Shan Masood says he will always hold dear Yorkshire’s Roses Vitality Blast win at Headingley at the start of this month – and the skipper wants more of where that came from when the Vikings cross the Pennines tomorrow.
Yorkshire head to Emirates Old Trafford (7pm) for a game they simply have to win to maintain any hope of quarter-final qualification.
Yorkshire currently sit fifth in the North Group on 13 points from 13 games. This is their last fixture of a group phase which concludes on Sunday for the majority of other teams.
Masood and co are a point outside the top four qualifying positions occupied by group leaders Birmingham on 18 points and Lancashire, Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire in that order all on 14.
Yorkshire’s net run-rate – the first separator should teams finish level on points – is inferior to everyone else’s in the group bar bottom side Leicestershire.
It means that not even a win may be enough to qualify them.
Masood, however, has certainly not given up hope having had reasonably recent experience with Pakistan that anything is possible. November’s T20 World Cup in Australia tells him that.
“It’s all about one game,” said the Pakistan batter. “We must enjoy this game.
“It can be the last game in the competition, playing against a good team in their den having not beaten them enough.
“If you produce a good performance and don’t qualify, that’s not in our hands. What’s in our hands is to produce a good performance to give ourselves every chance.
“I’ve been in some funny places. I was at the (T20) World Cup with Pakistan. Nobody gave us a chance after losing (a group game) to Zimbabwe.
“Every result we wanted in our favour, it wasn’t happening. For example, India beating South Africa or Bangladesh beating India.
“So it all came down to the last game, and even we’d given up a bit of hope. Surely the South Africans weren’t going to lose to the Dutch. But that happened.
“It gave us a window, and we made it to the final. It was a pretty closely contested final with England in the end.
“These things can happen in tournaments.
“The main thing is for us to get the two points at Old Trafford. If something happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, we have to go back to the drawing board and learn from the mistakes we’ve made in this campaign.”
Yorkshire have won six and lost six from 13 games, including last Friday’s rainy No Result against Durham at the Seat Unique Riverside.
The win over Lancashire at Headingley on June 1 was the Vikings’ second victory of the campaign, by 15 runs on the back of Dawid Malan’s superb 83 and 2-31 apiece for Ben Mike and David Wiese as the Lightning chased 196.
“Seeing the Roses game at Headingley, it felt like an international game,” recalled Masood. “The crowd, the fact it was being televised. It was really special.
“Before the match finished and when the last four overs got comfortable once we got Tom Hartley out, the crowd were amazing in a full stadium.
“Also knowing what the guys had been through for a long period of time, they were our first couple of wins of the season, Lancashire and Notts just before it. That will always be special to me.
“It was also my debut in terms of a Roses game, and you always remember your first one.
“I’m looking forward to this one, it would be a great feeling if we could do the double on them.”
Yorkshire have not achieved the Roses Blast double since 2011, and to do so they will have to beat a Lightning team who have won seven of 12 games.
A win for them against Yorkshire will confirm their place in the quarter-finals. England white ball captain Jos Buttler will play in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Meanwhile, should Yorkshire qualify for the quarter-finals – to be played next Thursday and Friday – Masood is hoping to be available before linking up with Pakistan for a two-Test series in Sri Lanka midway through next month.