Yorkshire will bid to get back on the horse against Kent Spitfires tomorrow as the race for Royal London Cup knockout qualification hots up.

The Vikings head to Canterbury (11am) to conclude a mini road trip of the South East which started with a rain-affected defeat against Essex at Chelmsford yesterday.

A second defeat in five Group B games was a blow to the county’s hopes of finishing in the top three places, of which they are just outside at present. But it was far from a fatal one.

Jonny Tattersall’s side sit fourth in the table on six points, one behind Essex in third with three games remaining. Essex only have two to play.

There are a myriad of qualification possibilities, including Kent in fifth – they have five points from six games – still making it.

While Yorkshire could still usurp current headers Hampshire (10 points) and finish top of the group to secure direct qualification for the semi-finals, it is more realistic they are aiming for second or third place to secure a place in the effective quarter-final play-off tie.

The qualification permutations are numerous.

The simplest one is that the county will secure a top three berth with three wins from three. No ifs, no buts.

But they could also qualify with one win as long as results elsewhere go their way.

Despite defeat at Essex, by 88 runs on DLS as they were 76-6 after 19 overs chasing 241 when the rain came, the Vikings are largely playing well enough to qualify.

Captain Tattersall said: “We’ve just got to keep doing what we’ve been doing.

“We’ve just had two games where, with the bat for 20 overs, we’ve just not produced as we would have wanted to. That’s cost us.

“But that can happen in 50-over cricket, and games are coming thick and fast.

“We can’t dwell on it too much. If we can get another win, fortunes turn around and you’re back on that winning streak.”

On paper, Kent look a better team than their results have suggested. They have won two, lost three and had one rained off. The latter came at Derbyshire yesterday.

Captained by Joe Denly, they have been including the likes of wicketkeeper Ollie Robinson, opener Ben Compton, Joey Evison, Matt Quinn and India overseas seamer Navdeep Saini.

They are missing captain Sam Billings due to the Hundred as well as the likes of Jordan Cox, Fred Klaassen, Jack Leaning and Yorkshire seamer to be Matt Milnes.

“Every game is winnable,” continued Tattersall. “We beat Glamorgan last week who were champions last year. We’ve beaten them twice in two years.

“We also beat Northants, who pretty much have a full squad available to them.

“We’ve beaten some very good sides. Anybody who we come up against we know that if we play well we can win the game.

“The challenge and nature of cricket is that you don’t win every game.

“We didn’t produce as we wanted to against Essex, but spirits seem to still be high.”

Tattersall and coach Ali Maiden have given the vast majority of their available players game time throughout this competition, including the likes of left-arm Harry Sullivan and seamer Ben Cliff, the latter who is now with the England Under 19s.

But a sign their encouraging cricket is the fact that batter Finlay Bean is yet to get his chance and earn a first-team debut.

However, if and when he does, Tattersall is backing his fellow York CC player to shine.

“Sometimes you can be quick to change a team,” he said. “We could have quite easily made a change after that Lancashire game when we didn’t produce with the bat how we’d have wanted.

“Like I said earlier, we had 20 overs with the bat where we weren’t quite good enough and couldn’t cope with what they had to throw at us.

“But sometimes you can be a bit quick to change, and you have to give the lads a chance to play.

“These lads played last year and deserve their chance.

“There’s still time left in this competition – three group games to play – and there’s no reason why Beany won’t get a game or two. It’s a busy schedule, and if lads need a rest or we need to go with a different make-up of the side, he might get a game.

“It’s testament to the strength of squad that we’ve got that they can all produce and win matches for us.”

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