Ballance and Starc make their mark
Debutant Mitchell Starc and in-form Gary Ballance inspired Yorkshire to their first Clydesdale Bank 40 victory of the season courtesy of a seven-wicket triumph over Derbyshire at Headingley Carnegie.
Australia paceman Starc, who has played four Tests and seven one-day internationals for his country, was left frustrated in his attempts to don the White Rose after a problem with his visa saw him deported.
But, after arriving back in Leeds following a short return to his homeland to sort out the issue, the 22-year-old bowled Yorkshire back into the match following an opening partnership of 137, which saw Martin Guptill smash 89 and Chesney Hughes contribute 50.
Left-armer Starc, expressing sheer pace, led Andrew Gale’s attack superbly, returning figures of 3-28 off eight overs to restrict Derbyshire to 219 for eight after a dramatic middle-order collapse hampered their progress.
Yorkshire, who comprehensively lost their 40-over opener to Kent, were reliant on Ballance’s 60-ball 77, which included four sixes, to get them over the line after Phil Jaques’ 47 had put them on course.
After being asked to bat first, in-form Guptill struck a quartet of fours and five sixes, including two off spinner Azeem Rafiq, in an 83-ball stay at the crease that got Derbyshire off to a flying start.
The New Zealand international punished a drop from Jaques by moving to his half-century from 53 balls.
Yet just as Derbyshire looked to be comfortably heading towards 250, their progress was halted by the loss of eight wickets for 71 runs.
No sooner had Hughes gone to his fifty from 72 deliveries, he lost his off stump to the returning Moin Ashraf.
Wes Durston looked busy at the crease, only to see Rafiq - selected ahead of Adil Rashid - hold a smart, low catch off his own bowling, before Anthony McGrath struck twice to reduce the visitors to 169 for four in the 31st over.
McGrath brought an end to Guptill’s impressive innings, the right-hander slashing a wide one behind, before captain Wayne Madsen was trapped in front for 10.
Starc returned at the death to collect his first Yorkshire scalps, a trio of Derbyshire youngsters in Ross Whiteley, Dan Redfern and Tom Poynton all departing cheaply.
The expensive Wardlaw trapped Garry Park in front while David Wainwright, returning to Yorkshire following his close-season switch to Derbyshire, scooped a maximum over wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy in an unbeaten 13 that took his side past 200.
Yorkshire eased past 50 in reply, Lyth finding the boundary on several occasions until he swept Durston into the hands of Wainwright at short fine-leg for 31.
Slow bowling looked likely to prove Yorkshire’s downfall as the run-rate dipped with Wainwright operating in tandem with Durston, who bowled a frustrated Andrew Gale for 33.
At the halfway point Yorkshire were 90 for two, but Ballance showed intent with consecutive sixes over midwicket off Park, while Jaques was happy to rotate the strike.
The Australian left-hander fell in similar circumstances to Lyth off Wainwright three short of his half-century, with his side still needing 67 from the last 10 overs.
Ballance continued to clear the ropes, though, and another maximum brought up his half-century off just 48 balls.
After taking 14 from the 34th over, he finished the job with Joe Root, who made 28 not out.