Worcestershire v Yorkshire
Vitality Blast, North Group
Thursday June 23, 2022, 5.30pm
Toss: Yorkshire won it and elected to bowl.
Teams: Worcestershire – Pollock, D’Oliveira, Libby, Munro c, Barnard, K Ali, Roderick w, Bravo, Baker, Brown, Stanley.
Yorkshire - Lyth, Allen, Kohler-Cadmore, Brook c, Khan, Tattersall w, Thompson, Waite, Revis, Hill, Bess.
Match summary: Dom Bess claimed a superb career best 3-15 and Tom Kohler-Cadmore impressed with 46 not out against his former county as Yorkshire moved to within a point of the North Group’s top four places in the race for the Vitality Blast quarter-finals.
The Vikings raced to a 151 target to win for the sixth time in 11 games, this time by five wickets with 5.2 overs remaining to set up a mouthwatering clash with fourth-placed Northamptonshire at Wantage Road tomorrow (6.30pm).
Off-spinner Bess excelled through the middle of the Rapids innings, which finished on 150-5, including Kashif Ali’s unbeaten 46.
It came after he had fallen badly in the field against Derbyshire at Chesterfield on Saturday whilst taking a catch, re-aggravating a right knee injury suffered a few weeks before.
It looked worrying at the time, but he recovered nicely to help his side take an important step towards silverware this evening.
Kohler-Cadmore then hit three fours and three sixes in 30 balls to help Yorkshire significantly boost their net run-rate, which could be crucial in the group’s final reckoning.
Report: Bess was the chief protagonist in limiting struggling Worcestershire to a below par total on a green looking pitch, taking all three wickets through the middle of the innings.
The match started with Ed Pollock whipping the first ball from Matthew Revis for six over mid-wicket before the seamer and fellow Matthew, Waite, who recently spent a short time on loan at New Road, struck to leave the score at 15-2 in the third.
New Zealander, and captain, Colin Munro and Jake Libby steadied things with a 44 stand in six-and-a-half overs, posting 29 and 24 respectively.
However, a superb spell for the off-spinner Bess put a Rapids side who had only previously won one of 10 games, losing eight, under pressure again.
He bowled Libby, who missed a low full toss, and Munro slog-swept him out to Tom Kohler-Cadmore on the deep mid-wicket fence, Bess had two wickets in two overs and Worcester were 70-4 in the 11th.
He added a third when Ed Barnard was trapped lbw pulling in the 13th over, 77-5. Bess only conceded one boundary in his four overs, off the last ball of his spell.
Then, Worcester were given hope thanks to a superb 73-run stand unbroken between Kashif Ali and Gareth Roderick, the former leading the way.
Ali, aged 24, has only just signed at New Road on a short-term deal and is the first graduate of the South Asian Cricket Academy, of which Yorkshire assistant coach Kabir Ali was the co-founder.
This was only his third innings as a Rapid and, after being dropped on 12 by Shadab Khan – a sharp chance – at short mid-on off Bess, he hit two sixes, a haul matched by wicketkeeper Roderick (31).
Forty one runs came off the 17th and 18th overs combined from Jordan Thompson and Waite, taking the score to 140-5, before Revis (1-19 from three overs) and Thompson ended the innings tidily.
Ali also hit four fours in his career best unbeaten 46 off 32.
Adam Lyth then hit back-to-back sixes off Barnard as 15 came off the first over of the Vikings chase before Finn Allen whipped a huge six over backward square in the second.
Unfortunately, however, he miscued the next ball from Mitchell Stanley to square-leg as the score fell to 26-1.
But it proved only the briefest of blips.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore scattered the spectators in the Ladies’ Pavilion here at New Road by pulling Pat Brown’s first ball for six over mid-wicket as the score became 37-1 in the third over.
His second, off Dwayne Bravo’s medium pace, brought up the Vikings’ 50 early in the fourth over.
By that time, it was all about how quickly Yorkshire could reel in the target to boost their net run-rate.
Lyth then miscued Brown to mid-off in the fifth over, ending his 29 off 11 balls, including three sixes, as the score became 64-2.
Kohler-Cadmore continued to take toll on his former county in the week he has announced that he will be leaving Headingley at the end of the season to head further down the M5 from here to Somerset.
He shared 56 inside six overs with captain Harry Brook, who pulled and scooped a couple of sixes in 35 off 21 balls before miscueing Stanley to mid-off (120-3 in the 11th).
Khan and Jonny Tattersall, the latter who kept wicket in this game, both fell, leaving Yorkshire at 141-5 in the 14th. And Kohler-Cadmore actually slowed up as the victory line approached.
But there was loads and loads of time remaining, and he hit the winning runs in the 15th over.
Turning point: Worcestershire lost three wickets for 18 through the middle of their innings, slipping from 59-2 in the ninth over to 77-5 in the 13th – all three of them to Dom Bess.
Magic moment: Tom Kohler-Cadmore pulled his first six, off Pat Brown’s first ball, over mid-wicket in the third over of Yorkshire’s chase.
While clearly not the bowler’s fault, it had been Brown who had hit Kohler-Cadmore on the head in the nets in January when the pair were team-mates with Pakistan Super League team Peshawar Zalmi, starting Kohler-Cadmore’s concussion issues.
Stat of the match: This was Yorkshire’s ninth win in 14 T20 meetings with Worcestershire.
What they said – Stand-in captain Harry Brook: “Before this game we said we need to win three out of four, and that was a convincing win. We did it in style.
“Our experienced bowlers stood up today. Bessy was outstanding. He bowled four overs, 3-15, and was the pick. He stood up when we needed him.
“We had a couple of bad overs, but that happens in T20 cricket. I think we bowled really well in the powerplay and carried it on throughout.
“It’s what happens in cricket, people get injured left, right and centre. It opens up the opportunity for younger players, and in the powerplay I couldn’t have asked for much more (from Revis and Waite).
“We know what Lythy can do. He’s done it for many years now. Finn has been telling us for the last couple of weeks that he’s got the highest strike-rate in the world. He doesn’t hold back, and that’s probably why we signed him.
“Tom has been so good for us since he joined. He was outstanding again. It’s going to be a shame to see him leave, but that’s what happens.
“I’ve enjoyed it (captaincy). I’m not sure whether I’d like to do it long-term or not, but if asked it’s something I will consider.
“We just have to keep on looking at the next game. We have a good net run-rate as well. So, if we do end up having the same points as other teams, hopefully we’ll tip them on that.
“Dom’s (Bess) like Lazarus. He thought he had a broken kneecap, but he’s fine now and bowled four overs for 15. He’s good.”
What’s next: Yorkshire are next in action tomorrow when they take on Northamptonshire at Wantage Road (6.30pm).
They are a point behind the Steelbacks with a game in hand and three group games still to play. A win will take them above their hosts into the top four.
Captain David Willey will return from ODI duty, but Dawid Malan will not be available as he manages a long-standing Achilles problem.
Adil Rashid is also absent having been granted leave by country and county to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. Rashid will also miss England’s forthcoming one-day series with India.