Ballance blast sends Yorkshire through
Gary Ballance delivered an awesome display of six-hitting as Yorkshire marched into the group stage of the Champions League T20 with a six-wicket victory over Trinidad & Tobago.
The left-hander, part of the latest England Performance Programme squad, cleared the ropes on half a dozen occasions during a thrilling innings of 64 from 37 balls.
His final maximum completed Yorkshire’s pursuit of 149 with seven balls unused, Adil Rashid having once again impressed in contributing 33 to an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 103.
Trinidad and Tobago’s innings of 148 for nine also featured one notable partnership; Denesh Ramdin struck 59 and Darren Bravo 45 after their side had been reduced to eight for three.
William Perkins holed out to long-on off Joe Root in the opening over, Ryan Sidebottom, who finished with stunning figures of 3-13, had Lendl Simmons caught behind and Adrian Barath was bowled playing across the line to Steven Patterson.
Bravo and Ramdin responded well to a position of peril, the former remaining solid, but also striking two sixes, while his skipper counter-attacked in a punchy 40-ball knock.
Rashid eventually had Bravo caught at long-on, and both Jason Mohammed and Ramdin were run out before Sidebottom struck with consecutive balls at the death.
The innings duly ended with Yannick Ottley short of his ground coming back for a second.
Phil Jaques and captain Andrew Gale departed cheaply at the start of Yorkshire’s reply, to Windies internationals Ravi Rampaul and Samuel Badree respectively.
The loss of Adam Lyth and Joe Root in quick succession further undermined the Tykes, and a period of rebuilding ensured 47 were required from the final five overs.
This proved well within reach, however, as Ballance opened up with an array of savage strokes that further underlined his immense talent.