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Defining week coming up with Lancashire first up on the menu

— 26 June 2014

Yorkshire face a defining eight days in their NatWest T20 Blast campaign, starting with old foes Lancashire Lightning at a sold out Headingley tomorrow.

The Vikings host Glen Chapple’s North Division pacesetters in the first of five matches between now and next Friday as they look to build on an encouraging start which has brought them seven points from five matches so far.

Yorkshire then travel to Trent Bridge to face Nottinghamshire on Saturday, host Leicestershire and Durham on Tuesday and Wednesday before travelling to New Road to face Worcestershire on Friday.

  • Worcestershire and Lancashire have both won six out of eight matches this season, whereas Yorkshire have won three from five with a No Result included.

    “With five Twenty20s, it’s an important week for us,” said Rich Pyrah, Yorkshire’s leading wicket-taker in the Blast with six from four matches.

    “If we can get on a roll, then it puts us in a good position in the league to qualify.

    “We seem to have a bit of momentum like we had in 2012 (when we reached Finals Day). It’s a different team now, but we’ve got that winning mentality back.”

    Pyrah has only batted twice so far in the competition, including once against the Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford at the start of the month when he hit the winning runs in pursuit of 180 – a six over cover off Kabir Ali.

  • “It’s always good to win a game against Lancashire,” he said. “But personally, where I bat, it’s important that you do get a finisher. It’s quite tense batting down there, and you’ve got to keep a steady head.

    “We’ve got me and Brezzy (Tim Bresnan) at six and seven, and hopefully we can see a few games home.

    “Jonny’s (Bairstow) also done really well. He seems to be batting with a bit more maturity now in one-day and Twenty20.”

    There have been some exhilarating matches between the two Roses counties in T20 cricket over the last few years, whether it be Azeem Rafiq hitting the winning runs in 2011 at Old Trafford or the tie at Headingley last year to the win at Old Trafford earlier this month.

    And reflecting on the most recent win against the Lightning, captain Andrew Gale added: “It was a great win, and what a game of cricket! It was fantastic to be involved in.

    “it’s a sell out at Headingley, and all the lads are really excited about Friday night.

    “We’ve won a few tricky games there over the years. If you remember, Rafiq paddled in the last over to get us a win. That was up there.

    “Any win at Old Trafford is special, but to win in the fashion we did by knocking 180-odd off, and there was a little bit of controversy around it as there usually is in the Roses games.

  • “At least I wasn’t involved in any of it this time. I kept well out of it! But yes, it was special.”

    The Vikings have named a 14-man squad for the visit of the Lightning. Seamer Jack Brooks is rested and Ryan Sidebottom is included after returning from a hamstring injury in the LV= Championship victory against Warwickshire earlier this week.

    Yorkshire squad versus Lancashire Lightning:

    Bairstow, Bresnan, Finch, Gale (capt), Hodd, Leaning, Lees, Lyth, Patterson, Pyrah, Rafiq, Rashid, Robinson, Sidebottom.

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