All-rounder Rich Pyrah has called on his Yorkshire team-mates to repeat last season’s winning run in the Friends Life t20 in order to keep their hopes of progressing in the 2013 edition alive.
The White Rose county are winless from their first three North Division matches, and they sit bottom of the group heading into tomorrow’s clash with Leicestershire at Headingley, which will be their fourth home fixture on the spin.
They may have excelled in the latter stages of the Roses clash with Lancashire to secure a tie, but now need to convert that confidence into wins.
Yorkshire are by no means out of this competition, not by a long chalk with Nottinghamshire aving raced out of the blocks with four wins from four and everybody else beating each other.
And there is a blueprint for success having lost their first match last year before going on a seven-match winning run, only broken by two washouts.
They then won the quarter-final and semi-final before narrowly losing out to Hampshire in the final at Cardiff.
The top two teams in each group are guaranteed qualification for the quarter-finals, with the best third-placed finisher of the three groups also advancing.
Yorkshire have at least a game in hand on everybody else in the group, and Pyrah insisted: “There is still time. We showed that last year when we got on a run and didn’t lose a game until the final.
“There’s no reason why we can’t go and do that again. Twenty20 is a game where if you’ve got momentum, you can go on a good run.”
Leicestershire are the market leaders in English domestic Twenty20 cricket having won the competition in 2004, 2006 and 2011.
But, with a much changed squad since the days of Brad Hodge, Stuart Broad, Jeremy Snape, Darren Maddy, Claude Henderson etc, they also find themselves in need of a win following one win from four.
Pyrah was exceptional against Lancashire on Friday, with his 3-15 from four overs the game-breaker as the Vikings pegged the Lightning back from 92-2 in the 12th over in their pursuit of 153.
After a stop-start beginning to 2013, which saw him not make the County Championship team, he has responded impressively.
“I’ve played a lot of cricket this year compared to last year, where I missed almost a full year,” he added in reference to two broken bones in his left hand and an eye infection.
“I’m delighted with the way I’ve come back, though I’d have liked a few more wickets in the Championship. My role in the team is to keep it dry while the others attack for wickets. I’ve performed well in the one-dayers and Twenty20’s.”
Meanwhile, Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale will miss the next two Friends Life T20 campaign after sustaining a broken hand fielding against Lancashire Lightning on Friday. Gale will miss the Vikings home match against Leicestershire Foxes on Tuesday and away at Durham Dynamos on Friday.