Scorecard | Auckland qualify for main draw | Yorkshire beat Uva Next
Gary Ballance and Adil Rashid's unbroken century partnership helped Yorkshire overhaul the target of 149 against Trinidad and Tobago with six wickets and seven balls to spare in the Champions League Twenty20 qualifying match at Centurion on Wednesday night. This win, Yorkshire's second in the qualifiers, has seen the England county side qualify for the main draw; but T&T and Sri Lanka's Uva Next have been knocked out.
Ballance and Rashid came together with Yorkshire in strife at 51 for 4 in the ninth over, and though the pair didn't take many risks initially in their innings, they were also helped by the fact that T&T's back-up bowlers failed to ask any questions of them. Samuel Badree and Ravi Rampaul conceded only 44 runs in eight overs between them and also took two wickets, but the rest of the bowling support cast was found wanting.
Rampaul took the first Yorkshire wicket to fall when he had Phil Jaques trapped plumb in front and then Badree got into the act when he clean bowled skipper Andrew Gale, who missed a straight one. Adam Lyth and Joe Root got starts but were dismissed in quick succession has Yorkshire found themselves in a bit of bother. But, Ballance and Rashid's stellar partnership in which the former was the more aggressive saw Yorkshire over the line easily in the end. Ballance remained unbeaten on 64 (37 balls, 4x2, 6x6), while Rashid played his part and was 33 not out from 27 deliveries.
Earlier, Ryan Sidebottom took 3 for 13 as Yorkshire restricted the strong T&T batting line-up to 148 for 9, which the Caribbean team reached thanks to some lusty lower-order hitting after a horror start and consolidation by the middle-order.
Lendl Simmons, William Perkins and Adrian Barath were all guilty of playing rash shots and returned to the dug-out in a hurry as T&T lost their top three batsmen with only eight runs on the board in the first three overs. T&T's best passage of play in the match was to follow though as Darren Bravo and captain Denesh Ramdin shared a 93-run counter-attacking partnership for the fourth wicket as Gale and his bowlers found the pair hard to dislodge.
The partnership was broken though at the right time for Yorkshire as Rashid dismissed Bravo (45 from 49 deliveries) off the first delivery of the 16th over; and when Ramdin was run out in the 18th over, T&T's hopes of a 155+ score was all but dashed. Ramdin's 40-ball 59 contained included six boundaries and a six, but his captain's innings wasn't enough to prevent T&T from losing the match and not making the main draw of the tournament.