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Yorkshire 210 for 4 (Lyth 77, Willey 75) beat Durham 207 for 8 (Clark 65, Robinson 56, Thompson 4-32) by six wickets
Vikings were rocked by Durham's 207 for 8, including 65 off 37 balls for opener Graham Clark and a career best 56 off 34 for on-loan Kent wicketkeeper Ollie Robinson. But their mood was quickly turned by opener Lyth, who broke the back of the chase with 10 fours and three sixes in 33 balls before England allrounder Willey saw his side home by six wickets with 2.2 overs to spare, crashing eight fours and three sixes in 39.
Never before had Yorkshire, who survived the loss of England's Harry Brook for 4 following his release from the Test squad, chased 200, and this was their second win in five in the North Group. Their previous highest successful chase was 196 against Derbyshire here in 2005.
Earlier, Jordan Thompson's career best 4 for 32 had been crucial as the Vikings limited the damage late on.
Belligerent opener Clark was expertly backed up by second-wicket partner Robinson as Durham excelled with the bat on a glorious pitch, the pair sharing 92 inside nine overs to advance from 34 for 1, putting pressure on a Yorkshire side who lost back-to-back home games against Leicestershire and Derbyshire earlier this week.
Clark's only six was slog swept off Adil Rashid over midwicket, while Robinson hoisted Dom Bess over long-on into the second tier of Headingley's Howard Stand before slicing left-arm quick Dominic Drakes over backward point.
Clark reached his fifty off 27 balls before uppercutting Bajan overseas debutant Drakes out to deep cover as the score fell to 126 for 2 gafter 12 overs. Shortly afterwards, Robinson's fifty came up in 29 balls.
From there, Thompson claimed all of his wickets from the 15th over onwards as Yorkshire turned the tide. He uprooted Robinson's leg stump as he shuffled across and played to leg - 148 for 4 at the start of the 15th - before getting Brydon Carse caught at deep cover at the end of the next.
Carse had usurped Robinson by finding the top tier of three-tiered Howard Stand off Matthew Revis, a shot brilliantly caught one-handed in the crowd.
In Thompson's last over, the 19th, he had Durham captain Liam Trevaskis caught at short third and bowled Ned Eckersley off his pads as the score fell to 192 for 8.
Yorkshire then put Durham's batting into the shade, with Kiwi Finn Allen clattering Carse for sixes over long-on and midwicket at the end of the second over. Seventeen runs came off each of the third and fourth overs, but Allen was caught at mid-off for 29 off 12 balls off Andrew Tye towards the end of the latter, leaving the hosts 54 for 1.
Lyth was strong square on both sides of the wicket as the score moved to 79 for one after six overs. By the time he reached his fifty off 23 balls, Yorkshire were 97 for 1 in the eighth and things were looking ominous for Durham, who lost their third game in five at the start of the group phase.
Lyth had whipped Paul Coughlin for his first six, uppercut Carse and despatched Coughlin over long-on. Such was the ease with which runs were coming that even when Lyth miscued Ben Raine's seam high to wide mid-off, leaving Yorkshire at 124 for 2 in the 10th over, the result was in little doubt.
Lyth had shared 70 in six overs with second-wicket partner Willey, who continued the assault with leg-side sixes off Carse and Trevaskis and reached his fifty off 27 balls.
Brook was caught at deep backward square-leg off Ben Raine - 160 for 3 in the 13th over - but it did not matter.