Willey strikes 167 on Edgbaston return


David Willey carried on where he left off in the Friends Life t20 final by pummelling his maiden senior century for Northants Steelbacks in a crushing 125-run Yorkshire Bank 40 win over Warwickshire Bears at Edgbaston.

Willey made his maiden Twenty20 half-century and took a hat-trick in Northants’ triumph over Surrey at Edgbaston nine days ago and enjoyed himself on his return to the ground with 10 sixes en route to a stunning 101-ball 167, the second-highest score in the YB40 this summer.

The left-hander, fresh from playing for England Lions against Bangladesh A, reached three figures for the first time, from 62 balls, and required only 22 deliveries to accelerate from 50 to his century.

Northants’ thumping win was not enough to secure a semi-final berth, however, as results elsewhere went against them. Victory for Notts Outlaws at Canterbury prevented Alex Wakely’s men from topping Group A and Glamorgan progressed as the best runner-up due to a superior net run-rate.

Warwickshire's decision to rest seamers Keith Barker and Rikki Clarke ahead of Wednesday's LV= County Championship match against Sussex meant off-spinner Jeetan Patel was the only senior specialist bowler in a severely-depleted attack and Northants cashed in by piling up their highest 40-over score of 324 for six.

Rookie seamers Tom Milnes and Recordo Gordon returned combined figures of 15-0-149-3 and the four part-time bowlers, including veteran Darren Maddy in his farewell one-day appearance before retirement, also came in for heavy punishment from Willey.

The opener took four of his sixes in two overs from Maddy and off-spinner Ateeq Javid, and was eyeing Wayne Larkins' Northamptonshire record 40-over score of 172 made against Warwickshire at Luton in 1983 when he lifted Milnes to long-on, aiming for his 11th six.

Willey received excellent support from David Sales, Ben Duckett and Rob Keogh. Sales made 31, England Under-19 captain Duckett contributed a breezy 30 and Keogh muscled five boundaries in the final over en route to 61 from 40 balls, his maiden half-century in senior cricket.

Warwickshire limped to 199 all out in reply, their eighth defeat of the season leaving them bottom of the group.

There were pockets of resistance from Will Porterfield, who stroked 44 before he was bowled by Steven Crook, and Scotland international Freddie Coleman. The latter gave a hint of his potential with a brisk 34 before picking out long-on.

Maddy was given a guard of honour by the Northants players but was then brilliantly stumped down the leg side by David Murphy for one off Trent Copeland.

The veteran departed to a standing ovation from the Bank Holiday crowd, his distinguished career having begun with a 40-over appearance for Leicestershire against Derbyshire in September 1993.

Willey strikes 167 on Edgbaston return www.northantscricket.com