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Bairstow blasts Yorkshire Vikings to victory
Jonny Bairstow scored his third Twenty20 half-century as he helped Yorkshire to a third straight NatWest Blast win by 16 runs over Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, whose 13-ball unbeaten 19 was crucial against Lancashire the previous Friday, this time hit 60 not out off 37 balls to carry the Vikings to an imposing 181-3.
Bairstow shared 53 for the third wicket with Alex Lees (35) and an unbroken 90 in eight-and-a-half overs with Adam Lyth, who struck an undefeated 46 off 31.
This match was played out on a slow pitch, explaining why only 12 fours and three sixes were scored throughout the entire Yorkshire innings. But their running between the wickets was exceptional.
South African opener Richard Levi tested that theory with 76 off 47 balls for Northants but he was one of two wickets for the excellent off-spinner Azeem Rafiq, who took 2-19.
The Steelbacks, needing 25 off the last over, finished on 165-9. Steve Patterson, Rich Pyrah and Oliver Robinson also struck twice.
Bairstow hit both his sixes over long-on against David Willey, added to four fours.
Patterson, in the side in place of the rested Jack Brooks, then struck twice in the fourth over of the Northants reply to get rid of Willey and Kyle Coetzer, leaving the score at 33-2.
The second one, which saw Coetzer depart, owed much to a stunning low catch from Robinson at deep square-leg.
Robinson's first over – the 11th – went for 19 as Levi hit him for successive sixes to take the score to 91-3 with eight overs left.
But when he fell to hand Rafiq his second wicket, Yorkshire had the game by the scruff of the neck at 101-4 in the 14th.
Robinson recovered superbly to remove Graeme White and Rob Keogh in the last five balls of the match.
Yorkshire are in LV= County Championship action against Sussex at Arundel on Monday. Bradfordian Adil Rashid will not play due to the impending birth of his first child.
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