Yorkshire’s batting line-up held off a Lancashire fightback to secure a tense two-wicket victory in their Friends Life t20 match at Old Trafford.
Chasing 123 to gain some revenge for their defeat in the County Championship match last month, Yorkshire reached their target with just two balls to spare but needed some inventive strokeplay from Barnsley’s Azeem Rafiq to help them on their way.
The off-spinner hit two paddle shots to the boundary as the visitors scored the 10 runs they needed off the final over bowled by Tom Smith
Earlier in the innings, the Lancashire seamer had claimed the wickets of both openers to reduce the visitors to 34 for two, and it needed a 37-run third-wicket stand between Adam Lyth and Antony McGrath to put Andrew Gale’s side back on course for their second win in just over 24 hours.
But the loss of three wickets in nine balls derailed Yorkshire’s response once more as seamer Luke Procter got rid of both McGrath for 28 and Gerard Brophy first ball.
Although they were still reasonably placed on 75 for five in the 13th over, Yorkshire’s batsmen almost succumbed to panic as Gary Ballance spooned Procter to Karl Brown and both Richard Pyrah and Adil Rashid were run out.
That set the scene for Rafiq’s heroics in his first game since being recalled from a loan spell at Derbyshire.