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Lees sparkles as Vikings sail to victory over the Falcons
Updated 10:50pm Sunday 13th July 2014 in Sport
ALEX Lees enhanced a remarkable personal record against Derbyshire as Yorkshire tightened their grip on a NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals place with a 59-run victory at Chesterfield.
The Vikings number three posted an unbeaten 67 in his side’s imposing 183-4 after being invited to bat first, hitting four fours and three sixes in 44 balls.
He was helped out by 41 for Kane Williamson, 34 from captain Andrew Gale and a late 16 not out from five balls from Tim Bresnan.
Yorkshire then secured their sixth win in 12 by skittling the Falcons for 124 and moving to second place in the North Division with two to play.
A win over Birmingham Bears at Headingley on Friday will secure a last-eight place.
Off-spinner Azeem Rafiq claimed a career best 3-26 from four overs, while wicketkeeper Gareth Cross top-scored for the hosts with 37 off 19 balls.
Nine Derbyshire wickets fell to spin as Williamson, Adil Rashid and Adam Lyth struck twice.
Lees has now scored 403 runs in three innings against Derbyshire without being dismissed. That includes 275 not out in the Championship here last year and 61 unbeaten in the T20 match at Headingley in May.
Williamson hit seven fours in his first 12 balls and Lees three sixes in his first six as the visitors reached 79-2 after nine overs.
They then only scored 36 from the next six before Lees, Gale and Bresnan helped take 68 off the last five overs, advancing the score from 115-3. Gale, back after being dropped at Durham on Friday, batted at five and hit four fours and a six in 20 balls.
Williamson bowled Wes Durston with the second ball of Derbyshire’s reply.
Cross then hit the first 33 runs of the innings before falling when he slog swept Rich Pyrah’s third ball to deep mid-wicket, leaving the score at 46-2 in the fifth.
Rafiq struck twice in his first two overs to get rid of Wayne Madsen and Billy Godleman as the hosts slipped to 67-4 at halfway.
Five Yorkshire bowlers struck in their first overs, including Williamson, Pyrah, Rafiq, Rashid, who had Marcus North caught and bowled in the eleventh in the midst of a collapse of six for 32 as Derbyshire fell to 78-7 in the 13th, and later Lyth.
They managed to get above 100 thanks to some late hitting from Tom Knight and David Wainwright.