Ottis Gibson is hoping it’s a case of home sweet home at Headingley this week as his Yorkshire side look to get back on the horse in the Vitality Blast.
The Vikings must dust themselves down following yesterday’s heavy defeat against Derbyshire at Chesterfield and get their quarter-final bid back on track with three games in four days.
Two of those are at home, starting with David Willey’s Northamptonshire Steelbacks tomorrow (6.30pm).
Birmingham Bears follow at Headingley on Thursday night before the penultimate game in the North Group is played against Durham at the Seat Unique Riverside on Friday.
Despite the landslide nature of the defeat against Derbyshire – by 144 runs – Yorkshire remain handily placed in the race for a top four berth and quarter-final qualification with four games remaining.
They have won six games out of 10 and are fourth in the table, one of four teams locked on 12 points alongside leaders Birmingham, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire, who all have a better net run-rate.
If Yorkshire can have a good week, they may be celebrating quarter-final qualification for the second year running under coach Gibson.
He said: “That’s what we said we wanted to do at the start of the year when we sat down to set out our goals.
“We have three opportunities this week to get ourselves into the quarter-finals, and that would be a great achievement for us.”
Gibson was clearly stung by the manner of the defeat to the Falcons, describing their batting performance of 68 all out in pursuit of 213 as “unacceptable”.
But he was able to compartmentalise it.
“These things happen in T20 cricket – what happened at Worcester when we conceded 19 off the last over to lose, what happened to Ben Mike against Derbyshire (1-74 from four overs).
“I said to Mikey, ‘You’ve been brilliant for us over the course of the season, and one bad game doesn’t make you a bad player’.”
The Vikings have won four of five games at Headingley this season, beating Leicestershire, Worcestershire, Derbyshire and Lancashire dating back to the start of the month.
Gibson reasoned: “We know how to play at Headingley perhaps better than we know how to play at somewhere like Chesterfield. Our results there suggest that.
“We’ll get back to Headingley on Tuesday and get back on the horse.
“From a batting point of view, we know the wicket is going to be a belter. We know what the average score is there, and it’s high. When you come to Chesterfield, you don’t know what sort of surface you’re going to get.
“Everybody is more comfortable in their own environment, and we’re very comfortable at Headingley. It’s a fantastic place for us to play our T20 cricket.”
Northants are second bottom in the North Group with four wins from 10 games, one of those coming at home to Notts yesterday by 78 runs as they bowled the visitors out for 99 in pursuit of a 178 target.
The Steelbacks are captained by former Yorkshire T20 skipper David Willey, who left the club last September after seven seasons as a Viking to return home to Wantage Road.
They have Australian duo Chris Lynn and AJ Tye as their overseas players, though the former didn’t play against Notts yesterday due to illness.
Gibson added: “I get on really well with Dave and have worked with him in franchise tournaments.
“It will be great to see him, but hopefully we can do the business against him and his team.”