Late Boje blast earns Northants tie
Yorkshire 180 for 3 tied with Northamptonshire 180 for 5
Former South Africa international Herschelle Gibbs' first century in Twenty20 cricket was not enough to earn Yorkshire a win as Nicky Boje somehow snatched Northamptonshire a tie at Wantage Road.
Gibbs hammered a magnificent 101 not out off 53 balls with his explosive knock including five sixes and eight fours, as Yorkshire made an imposing 180 for 3 off their 20 overs. Improbably, with Northamptonshire needing 13 off the final ball, Richard Pyrah's no ball was clouted for six by Boje over long leg with Gibbs' former South Africa team-mate smashing the following delivery through midwicket for four to claim a share of the spoils.
Yorkshire won the toss and chose to bat first, but they got off to a bad start when, in the third over, Adam Lyth launched Chaminda Vaas to Alex Wakely at extra cover. Captain Jacques Rudolph made 14 before chipping Boje to Northamptonshire skipper Andrew Hall at extra cover.
But Gibbs made it to 50 off just 28 balls as he continued to punish the Steelbacks attack. He and Anthony McGrath added 58 runs together for the third wicket before the latter, who made 16, hammered Lee Daggett to David Willey at long-on
After his dismissal, the visitors really cut loose with Gibbs and Jonathan Bairstow blasting 73 runs between them in the last five overs. Bairstow smashed two sixes in consecutive balls off Vaas in the penultimate over on his way to an unbeaten 32 off 14 balls, with Gibbs claiming his century in the final over from 53 balls.
Chasing 181, Northamptonshire openers David Sales and Vaas raced to 50 off just 27 balls as they took the game to the Yorkshire attack. Former West Indies paceman Tino Best finally made the breakthrough when he forced Sales, who was just one short of a deserved half-century, to edge to wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy.
The in-form Vaas did make his 50, off 38 balls including two sixes, before smashing Adil Rashid to Azeem Rafiq at mid-wicket. Elton Chigumbura made 11 before launching Pyrah to Rashid at deep midwicket as the wheels began to fall off the Steelbacks chase.
Two wickets by McGrath in the penultimate over threatened to seal Northamptonshire's fate as O'Brien was caught by Lyth at long-off before Hall smashed him to Pyrah at deep midwicket. But Boje struck a six and a four off the last two deliveries to claim an unlikely tie.