Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

PENNINGTON TREBLE WICKET MAIDEN AND WESSELS AND COX FIFTIES IN VAIN FOR RAPIDS

Dillon Pennington delivered a TRIPLE wicket maiden, and Riki Wessels and captain Ben Cox hit excellent half-centuries, but Worcestershire Rapids went down by 12 runs to Yorkshire Vikings in the Vitality Blast clash at Headingley.

Pennington produced a devastating opening burst of four wickets for no runs from his first two overs and was only denied a fifth scalp when Harry Brook was dropped on two.

His efforts reduced Yorkshire to 15-4 inside the first five overs.

The Rapids were in command when the home side lost a fifth wicket in the 11th over with only 50 on the board.

But some magnificent hitting by Brook (83 not out off 54 balls) and Jordan Thompson (66 not out from 28 balls) in an unbroken stand of 141 in 9.1 overs lifted the final total to 191-5.

Pennington finished with 4-24, and Ben Dwarshuis bowled four tidy overs, but the remainder of the attack found it challenging to stem the stroke-play of Brook and Thompson.

Wessels kept the Rapids in the hunt in reply with some devastating hitting of his own in his 77 off 45 balls.

Cox was also in excellent touch, initially supporting Wessels and then opening up to reach a fine 32 ball fifty and his unbeaten 61 was a T20 career-best, but the Rapids fell short on 179-5.

Yorkshire captain Joe Root opted to bat on winning the toss on a used wicket.

But Pennington put the home side on the back foot with those three wickets in his first over.

Adam Lyth (7) was caught at wide third man by Charlie Morris from Penningtonโ€™s first delivery, and the next accounted for Jonny Tattersall (6), who went for a pull and fell to a low catch by Libby at mid-wicket.

Pennington claimed a third scalp with his fifth ball as Gary Ballance (0) tried to pull another short ball but picked out Ed Barnard on the mid-wicket boundary.

Incredibly the former England Under-19 paceman made it four wickets in eight balls without conceding a run when he trapped Root (1) lbw with the total 15-4.

Pennington had figures of 2-2-0-4 from his first two overs and should have had a fifth wicket in his next over, but Harry Brook on two survived a straightforward chance to Wessels at short mid wicket.

The Vikings total stood on 18-4 at the end of the six-over powerplay.
Brook and George Hill added 35 in 6.3 overs, but then Barnard trapped the latter lbw for 12.

Brook and Jordan Thompson brought up a 50 stand in just 21 balls. Thompsonโ€™s half-century also came up from 21 deliveries with four sixes and three fours, with Brook reaching the same milestone from 43 balls.

It was magnificent ball-striking, and the unbroken partnership of 141 in 9.1 overs was a T20 record for any wicket in all T20 cricket against the Rapids.

Pennington finished with 4-24, and Ben Dwarshuis bowled four tidy overs, but the remainder of the attack found it challenging to stem the stroke-play of Brook and Thompson.

The Rapids needed a positive start, and it was provided by Wessels, who collected boundaries through mid-wicket and extra cover in the first over from Matthew Fisher.

He also pulled and straight drove Root for four but inadvertently had a hand in the Rapids losing their first wicket.

Wessels drove back a delivery from Root, who deflected it onto the stumps and ran out Brett Dโ€™Oliveira (2) at the non-strikerโ€™s end.

Tom Fell (4) went for a big hit and feathered a catch through to keeper Tattersall, and then Jake Libby (5) holed out to long-off against Dom Bess.

Wessels continued to score freely and had accumulated 49 of the Rapids 65-3 at the halfway stage.

He reached his half-century off 32 balls with seven fours and then smashed Bess for a huge six over the longest boundary at mid-wicket.

Cox provided good support to Wessels, and a six off Matthew Waite brought up the 100 in exactly 13 overs.

Wessels raced onto 77 with two sixes and eight fours but was finally yorked by Fisher after adding 68 in 6.5 overs with Cox.

Cox continued to score freely, and he reached his 50 with a four from a Lockie Ferguson no ball, and Ross Whiteley also struck the ball effectively for 21 before he was caught at long-on in the final over.