Ben Stokes goes big for Durham but Yorkshire have too much
All-rounder is returning to fitness.
Ben Stokes carried his bat for Durham but his side were well short in their pursuit of Yorkshire’s 200 as the Vikings kicked off their Vitality Blast campaign with a win.
Looking to prove his fitness to the England management following a hamstring tear, Stokes batted through 20 overs for a 68-ball 90 not out in a 44-run defeat at Headingley.
Stokes was unable to do anything other than bat, though, not bowling against a home side who amassed 200 for three thanks to 92 not out from Adam Lyth and an unbeaten 53 from Jonny Tattersall, the pair sharing an unbroken 110-run stand in 8.5 overs.
Stokes was tied down at the start of his innings, reaching four off 16 balls, but later accelerated without looking entirely comfortable fitness-wise. He reached 50 off 52 balls with a leg-side six and hit five maximums in all to go with eight fours.
The visitors slipped to 13 for two and failed to recover as Jack Brooks excelled with three for 21 during his first T20 appearance in three years. Durham finished on 156 for four.
Although Yorkshire’s innings was built around Lyth’s effort, including nine fours and three sixes, it was lifted with the arrival of Tattersall at 90 for three in the 12th.
When he came in, Lyth had 39. By the time the left-hander reached his fifty, Tattersall had 37 as he found the gaps with plenty of innovation.
The Vikings wicketkeeper reached 50 off 26 balls with the penultimate ball of the innings.
The game started with Yorkshire, invited to bat first, losing Tom Kohler-Cadmore to a top-edged pull at Chris Rushworth in the second over as the hosts slipped to nine for one.
Lyth then shared 81 in nine overs with Harry Brook, also on T20 debut like Tattersall.
Brook hit two sixes and four fours in a brisk 44 before he was caught at long-on off Imran Tahir at the end of the 11th over.
Gary Ballance then fell to Ryan Pringle at the start of the next over, superbly caught at cover by Tom Latham off a leading edge for a golden duck. But that was Durham’s last success as the Lyth and Tattersall attacked.
Yorkshire started superbly with the ball as Brooks removed Graham Clark and Paul Collingwood in the space of three balls in the fourth over.
Clark was caught at deep mid-wicket and Collingwood lbw for a golden duck.
Although Stokes, who could play for England against India in Sunday’s T20I at Bristol, warmed to his task, he never looked like getting the Jets home.
By the time he reached his fifty with a third six in the 15th over, Durham were 106 for four having also lost Tom Latham and Will Smith to Steve Patterson and Brooks, respectively.
And it was very much stand and deliver stuff at the end from the 27-year-old as Yorkshire got the job done.