Yorkshire 151 for 5 (Kohler-Cadmore 46*) beat Worcestershire 150 for 5 (Ali 46*, Bess 3-15) by five wickets
It is tempting to say that this was a picnic for Yorkshire, but apparently such things are not allowed at New Road with several of them confiscated recently on spurious security reasons as spectators entered the ground. Anyway, you get the gist: Yorkshire won this one with five wickets and 32 balls to spare to keep their quarter-final ambitions bubbling. And Worcestershire, poor Worcestershire, with one win in 11, have rarely looked so downcast.
If Yorkshire reach the quarter-finals, they will also have to find a replacement for Finn Allen, who has been recalled for New Zealand’s white-ball squads for Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands.
Kohler-Cadmore went on to make an unbeaten 46 against his former county and that was enough to ease Yorkshire home with the help of cameos from Adam Lyth and Harry Brook.
Worcestershire could take solace from the display of Mitchell Stanley, the latest quick bowler to develop through their Academy, and who looked strong and willing in returning 2 for 40: two good wickets, too, Allen and Brook, the latter failing to clear mid-off with a front-foot thrash. Shadab Khan, the Pakistan allrounder, has yet to catch light with bat or ball – an excessive move outside leg stump to be caught at the wicket being his latest dismissal and Yorkshire will hope that like many top players he delivers when the pressure is at its highest.
That Worcestershire made 150 for 5 was something of an escape because with four overs remaining, they were up a siding at 99 for 5. They added 51 from the last four because of two of the lesser-known figures of the Blast – Kashif Ali, Kashmir born, who has played 2nd XI cricket for five counties in an attempt to make the grade, and Gareth Roderick, who has made no T20 impact since he signed from Gloucestershire for the 2021 season and who had averaged 12 in his 32 previous T20 matches. Kashif is also the first product of the South Asian Cricket Academy to sign a contract with a first-class county. When he hit Waite for successive sixes in an over costing 24 runs, those who devised this vital rescue net in an imperfect county system deserved their satisfaction.
It was an unlikely pairing to rescue Worcestershire’s innings, but they amassed an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 73 in 46 balls, much of it in inferior light. Most of those were in a two-over flurry against Jordan Thompson and Matthew Waite which leaked 41 runs. The rest of the Worcestershire side managed only four fours and two sixes between them.
Ed Pollock’s horrendous season since his move from Warwickshire continued – an uppercut to third man representing his latest demise – and Matthew Revis, whose bowling has been Yorkshire’s find of the season, swung one away from Brett D’Oliveira to have him caught at the wicket.
Perhaps they have been concerned with undermining his four-day rhythm, but they need to risk it because the Championship is as good as lost and it is in T20 where they might just deliver the prediction of their outgoing captain, Willey, to leave them a T20 trophy as a parting gift at the end of the season. To do that, he must disappoint the county he is about to join. Such is the sporting life.