Shan Masood says a lack of consistency in performance has hurt Yorkshire in their Metro Bank One-Day Cup campaign, which came to an end with defeat against Middlesex at Radlett today.
The Vikings were beaten by five wickets defending 254 in Hertfordshire, ending the competition with four defeats, two wins and two rainy No Results.
Today was a fixture between two teams who couldn’t qualify, and Masood stood out for Yorkshire with 96 as he led the recovery from 29-3 batting first.
Later, off-spinner Jack Shutt impressed with 4-49 from 10 overs as Middlesex stumbled from 171-1 to 201-5. But quick-fire top order half-centuries from Joe Cracknell and Sam Robson had given them breathing space as the Vikings erred early on with the ball.
“We were not so great today,” said captain Masood.
“In terms of the toss, we won it and batted on a pitch which changed quite significantly once the sun came in and dried it out.
“For us, today was more about moving forwards as a team than just getting a result. We could have easily put them in, but I thought we hadn’t batted well against the new ball. Today was another chance to put ourselves in challenging conditions.
“Again, we had a little collapse at the top, losing three wickets.
“The lesson we will keep beating is that if the ball’s doing a bit at the top – their bowlers kept it in a good area for long periods of time – you sometimes have to graft it out and start over again.
“Instead of myself and Revis, if it was the top two or three batters batting after 10 overs, that allows us to take more risks at certain points and post a bigger score. We didn’t have that luxury.
“When we bowled, yes conditions got easier, but where we disciplined enough? I don’t think so.
“If we’d have bowled better early on, Jack Shutt then comes on and gets those four wickets and we could have instead had around 100 runs to play with.
“When it’s a young side, sometimes you learn it the hard way. And we’re doing that.
“But we have to put all those behind us. We still have four Championship games to play.”
Masood went on: “I feel with both bat and ball in this competition, we haven’t been consistent.
“There have been good performances on and off. But has anyone done anything consistently to stake a big claim?
“There have been other teams, some younger and less in-experienced teams, who have come in and delivered.”
This was Masood’s top-score in all cricket in his first season at Yorkshire, just topping the 95 not out he scored in the second innings of the Championship win over Derbyshire at Chesterfield in June.
“I’m not getting that hundred,” he said.
“That’s been the story of 2023. I feel like I’m leaving things half-cooked.
“There have been a lot of instances in all the cricket I’ve played where there’s been 40s, 70s, 80s and now a 90.
“I felt I didn’t finish well today and lost a bit of momentum towards the end.”
And on the other standout performer, Shutt, he said: “To Shutty, it’s not been an easy job coming in and out of the squad.
“He took a difficult job when they were on the offensive.
“He bowled really well, and he did at Leicester. I think his first four overs went for nine there. Essex he bowled brilliantly as well.”
Other contributions came from Matthew Revis and Dom Bess, who made 51 apiece, while Harry Duke also scored a late 31 having moved from opening to a finisher’s role.
Masood added: “Harry Duke’s been brilliant. The next step for him would be that he’s got a 40, a 90-odd. How does he convert them into bigger runs? He got a 30 today. If we’re really being perfectionists, you want your players to be turning that into a fifty.
“Also Dukey’s keeping has been very good throughout tournament.
“Dom Bess was brilliant with the bat. Again, you want that fifty to finish as an 80 or a 90. But amazing considering his role was different.
“Revis was good, and he counter-punched. He’s a cricketer that is developing really well, and Yorkshire are very pleased to have him.”
Yorkshire are next in action against Derbyshire at Scarborough, starting September 3. That is the first of four remaining games in the LV= Insurance County Championship.