Yorkshire 180 for 4 (Brook 91*, Lyth 52) beat Lancashire 171 for 8 (Jones 61*, Ferguson 4-24) by 9 runs
All over the country, exciting young batsmen are springing up in the Blast, playing shots that not so long ago you would never believe. As to some of the bowling, well, that's a different matter. But at the top of that list is Harry Brook, the leading run-maker in the competition. His innings to win the first Roses T20, and take Yorkshire to the brink of qualification for the quarter-finals was quite something.
Brook's unbeaten 91 from 50 balls left him with 463 runs at an average of 115.75 and swept Yorkshire to an above-par 180 for 4, on a pitch being used for the third time, a total which they defended with nine runs in hand. One more point should grant Yorkshire their first quarter-final appearance for five years whereas Lancashire's top four chances are in the balance.
It would not be a Roses T20, though, if that win was not strewn with incident. Yorkshire were cruising with 60 needed off four only to find Lockie Ferguson defending 20 to win from the final over, whereupon he delivered a slower-ball wide which missed the strip by a yard and then closed the game out with a hat-trick from the last three balls. He finished with 4 for 24 and it is doubtful that any bowler has delivered such unerring yorkers all season. After all, they are not really on trend.
But when the commotion had died down, it was Brook whose burgeoning talent remained in the mind. He cuts a slight, somewhat self-effacing figure in the Championship. In T20, this season at least, he transforms from Clark Kent to Superman.
I'm just trying to play as low risk cricket as possible," he said. "Thankfully it's paying off. If I take the lowest risk possible, I can't really get out. Then, if I look to bomb it in the last few overs, it gives us a good chance to get a good total."
Yorkshire's top six, thanks to England calls and injuries, was a hotchpotch of young pros, loan signings and, in the case of Gary Ballance, a batter who no longer seems attuned to the task in hand, but Brook shouldered the responsibility without a care in the world. Quite how he survived Matt Parkinson's lbw appeal, on 47, however, when he missed a switch hit, is anyone's guess.
Yorkshire, having elected to bat, lost the on-loan Mark Stoneman and Jordan Thompson cheaply before Brook and Adam Lyth shared a stand of 77 from 51 balls. Lyth's first fifty of the campaign was allied later to some pumped-up and shrewd captaincy as a Roses tie re-energised a flagging season.
Lyth's contribution ended, on 52, when he sliced the unaccustomed offspin of Luke Wells (13 balls bowled in his T20 career at start of play) to the cover boundary. When Wells was at Sussex, if memory serves, he was not the mildly threatening, shaven-headed figure he is now, an image he has presumably developed especially for the north so he dare go out at night. As Lyth walked off, the Sky TV cameras caught a young Yorkshire spectator, 12 at the most, shaking his head in time-honoured, resigned fashion at the error he had just witnessed. They sure train them early in these parts.
Ballance's thoughts all season have appeared to be elsewhere. Parkinson turned one sharply behind his legs to have him stumped by miles. With only 32 balls remaining, Yorkshire were 116 for 4, but Brook cut loose to add another 74 with George Hill.
He had got off the mark with a dab to third man that was pure Joe Root, a shot that it would be no surprise to discover that he had learned off him. Such subtleties gave way to a more venomous approach as he passed 50 by dancing down the pitch to loft Parkinson for successive sixes over long-on. Saqib Mahmood had been fast and threatening early on, but he was tamed, too, in the final moments with a flat six over long-off and a deft scoop to third man. This is a batter with a full array of shots.
Lancashire needed a special start, but instead lost three for 34 in 5.3 overs. Finn Allen, so impressive in the Super Smash, has had a moderate season and when he was bowled by Lyth, overbalancing to the off side in his enthusiasm for a pull shot, it was not the first time this tournament that he had made such an error. Alex Davies struck Matthew Waite's half-volley loosener for six then got out seeking a repeat against the next ball. Dane Vilas was Ferguson's first victim, caught at the wicket.
Dom Bess ended Keaton Jennings' laboured resistance in a solid four-over spell in mid-innings but Rob Jones and Steven Croft spiritedly kept Lancashire in touch and 19 off an over from Matt Fisher left them needing 41 from three.
It all boiled down to the last over. When Ferguson' slower ball missed the cut strip, bounced off the wicketkeeper's body and Lancashire ran two byes anything seemed possible. The young lad who had shaken his head morbidly at Lyth's dismissal was presumably by now mentally penning a letter of complaint to the chief executive.
The scoreboard clicked here and there as the scorers tried to work out the rules. A Lancashire 12th man, running on with a drink, was summarily banished from the outfield. But with 10 needed from three, Ferguson, who had bowled superbly throughout, brooked no argument. Wells was caught at long-off as Lyth, running backwards, clutched the ball to his chest with his forearms; Luke Wood fell prey to a yorker; and Tom Hartley, with the cause hopeless, pumped one down the ground into the hands of Lyth - a highly committed, stand-in captain enjoying an impressive all-round night.
David Hopps writes on county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps