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Bairstow blasts Yorkshire Vikings to victory over Durham Jets
Updated 11:01am Saturday 12th July 2014 in Sport
JONNY Bairstow continued his recent revival with his first Twenty20 century to help Yorkshire Vikings to a crucial 49-run victory over Durham Jets in the NatWest T20 Blast.
Overlooked by England this summer and restricted by a finger injury at the start of the summer, Bairstow has responded with an unbeaten 161 against Sussex in the Championship last month.
But he saved his most brutal form for a game that Yorkshire had to win to prevent Durham leapfrogging them into the North Group qualification places.
Bairstow hit an unbeaten 102 off only 58 balls, an innings that included eight fours and six sixes, and enabled Yorkshire to reach a formidable total of 186-8, which proved beyond Durham after they were dismissed for 137.
His innings was all the more crucial for the loss of Yorkshire's two overseas players inside the first three overs after they were put into bat.
Aaron Finch, captaining the side after Andrew Gale was left out as his wife prepares to give birth, gave a leading edge to backward point and Kane Williamson offered a similar catch to cover to earn Australian John Hastings wickets in his first two overs.
Those early wickets prompted Yorkshire to slump into trouble at 83-5 as they attempted to claim only their second win in the last six games but Bairstow raced to his half century off 39 balls before accelerating to help add 102 off the last eight overs.
He hit three successive sixes off the 19th over of the innings from spinner Gareth Breese, while he reached three figures with another six, this time off Chris Rushworth, off the penultimate ball of the innings.
Durham's innings began badly and they slumped to 45-5 at the halfway stage of their reply and even an aggressive 62 from 32 balls from Hastings, which included five fours and four sixes, was not enough to challenge Yorkshire's dominance.