Adil Rashid celebrated his recent call-up to the England Test squad by claiming four wickets as Yorkshire claimed the Emirates Airline T20 title with a 74-run win over defending champions Sussex on 20th March.
The 27-year-old finished with figures of 4-16 at the Sevens stadium as Sussex, chasing 177, had no answer to his spin variations as they were all out for 102.
The win was set up by Yorkshire opener Andrew Hodd as the 31-year-old smashed four sixes and as many fours in his 79-run knock off just 52 balls that helped his side post a competitive total. He was well supported by Jack Leaning, who cleared the ropes three times en route to his half-century (51).
They had registered a 21-run victory over Lancashire in their semifinal earlier in the day, but Yorkshire were struggling at 10-3 in the final as Sussex’s Matthew Hobden dismissed opener Adam Lyth (6), stand-in captain Adam Lees and Jonny Bairstow (both 0).
But Hodd and Will Rhodes grew in confidence as the match went on, taking Yorkshire to 75-3 at the halfway stage. Medium fast-bowler Harry Finch broke the stand as Rhodes was caught by Ben Brown in the 10th over.
The wicket didn’t deter Yorkshire at all. In fact, Hodd and new batsman Leaning went from strength to strength. Leaning reached his halfcentury in just 35 deliveries with three fours and a maximum. Hodd continued his blistering form as the pair put on 99 runs for the fifth wicket as they posted 176-4.
In reply, Sussex’s chase got off to a poor start and they were 7-1 after Luke Wright was run-out for one. Luke Wells (1) soon departed after he was caught by Bairstow off a fine delivery from Jack Brooks. Brooks then struck again as Craig Cachopa (1) was sent back with the score reading 38-3.
Things got worse as Chris Nash became Lyth’s scalp with Sussex tottering at 52-4. Wickets fell regularly as Finch (10), Brown (18), Will Beer (9) and Ashar Zaidi (17) were dismissed by Rashid.
And the increasing run-rate proved to be too much as Rashid wrapped up victory when he caught Hobden’s shot off Matthew Fisher.
Earlier in the day, Alastair Cook geared up for the new season by top-scoring with 35 but saw his MCC side fall to Sussex by 18 runs in the semi-final.
Chasing 165, the England Test captain, making his first appearance since his sacking as ODI skipper in December, found the boundary four times and hit a six before being bowled by Chris Liddle.
His team-mate and Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh scored only six, but was earlier the stand-out bowler finishing with figures of 2-17.
One of his victims, Cachopa, scored 69 as Sussex recovered from a slow start batting first. Nash and Cachopa put on 100 for the third wicket before Cachopa’s innings came to an end following a fine catch from captain Nick Compton off Yuvraj.
It wasn’t long before the Indian all-rounder was celebrating his second wicket of the game. The 2011 World Cup player of the tournament clean bowled Nash (40) to reduce Sussex to 122-4.
Finch (30) and Brown (17) then piled on more runs, the pair putting on an unbeaten 42 to finish the innings on a high.
In reply, the MCC reached 46-2. Captain Compton and Singh then restored the innings with 36 runs for the third wicket. Sussex took some late wickets to undermine the chase and leave the MCC 124-8 after 18 overs with the match as good as over.
In the other semi-final, Bairstow hit four boundaries and two sixes in his 54 as his Yorkshire side posted 159-5. In reply, Lancashire fell short by 21 runs as Luis Reece hit five fours and two sixes in his 47-run knock, with his team only managing 138-7.
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