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Root hits 64 in winning Yorkshire return

Joe Root was playing his first T20 Blast game for Yorkshire since July 2018

Joe Root marked his first T20 Blast appearance in more than two years with a half-century as he helped Yorkshire Vikings to a thumping victory over Derbyshire Falcons.

England’s Test captain made 64 off 40 balls in Yorkshire’s 220-5, Adam Lyth also smashing 61 from 32 deliveries, before the Falcons stumbled to 121-9 with Root taking a career-best 2-7.

Elsewhere Surrey and Essex tied their game at The Oval, the second South Group match to finish in a tie in 24 hours following Middlesex and Kent’s 418-run showpiece on Saturday.

Sussex Sharks beat Hampshire off the penultimate ball in the other South Group fixture with former England opener Luke Wright making 82, while in the Central Group Birmingham Bears won at Glamorgan and Northants Steelbacks held their nerve to beat Somerset.

All five matches were completed without any rain interruptions for the first time since the competition started on Thursday.

Root shines with bat and ball

Root, who last played for the Vikings against Lancashire Lightning in July 2018, was meant to return for his county in Thursday’s washout against Notts Outlaws.

The 29-year-old was not chosen in England’s T20 squad for the ongoing three-match series against Pakistan because of his involvement with the Test team.

But with England selecting their squad for the upcoming T20 series against Australia later on Sunday, Root gave a timely reminder of his quality in the shortest format with bat and ball.

He managed to bring up his half-century off 34 deliveries despite playing few aggressive shots, although he did hit a couple of sixes once he was settled.

Root eventually fell in the 16th over when he swept Mattie McKiernan to deep mid-wicket but that only brought Will Fraine to the crease who blasted 44 off 16 balls to finish the innings.

Root then picked up two wickets in the space of five deliveries with his off-spin, removing Billy Godleman and Leus du Plooy to leave Derbyshire 20-4.

The Falcons never recovered and fell to a huge 99-run defeat.

Ties in fashion

Ben Foakes
Surrey’s Ben Foakes fell with his side needing one off the final two deliveries

Although it was not quite the run-fest seen at Lord’s on Saturday when Middlesex and Kent both scored 209, there was still just as much drama in the final over in Surrey and Essex’s tie.

Needing one to win off the last two balls, Surrey and England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes was caught at fine leg for 44 and James Taylor was then run out off the final delivery to leave the scores level.

Essex’s 143-6 off their 20 overs had looked below par with Surrey going nicely at 87-2 in the 12th over.

But after opener Jamie Smith was removed by Paul Walter for 30, no other batsman could stick around with Foakes to see Surrey past the winning line and they finished on 143-8.

The other South Group fixture between Hampshire and Sussex also went to the final over but, with the Sharks needing six for victory, David Wiese (43no) and a four off the penultimate ball by Harry Finch saw them over the winning line.

Earlier Tom Alsop and James Fuller had both scored half-centuries for Hampshire before Wright’s blitz of 82 off 55 balls put Sussex on course.

In the Central Group Somerset looked to be falling to a heavy defeat at Northants when they slumped to 116-8 with a target of 172. Roelof van der Merwe’s unbeaten 41 kept them just about in the chase but they eventually fell short on 162-8.

Sunday’s final game saw Birmingham Bears overhaul Glamorgan’s 140-9 in Cardiff to win by six wickets, despite home captain Chris Cooke comfortably top scoring with 72.

Monday’s fixtures (all times BST)

13:00 – Worcestershire Rapids v Gloucestershire – New Road

13:05 – Leicestershire Foxes v Durham – Headingley

14:00 – Notts Outlaws v Yorkshire Vikings – Trent Bridge

18:35 – Derbyshire Falcons v Lancashire Lightning – Headingley

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