Yorkshire head into tomorrow’s final Royal London One-Day Cup North Group clash with Northamptonshire at Emerald Headingley (2pm) knowing they will qualify for knockout cricket if they win it or will exit the competition if they lose.
The Vikings have won their last two fixtures, against Derbyshire last week and Lancashire on Tuesday, to sit in third place with nine points.
Third would be good enough to advance to an effective quarter-final, but they can finish higher.
They are one point behind the top two teams, Worcestershire and Warwickshire, who face each other at Edgbaston.
So the chances are that a Yorkshire win would secure second place and a home tie in the semi-final eliminator or, in old money, an effective quarter-final.
If Yorkshire lose to Northants, one of Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire in fourth and fifth would leapfrog them and eliminate them. Those two meet at Trent Bridge.
There are far-fetched ways Yorkshire could still finish top of the North Group and advance straight to the semi-finals, they could win and finish third or they could finish third and qualify without a win. But that is relying on ties or No Results and net run-rate.
Given Northants have already been eliminated and have a County Championship match on Saturday, they are likely to bring an understrength team to Headingley.
But the Vikings will be able to field England Test captain Joe Root alongside limited overs international team-mates Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid and David Willey, who will face his former county.
And Willey insists the match will be no gimme.
“In one-day cricket, Northants are a dangerous side,” he said.
“They’ve got lads who can hit the ball to all corners. If they come off, we’ll be under pressure.
“They’re out of the competition, which can be dangerous at times.
“We need to be on our A game and play well. It’s no good beating Lancs, turning up and then thinking it’s going to be easy. If we do, we’ll come up short.”
Willey enjoyed a special day out in beating Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford on Tuesday, smashing 131 and taking 4-59.
“As days come on the cricket calendar, it was a pretty good one,” he said before revealing his satisfaction at being given the chance to bat at number three in 50-over cricket for the last two games.
“It’s nice to get an opportunity towards the top.
“It’s something I’ve done before at Northants with decent success and like doing.
“I missed out at Derby, and it took me a while to get going at Lancs. But I knew that it was a good pitch and could catch up if I needed.
“Towards the back end of my time at Northants I did it, but I’ve not done it at all up here.
“They asked me if I fancied it, and I said ‘Absolutely’.”
Despite Willey’s caution over the Northants fixture, he accepts that a Lord’s final is “getting closer” and would love to play in a showpiece at the Home of Cricket.
But he has admitted his frustration at the scheduling of the eliminator matches and the semi-finals – June 14 and then 17-18 – to clash with England’s ODI series with Australia.
“It’s potentially that thing again, we disappear as England players when the quarter-finals come around, which is disappointing,” he added.
“For the good of English cricket, I think we need to schedule them for when the best players are available.”
The final on June 30 comes in a brief gap in the international schedule.
England Test captain Joe Root returns to First XI coach Andrew Gales’ 13-man squad for crunch match against Northants Steelbacks on Thursday evening having been made available by the ECB. Harry Brook is the man to make way in an otherwise unchanged squad.
13-man squad to face Northants Steelbacks.
Steven Patterson ©
Jonny Tattersall (WK)
Northants 13-man squad to face Yorkshire Vikings.
Our squad to face
YorkshireCCC</a> tomorrow at Headingley, with potential first appearances for Ben Cotton and Charlie Thurston ????<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MadeOfSteel?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MadeOfSteel</a> <a href="https://t.co/Q33Ezk3OaE">pic.twitter.com/Q33Ezk3OaE</a></p>— NCCC (NorthantsCCC) June 6, 2018
Yorkshire’s Royal London One-Day Cup statistics
- Yorkshire have won all of the last 12 List A matches between these two counties.
- Northamptonshire last defeated Yorkshiere in a List A match in 2001. Its last win at Headingley was in 2000.
- The 161 scored by David Sales at Northampton in 2006 is the third-highest innings made against Yorkshire in all List A cricket.
- Colin Johnson took four catches against Northamptonshire at Huddersfield in 1974. No other Yorkshire player has taken so many in a match in all List A cricket.
- David Capel’s feat of scoring 67 and taking five for 57 for Northamptonshire at Headingley in 1997 is the only instance of a player scoring a half-century and taking at least four wickets in List A matches between these two sides.
Potential batting milestones in Yorkshire v Northamptonshire on 7th Jun 2018
GG White needs 2 runs to reach 500 runs in List A matches
GS Ballance needs 6 runs to reach 1000 runs in List A matches at Leeds
JA Leaning needs 47 runs to reach 1000 runs in List A matches
AJ Hodd needs 66 runs to reach 1000 runs in List A matches AZ Lees needs 67 runs to reach 500 runs in List A matches at Leeds
DJ Willey needs 70 runs to reach 1500 runs in List A matches
RS Vasconcelos needs 71 runs to reach 500 runs in List A matches
AU Rashid needs 76 runs to reach 500 runs in List A matches at Leeds
RE Levi needs 88 runs to reach 4500 runs in List A matches
JJ Cobb needs 92 runs to reach 3000 runs in List A matches
RI Keogh needs 100 runs to reach 1000 runs in List A matches
GS Ballance needs 116 runs to reach 4000 runs in List A matches
JM Bairstow needs 130 runs to reach 3500 runs in List A matches
Potential bowling milestones in Yorkshire v Northamptonshire on 7th Jun 2018
AU Rashid needs 3 wickets to reach 50 wickets in List A matches at Leeds
Azeem Rafiq needs 7 wickets to reach 50 wickets in List A matches
GG White needs 8 wickets to reach 100 wickets in List A matches
LE Plunkett needs 10 wickets to reach 250 wickets in List A matches
- Specsavers County Championship: Division 2 (2017 performance – 3rd)
- Royal London One-Day Cup: North Group (2017 performance – 8th)
- Vitality Blast: North Group (2017 performance – 6th)
Captain: Alex Wakely
Head coach: David Ripley
Overseas Players: Doug Bracewell, Rory Kleinveldt, Seekkuge Prasanna (T20)
OUT: David Murphy (retired), Azharullah (released)
IN: Brett Hutton (Notts), Luke Procter (Lancashire), Ricardo Vasconcelos (EU passport)