Cricket: Brilliant Lyth ends amateurs’ glory bid

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A sensational late half century from Adam Lyth propelled Yorkshire Vikings to victory against a spirited Yorkshire League XI at Abbeydale last night.

But the Vikings, chasing 184 in their Twenty20 warm up at Sheffield Collegiate’s home ground, were made to work hard for their four-wicket win by the Yorkshire League side.

Despite fielding Alex Lees and England’s Gary Ballance, the Vikings were in trouble and only Lyth’s 25-ball 54 - which included three huge sixes in one over off Chris Stewart - spared their blushes.

Earlier, Barnsley’s Jon Trower had helped the Yorkshire League side to a competitive total, with an impressive 61 and Simon Guy hit a late 43 off 21 balls.

Eliot Callis - formerly of Collegiate and now of the Yorkshire Academy - went into this game on the back of a sensational hundred against Rotherham Town on Sunday, but he couldn’t repeat the feat here and fell early on for three, caught by Ballance off Ryan Sidebottom.

His opening partner, James Moorhouse of Rotherham Town, lasted a little longer and landed some lusty blows, and Trower made the most of being dropped by Lyth, hitting former Barnsley clubmate Rafiq for a four and a six from his first two deliveries.

On his home ground, Collegiate star Billy Root played some typically enterprising strokes, including one sensational reverse-sweep for six off Rafiq which delighted the healthy crowd. before he holed out for 26.

Nathan Firn of Barnsley caught the eye with figures of 2-26 as the amateurs sought what would have been an impressive victory.

With the imposing figures of Ballance and Lees in the pavilion, it was down to Lyth to see his side home - and leave the amateurs dreaming of what could have been.