Joe Root scores big but Yorkshire lose to Lancashire in T20
Joe Root smashed 92 off 51 balls but it was not enough as Yorkshire slipped to defeat to bitter rivals Lancashire in the NatWest T20 Blast at Old Trafford.
The hosts’ total of 204-7 was well beyond a Yorkshire side whose struggles in the format continued as they came up 26 runs short, despite the heroics of Sheffield ace Root in front of a sell-out crowd.
Yorkshire fielded four of England’s recent World T20 final side but could only manage 178-7 in response as they failed to build on their win in the Championship meeting between the two sides earlier this week.
Jonny Bairstow, David Willey, Jos Buttler and New Zealand star Martin Guptill also featured in this blockbuster clash in front of a near 18,000 crowd.
Liam Livingstone hit Lancashire’s fastest ever T20 50 off 21 balls as the champions got off the mark in their title defence.
Livingstone’s 98-run third wicket partnership with Karl Brown off 8.2 overs underpinned Lancashire’s match-winning innings.
The 22-year-old played in every match last year as the Lightning won the Blast, but this 55 off 23 balls was his career best.
Tim Bresnan finished with analysis of 3-24 off four overs as he tried to rein Lancashire in but the hosts had their run rate above ten for the final few overs when the real damage was done.
Yorkshire made a bright start to the chase by reaching 29 without loss inside three.
But skipper Alex Lees and Willey both fell in two balls to start the decline.
Bairstow and Root shared 40 off 28 balls for the third wicket but the departure of the former had Yorkshire at 69-3 in the eighth.
Gary Ballance was caught at the start of the 11th and at 86-4, Yorkshire were on the ropes, even before Bresnan fell in the next over.
Inventive Root brought up fifty off 30 balls before the target became a virtually impossible 83 off the last five overs and 50 off two.
The England man warmed up for the third Test against Sri Lanka on Thursday in fine style on a rare outing for his county side, hitting eight fours and three sixes.
He shared 76 inside eight overs for the sixth wicket with Liam Plunkett, but advancing the score from 98 for five meant it was too little, too late.
Yorkshire captain Lees: “We were confident in chasing that target. We were probably one partnership away from that being a real good game.
“It was a good wicket and, as I say, we needed one more partnership.
“Had Rooty and Jonny Bairstow put on another 40, I think it would have been a real good game.”