Last ball wicket by Gleeson ties dramatic Vitality Blast Roses thriller
An epic Roses match ended in a dramatic tie as Lancashire’s 2022 Vitality Blast campaign began in thrilling fashion.
Needing 13 runs off the final over bowled by Richard Gleeson, Yorkshire looked to have made it home after Shadab Khan drove the third ball for four and Gleeson was no-balled for a high delivery from the fifth resulting in a free hit from which Harry Brook scored two runs to bring the scores level with one ball still remaining.
Brook, who had batted beautifully for 72 thus far, then missed a low full delivery from Gleeson to be lbw and a sold-out Emirates Old Trafford – silenced moments earlier – erupted as umpire Neil Mallender raised his finger in response to Gleeson’s appeal.
It was an incredible, dramatic finale to a game that the visitors looked to be well in charge of until faltering during the closing overs.
Lancashire had struck an early blow in the second over of the Yorkshire reply to Lancashire’s total of 183-7 when Dawid Malan edged Luke Wood to wicketkeeper Phil Salt after making five.
Adam Lyth, who had struck one six and three fours, was the next to go for 21 after being bowled by Wood and when Matt Parkinson had Joe Root caught by Wood at deep backward square with just his third delivery, the Vikings were in a spot of trouble at 56-3 midway through the seventh over.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore, dropped on 14, and Brook revived the innings with an outstanding partnership of 115 over 12 overs - a T20 record for the fourth wicket against Lancashire.
The pair guided Yorkshire to 79-3 at halfway with Brook hitting his first six off the final ball of the 10th over and his second in the following over to keep the visitors well on course for their target.
It looked like a well-judged run chase at that point with Kohler-Cadmore reaching a 38-ball half century when hitting his first maximum at the start of the 15th over and Brook going to the same landmark by driving Gleeson for four at the start of the 17th over.
That left Yorkshire needing 44 from 23 balls and once Brook pulled Wood high over deep square leg for six to end the 18th over, Yorkshire looked favourites needing 22 runs from the last two overs.
An excellent over from Danny Lamb, with just 8 runs conceded, and Kohler-Cadmore run out for 67 by a great throw from Tim David - despite a despairing dive - put the game back in the balance.
That was how it stayed right up to that last dramatic wicket-taking delivery from Gleeson.
At the start of the evening Salt and Keaton Jennings made a fast start taking 44 from the opening four overs after Dane Vilas had won the toss.
Salt took three boundaries off Shahdab Khan’s first over, the third of the match, and then flicked Matthew Revis over deep backward square for the game’s first six in the following over.
Jennings, who got underway with a neat flick for four to long leg in the opening over from Haris Rauf, then reverse swept off spinner Dom Bess for four, as the Lightning opening pair dominated the opening exchanges.
Jennings departed for 19 when he was caught at mid-on by Lyth off Revis off the last ball of the fourth over, but Steven Croft helped Salt maintain the momentum with a 29-run partnership off 27 balls until he fell for 15 after hitting Adil Rashid high to Brook at long-off, but Lancashire reached halfway well placed on 81-2.
Salt hammered a second six off Rashid on his way to a 33-ball fifty while Liam Livingstone, back from the IPL, hit Revis onto the top tier of the stand near the tram station as the Lightning looked to accelerate.
They were pegged back a good four over spell from 1-26 from Rashid and the loss of both Livingstone and Salt in quick succession.
Thompson had a hand in both with Livingstone hitting the seamer high to Brook at long-on to depart for 23 in the 14th over while Salt was run out for 59 by his fine throw from the deep in the 16th to be 129-4.
It was left to Tim David, another Lightning debutant, to revive the innings and the new signing from Singapore did just that hitting three massive sixes in an 18-ball cameo of 35 runs that steered Lancashire through to useful-looking total of 183.
That looked to be somewhere around par on a good wicket. As it turned out, it was a par score – but only just!
Lancashire captain Dane Vilas said:
“That was an unbelievable game. It always is against these guys (Yorkshire). It goes down to the wire every single time. It was a brilliant game to be a part of.
“Both teams were unlucky not to win it. But it was a fantastic game, and that’s what we wanted to do - to put on a show for a massive crowd here at Emirates Old Trafford.
“We were really happy with 183. It was a good total. The pitch was a little bit slow, and they put the squeeze on us in the middle. But we finished well and took some momentum into their innings.
“It was never under control because they have a good batting line-up. We needed to bowl well, and I think we did bowl well.”
Photos: George Franks & Luke Adams