Lyth plays starring role as Yorkshire cruise past the Unicorns

Unicorns batsman Michael Thornely plays into the leg side:  Picture Richard Ponter.122180g.
Unicorns batsman Michael Thornely plays into the leg side: Picture Richard Ponter.122180g.
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SCARBOROUGH’S Adam Lyth played a starring role as Yorkshire cruised past the Unicorns in the Clydesdale Bank 40 on a resplendent afternoon at North Marine Road.

Lyth produced a steady unbeaten 60 to support centurion Gary Ballance as Yorkshire cruised to their victory target of 185 without too much trouble.

Yorkshie v Unicorns ..Enjoying the match day weather..Picture Richard Ponter.122180c.

Yorkshie v Unicorns ..Enjoying the match day weather..Picture Richard Ponter.122180c.

Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale won the toss and invited the Unicorns to take first knock.

That decision almost immediately paid dividens as former England pace man Ryan Sidebottom clean bowled James Ord with the fifth ball of the first over for a duck.

The Unicorns battled back though and a stubborn 20 from 28 balls from Michael Thornely steadied the ship before Sidebottom picked up his and Yorkshire’s second wicket of the match when Phil Jaques safely pouched a catch.

Former Leicestershire wicketkeeper-batsman Tom New was the only Unicorns man to really master the Yorkshire bowling attack, comprised of Sidebottom, Aussie quick Mitchell Starc, Moin Ashraf, Azeem Rafiq, Joe Root and Anthony McGrath.

Yorkshie v Unicorns ..Starc bowls for Yorkshire against Unicorn Batsman Thornley.Picture Richard Ponter.122180b.

Yorkshie v Unicorns ..Starc bowls for Yorkshire against Unicorn Batsman Thornley.Picture Richard Ponter.122180b.

Jayden Levitt managed 15 before the wily medium pacer McGrath trapped him lbw.

Aussie left-armer Starc then took charge with the cherry, taking the next three wickets to fall.

First to depart was Keith Parsons, who was expertly caught by skipper Gale at mid-wicket, before Luis Reece was trapped lbw for just four.

Starc then managed to bowl Bradley Wadlan with a full delivery that the batsman mis-judged completely.

Yorkshie v Unicorns .. Unicorn Batsman New strikes out .Picture Richard Ponter.122180e.

Yorkshie v Unicorns .. Unicorn Batsman New strikes out .Picture Richard Ponter.122180e.

Glen Querl, 0, and Warren Lee, 5, quickly followed as New began to run our of partners, and he was stranded on 82 not out as the Unicorns were all out for 184 after Luke Beaven and Steven Cheetham were out for 10 and 0 respectively.

New’s knock consisted of seven fours and came off 92 deliveries.

Starc bowled quick and fully deserved his figures of 3-36 from his eight overs, while his fellow left-armer Sidebottom returned 3-44.

Yorkshire’s reply started in steady fashion before Gale was give out lbw on 17.

Yorkshie v Unicorns .Keeping a close eye on match action.Picture Richard Ponter.122180h.

Yorkshie v Unicorns .Keeping a close eye on match action.Picture Richard Ponter.122180h.

Australian batsman Phil Jaques quickly followed his skipper back to the pavilion after making just 3 before feathering an edge through to keeper New of the bowling of Glen Querl trying to play through point.

But any hopes the Unicorns had of pulling off a shock win were dampened by a superb partnership of 160 between opener Lyth and Ballance.

If Lyth’s knock was studious and without alarm, Ballance’s was attacking and belligerent.

Ballance struck four sixes in his 91-ball 103, and also hit eight fours.

One of Ballance’s four maximums was a superb shot to mid-wicket that cleared the ground, landing next to a party of hotel guests enjoying the superb weather and excellent cricket.

Yorkshire made it to their victory target after 32.2 overs and plenty of time to spare when Lyth planted a superb lofted drive over mid-off for four.

Lyth looked solid throughout, hitting seven fours during a knock that will hopefully kick-start his season and cement a place for him in the first XI.

The Tykes moved up to fourth in group C with two wins and two defeats from their four games to date.