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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Yorkshire win after Maxwell dropped for 'disciplinary reasons'

Yorkshire 148 for 2 (Lees 63, Leaning 60*) beat Birmingham 145 (Rhodes 3-27) by eight wickets
Scorecard

Glenn Maxwell was dropped for "unprofessional behaviour" but Yorkshire Vikings took a crumb of comfort out of a dismal campaign by beating North Group leaders, Birmingham Bears, by eight wickets in their final NatWest T20 match at Headingley

Winning the toss the Bears struggled to 145 all out, a total which acting captain, Alex Lees, made sure was well within Yorkshire grasp by striking a measured 63 off 56 balls with eight fours and featuring in a second wicket stand of 104 with Jack Leaning.

Once Lees had gone, Leaning continued on his way to his maiden T20 half-century and he was unbeaten on 60 when Yorkshire crossed the line with three balls remaining.

Victory brought Yorkshire only their fifth success while Birmingham, already assured of a home quarter-final draw, registered their fourth defeat.

The match ended on a happier note for Yorkshire than had been struck earlier in the evening when the club confirmed that Maxwell - who made 229 runs at 20.81 and claimed 12 wickets in this season's T20 Blast - had been left out of the side "for disciplinary reasons".

Asked about Maxwell's omission, Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie said: "It was just unprofessional behaviour and I don't wish to add anything further. It has been dealt with and we have moved on and the slate is clean. As soon as the decision was made we cracked on.''

There was an early setback for Yorkshire when Will Rhodes drove Rikki Clarke gently to Josh Poysden at mid-on but with little scoreboard pressure to worry about Lees and Leaning were able to set about their task without taking any undue risks.

Recordo Gordon's first ball was hit for four by Leaning but it was Lees who mainly picked off the boundaries, forcing Jeetan Patel through mid-off and steering Poysden to the fence.

Lees' first half-century of the season contained seven fours and came off 38 balls and Leaning had just raised the century stand when Lees was trapped lbw by Patel.

Although the game went to the final over, the result was never in much doubt, Leaning's 60 coming off 49 balls and containing five fours and a six.

The Bears had no stand-out batsman and they were kept under control by a Yorkshire attack which bowled much tighter than on many occasions this season.

Liam Plunkett, who sent down his side's only maiden of the summer, had Tom Lewis skying a catch to Leaning in the opening over, before 17-year-old Matthew Fisher followed up with the prized scalp of Brendon McCullum.

The New Zealand captain smashed his third ball over long-on for six but in attempting to blast over midwicket a couple of deliveries later he missed and lost his middle stump in spectacular fashion.

Ben Coad kept Yorkshire on top with the wickets of Tim Ambrose and Rikki Clarke in consecutive overs while Chris Woakes was caught on the cover boundary off Richard Pyrah who also accounted for Patel when taken inside the rope attempting another big hit.

Only Matthew Waite in his solitary over soaked up much punishment and Rhodes cleaned up with three for 27 as the Bears were dismissed with eight balls remaining.

Yorkshire 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st16AZ LeesWMH Rhodes
2nd104AZ LeesJA Leaning
3rd28AJ HoddJA Leaning