Ali Maiden says Yorkshire’s players must deal with their disappointment quickly following today’s Royal London Cup defeat at Kent, with their chance to rectify things coming quickly.
The Vikings were beaten by three wickets in a Canterbury thriller, Kent overhauling a target of 297 in 45 overs as Grant Stewart, needing six to win off the last ball, hoisted Matthew Revis over the mid-wicket boundary.
Yorkshire suffered their third loss in six Group B fixtures.
Their hopes of qualification were dented, though not dealt a hammer blow.
They sit sixth in the table, only a point behind third-placed Essex with two games to play, starting against Derbyshire at Chesterfield on Sunday (11am).
The Vikings have a game in hand on the three teams above them – Essex, Kent and Glamorgan – so two wins will qualify them for the knockout stages. Hampshire at Scarborough on Tuesday is the final game.
Not that Maiden, Yorkshire’s assistant coach, would know that exact position.
“I haven’t looked at the table,” he said. “I’ve said it from the start. I don’t want us to think about that.
“We have another game on Sunday, and we’ll try and win that game and worry about the rest of it once it’s finished.
“We’ll give our best at Chesterfield on Sunday and hope for a good result.”
Maiden gave a glass half full view of today’s defeat, though admitted the players were feeling different.
“The lads are gutted, really,” he continued.
“But the chat in the changing room was to try and draw a line under it, to say, ‘You’ll be disappointed, rightly so. But the only way to move forward is learn quickly because we have a game Sunday’.
“The lads can’t sit there moping. They have to snap out of it.
“One of Gibbo’s (Ottis Gibson) lines, which he’s used all season, is, ‘It’s just a game of cricket. Nobody died. We did some good bits, we did some bad bits. Let’s move on’.”
There were plenty of good bits. Harry Duke’s 85, plus half-centuries for Will Fraine and debutant Fin Bean.
Then, with the ball, Yorkshire fought hard to leave Kent needing snookers following their own strong start with the bat.
However, unfortunately, the Vikings’ bowlers were unable to close things out as Stewart started to find the boundary rope with regularity in the final few overs, Kent needing 36 off the final three.
Maiden said: “It’s going to sound corny, but Harry Sullivan asked me – we were sat on the boundary edge – whether I was nervous before the last over when Rev was bowling.
“Genuinely, I wasn’t because I felt it had been a great game, we’d been involved in it right to to the end, and Rev gets to bowl the last over and will take huge amounts from it.
“It’s easy to say, but from a coach’s point of view there were so many things to take from the game.
“I just hope Rev doesn’t take that too personally and he can come back from the experience positively.
“The plan the lads had set was what he actually executed. The guy connects and it goes for six. It’s just one of those things and part of the game.
“We defended five off the last over in the Blast quarter-final at the Oval when Tommo bowled a length ball and the batter misses it. That’s the game.
“The captain’s praised him for executing the plan he was asked to deliver. That’s all you can ask. It was a good strike.
“Looking back, the team are most dissatisfied with the first 15 overs with the ball. That’s where we felt we could have made a better fist of it. We allowed them to hit square on both sides.”
Maiden praised the performances of Duke, Fraine and Bean with the bat, plus the all-round contributions of Matthew Waite, who hit 31 and took three wickets.
On debutant Bean, he added: “Fin came in, which was nice. When you give a lad an opportunity to debut, for them to come in and play so maturely was lovely to see. He looked good.”