Lyth rampant as Yorkshire get to grips with T20
Yorkshire 223 for 6 (Lyth 87) beat Durham 174 for 8 (Arshad 43, Plunkett 1-13, Carver 3-40) by 49 runs
Yorkshire Vikings posted their highest ever NatWest T20 Blast score of 223 for 6 to set up victory by 49 runs over Durham Jets at Headingley and reignite their chances of making it through to the quarter-finals.
In a brave but futile attempt to reach their target, Jets reached 174 for 8 in their 20 overs to make their own push for a last-eight place that little bit more difficult.
Man-of-the-match Adam Lyth's blistering 87 led to Yorkshire overtaking their previous best score of 213 for 7 against Worcestershire at Headingley in 2010 but he received excellent support along the way.
The Vikings' batsmen looked in better fettle than in any previous game this season and they continued to rack up the runs after Lyth and David Willey had blazed the trail with an opening stand of 64 in just 4.4 overs.
Lyth began the carnage in the game's second over by slamming three boundaries in an over from Jamie Harrison which cost 17 and then Willey took up the challenge by smashing Usman Arshad for two fours and a six as 37 came off the first 15 deliveries.
Willey had a life on 21 when he hit a terrific skier off Chris Rushworth and although wicketkeeper Phil Mustard ran to get under the ball at square leg he could not hold on to it, Lyth then taking three fours later in the over.
Willey lofted Pringle for six over long off but in aiming another big drive he was caught by Richardson for 32 from 14 balls with three fours and two sixes.
Skipper Alex Lees turned Keaton Jennings into his stumps to make it 82 for two in the seventh over but Australian Travis Head, in his first home appearance for the Vikings, then gave sensible support to Lyth in a third wicket stand of 83 in nine overs.
Although Head reeled off plenty of fine strokes himself, he allowed Lyth to continue his domination of the crease and he swept Scott Borthwick for four to dash to a 32-ball half-century and take Yorkshire into three figures.
Both batsmen hit further sixes as the stand reached 50 of which Head's share was 17 but they were parted when Head tried to follow up with a second consecutive six at Harrison's expense and was caught at long on by Muchall for 34 from 24 deliveries with two fours and two sixes.
In the next over from Rushworth, Lyth was held on the boundary edge by Richardson for a career-best 87. He had received 54 balls and struck 11 fours and three sixes.
Yorkshire were 174 for four in the 17th over and Jack Leaning made sure the pressure was kept on Jets by cracking three sixes in an over from Arshad when he was also put down on the edge by Pringle, one of seven catches of varying degrees of difficulty to be spilled during the innings. Leaning was out in the final over, his 32 coming off just 11 balls with two fours and three sixes.
Mark Stoneman and Mustard showed they meant business by each taking two fours from Tim Bresnan's first over but Willey then had Stoneman caught at long on by Azeem Rafiq and Durham could never quite keep up with the chase.
Calum McCleod was well caught low at mid-off by Lees when driving at Liam Plunkett, whose four overs conceded only 13 runs, and there was a remarkable first over from left-arm spinner, Karl Carver, whose first four balls brought him two wickets along with two sixes. Mustard was held by Willey at long on and Muchall straight drove the next two deliveries high over the rope before clipping a catch to Bresnan at mid-wicket, his 25 containing a four and three sixes and coming off 14 balls.
Yorkshire's fielding and catching were of the highest class, particularly Plunkett's catch at long on to account for Keaton Jennings.
The umpires took Willey out of the attack when he bowled the second of two waist-high deliveries and the final ball of his spell was sent down by Head. Arshad kept fighting right until the end by blasting two sixes in the final over from Will Rhodes before being caught for 43 from 23 balls with five fours and two sixes.
Lees said: "This was the best we have played this season. Lyth and Willey set off like a rocket and everyone else kept whacking it. We went out wanting to entertain and leave no stone unturned and tonight's game showed just what we can do.
"Plunkett's excellent spell was bowled at a good pace and it changed the whole momentum of the game. He was well backed up by all of the other bowlers and the fielding was outstanding."
Stoneman commented: "This defeat puts us under some pressure but hopefully it will serve as a wake-up call. It probably came at a time when we can pull our socks up.
"We missed the opportunity to take wickets by not holding on to half-chances and they got away from us. If one or two of these chances had stuck we may have restricted them to 180-190 but 223 meant we were right up against it."