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Yorkshire win on Root return - T20 Blast round-up

Steven Croft takes a diving catch for Lancashire
Lancashire Lightning's Steven Croft belied his 39 years by sprinting to take a full-stretch over-the-shoulder catch to dismiss Matty Potts just inside the rope [Getty Images]

Adam Lyth stole the show from former England team-mate Joe Root as Yorkshire thrashed Worcestershire on the opening night of the 2024 T20 Blast.

The rain stayed away but batters fell across Thursday's five games with 45 of a possible 50 first-innings wickets falling as Durham were skittled for 75 and Worcestershire bowled out for 101 while Hampshire and Essex finished nine down.

On his first Blast appearance for the Vikings in two years, Root made a run-a-ball 13 in support of Lyth’s swashbuckling 55 from 33 deliveries as the hosts beat the Rapids by eight wickets with 50 balls to spare at Headlingley.

Luke Wells hit an unbeaten 49 as Lancashire Lightning were even more convincing winners, needing only eight overs to beat Durham by nine wickets after Tom Aspinwall’s burst of 4-18 whipped the visitors out at Old Trafford.

Northants Steelbacks were the other North Group winners as evergreen Ravi Bopara smashed an unbeaten 56 to see them pip visiting Derbyshire Falcons off the final ball.

There was also a thrilling finale at Southampton as Surrey edged past three-time winners Hampshire Hawks thanks to a virtuoso display from Tom Curran who claimed three wickets and smashed 37 not out to win it with four balls remaining.

Last year’s beaten finalists Essex suffered an upset at Bristol as left-armers Matt Taylor (4-22) and David Payne (4-24) caused chaos before in-form James Bracey cleared the ropes four times to guide Gloucestershire to a five-wicket win.

Ravi Bopara and Lewis McManus embrace
Ravi Bopara and Lewis McManus embrace after scoring 14 off the final over to see Northants to victory over Derbyshire [Getty Images]

At Old Trafford, evergreen Steven Croft took a sublime over-the-shoulder catch to dismiss Matty Potts, who top-scored with 15, batting at eight for Durham.

Wells smashed three sixes and posted a strike rate of 195 as the Lightning raced home with 12 overs in hand, despite losing skipper Keaton Jennings to a back spasm just before the game.

Across the Pennines, Ethan Brookes made 42 and Gareth Roderick 25 from 16 deliveries but they were the only Rapids in double figures as the visitors were bowled out with 26 balls remaining, with Yorkshire off-spinner Dan Moriarty claiming 4-25.

Worcestershire did oust Dawid Malan and Shan Masood but opener Lyth and Root put on an unbroken stand of 53 to secure victory.

At Wantage Road, Derbyshire's David Lloyd smashed three sixes in a knock of 41 from 22 balls while Wayne Madsen made 37 at better than a run a ball as the Falcons posted 162-7.

Ricardo Vasconcelos’ breezy 42 gave the hosts a platform in reply but it was Bopara and Zimbabwean all-rounder Sikandar Raza (38) who just about kept them in touch with the required rate.

The hosts needed 18 off the final 12 deliveries but that became 14 to win off the final over when Bopara hit a six off the first ball from Luis Reece and added three runs from the next three deliveries.

Skipper Lewis McManus found the ropes off the penultimate ball and then ran the single his side needed off the final delivery to ensure a winning start.

At Bristol, Essex recovered from 0-2 after three balls and 11-3 in the third over to post 141-9 thanks largely to 48 from 27 balls by Jordan Cox, who smashed three sixes and shared a stand of 64 from 39 balls with Paul Walter, who hit 43 from 31.

In reply, Bracey made 49 from 30 balls and Cam Bancroft cracked 32 from 18 as the hosts got home with three overs to spare.

In the other South Group game, Hawks' Toby Albert hit two maximums and five fours in his 46, before becoming one of Curran’s three victims.

Liam Dawson smashed 30 off 12 balls before holing out to Jason Roy off Australian quick Spencer Johnson to help haul the Hawks to 162-9.

Surrey's star-studded line-up paced the chase superbly with Laurie Evans and Jamie Smith going through the gears to each pass 30 before Curran rattled two late sixes in his 20-ball stay to see the visitors over the line.