McGrath edges Yorkshire Roses thriller
Yorkshire 155 for 6 beat Lacashire 138 by 17 runs
Yorkshire won a pulsating Roses match by 17 runs with five balls to spare in front of a 10,200 crowd at Headingley to lift them off the bottom of the Friends Provident t20 North Division table.
In an exciting match of fluctuating fortunes, the pendulum finally swung Yorkshire's way in the 18th over when paceman Steve Patterson picked up three wickets in five balls as Lancashire made a desperate bid to get the 41 they still required for victory with four wickets in hand.
The first ball brought a single off a no-ball and was followed by four leg-byes before Gareth Cross was caught on the boundary edge by a jubilant Tino Best. Mark Chilton was held on the mid-wicket boundary by Jacques Rudolph but captain Glen Chapple bravely hooked the next ball for six.
But it was his last scoring shot because he then holed out to Richard Pyrah at long-off to give Patterson career-best figures of 4 for 30. Lancashire entered the penultimate over on 128 for 9 and Sajid Mahmood defiantly lashed Best for six over mid-wicket but in the final over he struck Pyrah straight to Herschelle Gibbs at long-off.
Chasing a modest 156 target, Lancashire lost Tom Smith in the second over when Patterson's first ball rattled his off-stump but it was the quick-thinking running out of Paul Horton by Gibbs 40 runs later that checked Lancashire's advance.
As the batsman hesitated over a single, Gibbs ran in and knocked off the bails with the ball in his hand before Horton could regain his ground. In a fine spell, Adil Rashid picked up the important wickets of Stephen Moore and Simon Katich and Lancashire were also pinned back by the accuracy of off-spinner Azeem Rafiq.
Best was worryingly expensive for Yorkshire but he was the hero of the crowd when fielding on the boundary edge where he took two catches and pulled off several notable stops.
After winning the toss, Yorkshire were guided towards a competitive total by man of the match Anthony McGrath who stepped up the momentum near the end of the innings to finish with a career-best 73 not out off 50 balls with five fours and four sixes.
It was the 19th over when McGrath launched an all-out assault on Chapple by slamming him for 18 with two sixes, a four and a two. For much of the time, however, Lancashire were in control and they made a great start by getting rid of Gibbs and Rudolph in the first four overs. Smith's first delivery stopped on Gibbs who patted back a gentle catch and fellow South African Rudolph was bowled by Mahmood attempting to steer to third man.
In between these dismissals, skipper Andrew Gale greeted Chapple by thumping his third ball for six over square leg and into the West stand but when he had made 34 off 30 deliveries with four other boundaries he skied Stephen Parry into the hands of Moore.
That left Yorkshire on 60 for 3 and astute bowling changes by Lancashire prevented the home side from getting a substantial partnership going, McGrath being forced into doing most of the scoring himself.
Lancashire's opening pair of bowlers, Nathan McCullum and Smith, were the most economical, McCullum giving away only 19 runs in his four overs while Smith's three overs cost him 13 runs for two wickets.