McGrath leads Yorkshire to victory
Yorkshire 169 for 5 (McGrath 72*) beat Derbyshire 158 for 6 (Smith 68) by 11 runs
A magnificent unbeaten 72 by Anthony McGrath was instrumental in leading Yorkshire to an 11-run victory against Derbyshire at the picturesque Queen's Park ground in Chesterfield. The home side were able to match Yorkshire most of the way, but in the end their middle order was not quite up to the task.
Yorkshire batted in front of a crowd numbering almost five thousand, many from the Sheffield area. The pitch was slow, and Andrew Gale found a couple of short deliveries, the first two of the match, from Charl Langeveldt ideal for cutting for two and four.
The unfortunate Craig White failed to score, having his off bail clipped as he drove at Langeveldt. Gale made a brisk 25, a mixture of timed, mistimed and missed strokes, but the main interest was naturally in the form of Michael Vaughan. The England captain began carefully without becoming bogged down, and at one stage swatted a six over long leg off a bouncer from Rikki Clarke. He never looked too comfortable, though, and at 31 flicked a catch to the square-leg boundary.
After 10 overs 63 for 2 was perhaps a little below par, but the rest of the innings was dominated by that superb innings from McGrath. His favourite cover drives scarcely got an airing as he concentrated on powerful hitting straight down the ground, being especially hard on offspinner Jake Needham, whose two overs cost 34 runs. McGrath finished in a blaze of glory, with three fours and six sixes in his best Twenty20 innings. Thanks to him, Yorkshire's total of 169 was considerably higher than had looked likely. Clarke took two wickets, but his overs cost 32.
Vaughan did not field, which expectedly caused some speculation; it was reported that he had a neck spasm. After a quiet start, Greg Smith aspired to play the McGrath role, going for his powerful pulls and drives. He ran to his 50 off 33 balls, in the course of taking 14 off an over from McGrath. He looked ready to take the match away from Yorkshire, but then - as Jacques Rudolph had done in Yorkshire's innings - he backed up too eagerly at the non-striker's end for a hit into the field and was very smartly run out, for 68.
This was the turning point. Derbyshire had been ahead of Yorkshire almost all the way through their innings, but now they began to struggle. James Pipe briefly tried on the mantle of Smith, but was out for 17 off nine balls, and the later batsmen began to fall in a flurry of flustered strokes. When 42 were needed off the final three overs, with four wickets in hand, the end was in sight. Richard Pyrah, conceding only 18 runs off his four overs, did an unsung but vital job.
White had the unusual experience of taking a wicket with his only ball in the middle of an innings: spinner David Wainwright had to leave the field with a hand injury, trying to stop a hard drive off his own bowling, and White, bowling a single delivery to complete the over, induced Wavell Hinds (12) to sky a catch to deep square-leg.