“It’s a pretty tough week coming up,” admits Finn Allen. “We play Monday, Wednesday, Friday, but we have a bit of momentum now and hopefully we can run with it.”
New Zealand opener Allen is correct, Yorkshire face a key working week in their bid for Vitality Blast silverware.
Perennial challengers Nottinghamshire Outlaws first up tonight at Headingley (6.30pm), North Group leaders Lancashire Lightning at the same venue on Wednesday and fancied Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston on Friday evening.
The Vikings head into it with two wins, a tie and two defeats so far, the latest game against Durham at Headingley on Friday bringing a victory and welcome confidence.
Chasing 208 to win was no mean feat, but Yorkshire did it at a canter, winning by six wickets with a whopping 14 balls to spare.
Big-hitting Aucklander Allen played a significant part. His 29 may have been dwarfed by 77 and 75 not out for opening partner Adam Lyth and captain David Willey, but he walloped two big sixes in a 12-ball assault to set the tone.
“It was a great first game to be a part of,” said the 23-year-old. “The lads were awesome.
“Myself and Lythy, once we got going early on, we decided that we were going to take the game on and play good, hard cricket shots. And we did and were rewarded.
“Lythy was outstanding. He played proper shots, the same as Dave Willey.
“Durham are a really good side, and to get the win over them was crucial for us. It sets us up nicely for the next few games.”
Allen’s arrival at Headingley for the last three quarters of the Blast has been made all the more fascinating by his first taste of county cricket coming with arch-rivals Lancashire last season.
“I’m glad to be playing at Headingley on the right side of it this time, that’s for sure,” he smiled, looking ahead to Wednesday. “It’s definitely going to be a big fixture.”
He impressed for the Red Rose county last year, with his 399 runs and four fifties in 13 innings putting him inside the competition’s top 10 leading run-scorers.
“It was first time playing as an overseas player. I’d gone to the IPL before, but I didn’t get to play,” he reflected. “So to go there, get game time under my belt and build some confidence was brilliant for me.”
If powerful Allen produces similar form in a Vikings’ shirt, it will definitely be exciting to watch. His cameo against Durham the other night showed that.
Prior to signing on at Headingley, he spoke to close mate Lockie Ferguson, the fellow New Zealand fast bowler who was Yorkshire’s Blast overseas player last season.
“I just spoke to Lockie about the set-up and what the lads were like, and he loved it here,” said the man, who plays his domestic cricket back home for Wellington.