Joe Root back for a Blast as Yorkshire head top of North Group

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Stand-in captain top-scores with 49 and takes a wicket in first over as Derbyshire brushed aside

Yorkshire 174 for 6 (Root 49, Scrimshaw 3-30) beat Derbyshire 135 (Ferguson 3-21, Bess 3-21) by 39 runs

Joe Root top-scored with 49 off 36 balls as he captained Yorkshire to a 39-run Vitality Blast win over Derbyshire Falcons at Emerald Headingley.

The England Test captain is back in Vikings colours prior to one-day international duty next week and contributed significantly, alongside Harry Brook’s unbeaten 48, to their 174 for 6 having been inserted. Seamer George Scrimshaw claimed a career best 3 for 30 for the Falcons, but they fell well short of their target at 135 all out in 19 overs.

Dom Bess and Lockie Ferguson finished with 3 for 21 apiece as Yorkshire claimed a fourth win in six North Group games to move top on net run rate. Derbyshire suffered their fifth defeat in seven.

Root missed out on a sixth half-century in his last seven Blast innings dating back to July 2018. But he still averages a fabulous 75.59 with 378 runs in that sequence.

He came into Yorkshire’s team as one of four changes from last Wednesday’s win at Worcestershire – Friday’s clash with Birmingham was rained off – with Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid and regular skipper David Willey all on T20 international duty.

Root was in after five balls of the game and navigated his side away from danger at 8 for 1 and later 56 for 3 in the eighth over on a true pitch. Typically busy, he shared 57 in six overs for the fourth wicket with Brook before being caught at mid-on off the impressive Scrimshaw, who also removed Gary Ballance and Will Fraine.

Jordan Thompson twice, Brook and Matthew Waite shared four sixes in the last nine balls of the innings to boost Yorkshire’s total. And Root, captaining his county for the first time in a limited-overs game, struck 10 balls into Derbyshire’s chase when Luis Reece skewed his offspin high to point.

New Zealand overseas quick Ferguson and seamer Waite also struck in their first overs to remove Harry Came and Billy Godleman. And when Bess claimed a sharp return catch to remove Leus du Plooy, Derbyshire were in deep trouble at 49 for 4 after nine overs.

Bess had Matt Critchley caught at long-on and Brook Guest caught at long-off to secure career best figures in only his 10th T20 appearance – Derbyshire 84 for 6 in the 14th.

Fynn Hudson-Prentice hit 34 and Alex Thomson 28, but they only added respectability before falling to successive Thompson deliveries in the 18th over, and Ferguson then cleaned up the tail in the penultimate.

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