Gale and Jaques see off Foxes
A record opening stand of 122 between skipper Andrew Gale and Phil Jaques put Yorkshire on track for a 22-run victory over reigning champions Leicestershire in their Friends Life t20 North Group encounter at Headingley Carnegie.
The fine start set the White Rose up for a total of 170 for four after winning the toss and the visitors were dismissed for 148 in reply, Australian paceman Mitchell Starc claiming the last three wickets in the final over.
It was the hosts’ first win in this season's FLt20 but it left title-holders Leicestershire still trying to break their duck after three consecutive defeats.
Yorkshire's previous best first-wicket partnership in the competition was also against the Foxes and Gale was involved on that occasion too, when he and Jacques Rudolph put on 104 together at Grace Road in 2009.
Gale led the way this time with a belligerent 70 off only 42 balls, with six fours and three sixes, while fellow left-hander Jaques contributed 48 from 41 deliveries, including five fours and a six.
Jonny Bairstow, released from England duty to play, was soon involved in the action - from the other side of the boundary rope. Jaques launched himself into a straight drive off Matthew Hoggard and Bairstow sprang out of the dug-out to catch the ball as it cleared the line.
Gale soon attacked former Yorkshire paceman Hoggard with two fours and a six in one over and consecutive fours for Jaques against Wayne White lifted the stand to 52 in 35 balls.
It became a century alliance off 69 deliveries but it was broken by Rob Taylor, who had Jaques taken on the midwicket boundary by Jacques du Toit, and Gale followed a couple of overs later when he straight drove Hoggard to Josh Cobb.
Hoggard's return to the attack slowed down Yorkshire but David Miller made sure the total was still a competitive one with an unbeaten 30 off 20 balls, which contained two fours and a six.
The Foxes made a good start themselves as openers Cobb and Greg Smith added 37 in five overs before the latter fell to an athletic catch by Gary Ballance at mid-off to bring Richard Pyrah a wicket with his fifth ball.
Pyrah then struck again in his next over by flinging out a right arm to hold on to a reflex catch which sent back du Toit for one.
Cobb had middled the ball well from the start and he had thumped a quartet of fours and two maximums in his 46 before he slipped at the bowler's end when being sent back and was run out.
Off-spinner Azeem Rafiq got the important wicket of Abdul Razzaq with a well-flighted ball, which hit the stumps, and he struck again to have Matthew Boyce caught behind.
Ryan Sidebottom returned to spread-eagle Taylor's stumps with his first delivery and then have Ramnaresh Sarwan, who made 45, caught in his next over, leaving Starc to clean up the tail in dramatic fashion.