 balls and Lyth finished on an unbeaten 46 as the Vikings recorded a testing 181 for three off their 20 overs.

Richard Levi clobbered five sixes and five fours in an entertaining 76 in reply but could not find support and a late flurry of wickets saw the Steelbacks finish 165 for nine.

Holders Northants got off to an inauspicious start with Olly Stone's first ball going for five wides as Yorkshire, who had chosen to bat, plundered 11 off the opening over.

Aaron Finch had the lion's share of the strike but he was gone for just five off 13 balls when he mistimed Stone's delivery to mid-on where Rob Keogh took a smart catch over his shoulder.

The first boundary off the bat did not come until the fourth over as Alex Lees glanced one to fine-leg with Andrew Gale soon adding two more.

But the skipper was next to depart for 17 as Muhammad Azhar Ullah found some extra bounce and Gale edged behind to Ben Duckett.

That brought Bairstow to the crease and he helped to up the rate slightly before Lees fell for 35 when he chipped to Kyle Coetzer at short extra-cover off Matt Spriegel.

Lyth then strode out to the middle and, after some consolidation, he and Bairstow hit out and guided the Vikings to a testing target.

Northants made a good start and were 30 without loss after three overs with Levi scoring 25 of them off just 11 balls.

The first ball of the fourth over produced the first wicket when dangerman David Willey found Finch at midwicket off Steve Patterson and the Vikings will have been glad to see the back of him for just five.

Coetzer lasted just two balls before Oliver Robinson claimed him at deep square-leg but the arrival of Duckett steadied the ship with Levi continuing to attack, bringing up his fifty with a six off the 30th ball he faced.

Duckett fell for six when he was stumped by Bairstow off Azeem Rafiq but Levi continued to press on, hitting two further sixes before he departed for 76, heaving Rafiq to Lyth at long-on.

That took the momentum away from the home side and when David Sales and Steven Crook fell in consecutive balls, for 17 and 23 respectively, to Richard Pyrah and Adil Rashid, they were in trouble.

Spriegel, Graeme White and Keogh then all went in the space of seven balls as Yorkshire eased to a relatively comfortable victory.

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