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Vikings slip to narrow defeat

Four wickets in nine balls for Jack Brooks proved to be of no avail to Yorkshire Vikings who went on to lose their opening Friends Life t20 North Group encounter with Derbyshire Falcons by two wickets with three balls to spare at Headingley.

Having been restricted to 119 for eight after losing the toss, Yorkshire seemed to have pulled the game their way as Derbyshire slumped to 70 for seven inside 13 overs after being 56 for one at one stage.

But Jonathan Clare, partnered by Tim Groenewald, slammed an unbeaten 35 from 29 balls in a ninth-wicket stand of 28 to see the visitors home.

Chesney Hughes and Wes Durston gave Derbyshire just the start they needed with an opening stand of 40 in seven overs, Hughes blasting Brooks for two fours and a six off the second over of the innings.

But Richard Pyrah, who began with a maiden, then had Durston well caught by Azeem Rafiq at gully and Shivnarine Chanderpaul held by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow when attempting to cut.

Yet it was the return of Brooks that did the real damage by grabbing two wickets in each of two consecutive overs to return career-best figures in the competition of 4-21.

Hughes chopped onto his stumps and Wayne Madsen edged a catch to Bairstow before Dan Redfern slashed and was brilliantly caught above his head at gully by Rafiq and Tom Poynton holed out to Dan Hodgson on the midwicket boundary.

It got even better for Yorkshire as Rafiq’s first ball was driven by Albie Morkel low to Adam Lyth at long-on and the off-spinner later trapped David Wainwright lbw.

Clare, however, had already thumped Rafiq over long-off for six and two fours in the 18th over from Liam Plunkett and added further impetus to the Derbyshire fightback, which was nearing completion when 12 came off the penultimate over.

Apart from Gary Ballance, who scored 44 from 45 balls with three fours and a six, Yorkshire’s innings never really got into gear and the highest partnership they could muster was only 28 for the sixth wicket between Ballance and Pyrah.

Hodgson had threatened to break loose by smacking Groenewald for two fours and a six off four deliveries but he was run out for 17 when Bairstow played his second ball to point and sent back his partner who could not beat Redfern’s direct hit.

Bairstow managed only one boundary in his 12 from 15 balls before he became the first of three victims for Mark Footitt, top-edging a pull to Groenewald at long-leg.

Morkel had got Yorkshire into early difficulties by dismissing openers Andrew Gale and Lyth in his first two overs and he was not even brought back for a final burst after conceding only nine runs from three overs.

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