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Vikings in must win v Unicorns

— 19 May 2013

First-team coach Jason Gillespie has called for an immediate improvement in Yorkshire’s performances in 40-over cricket as they prepare to face the Unicorns at Chesterfield tomorrow.

The Vikings have suffered back-to-back defeats to start their Yorkshire Bank 40 campaign, including last Saturday’s heavy defeat against Somerset, which they ended up losing by 131 runs at Headingley.

Director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon believes they can only afford to lose one more match from their remaining 10 if they are to challenge at the right end of Group C. They have to top the group if they are to guarantee semi-final qualification.

The best second-placed finisher from the three groups will also qualify for the last four in September.

Dizzy said of tomorrow’s clash: “We do need to win that one. We haven’t played very good cricket in the 40-over comp, simple as that. We haven’t batted well and we’ve bowled poorly. When you do that, you don’t win games. We’ve got to turn that around quickly.”

Meanwhile, Jason Gillespie has confirmed that Tim Bresnan will be rested for tomorrow’s clash against the Unicorns. Bresnan returned to Yorkshire on the second day of the LV= County Championship victory over Warwickshire having been left out of the England team for the first Test Match against New Zealand at Lord’s. Since returning from an elbow operation last month, the England all-rounder has impressed with the ball and both Yorkshire and England felt it was important for him to take some time off so he can continue to play to his optimum.

“Bres has had a lot of cricket since coming back from injury,” added Gillespie.

“England have been great in working with us to make sure we get the best out of him. I would like to thank Andy Flower for giving us the opportunity to play Tim against Warwickshire. With winning inside three days, it gives him more time to recharge the batteries. As much as we would like him to ply against the Unicorns, his welfare is paramount.”

Of Yorkshire’s four victories in last season’s 40-over competition, two of them came against the Unicorns at Scarborough and Headingley. 

Gary Ballance scored an unbeaten 103 in the away fixture at North Marine Road before adding 69 not out in the home fixture, which was by no means a stroll in the park. Rain handed Yorkshire a revised target of 162 off 37 overs, and they slipped to 71-5 before Ballance and Azeem Rafiq (34 not out) added an unbroken 91 for the sixth wicket.

The Unicorns have lost two and had a No Result from their first three matches this season. Captained by former Somerset all-rounder Keith Parsons, they are in the last year of their existence with the re-introduction of 50-over cricket in 2014 prompting a format change.

Yorkshire Vikings squad v Unicorns:

Ashraf, Ballance, Gale ©, Hodd (wk), Jaques, Lyth, Patterson, Plunkett, Pyrah, Rashid, Rhodes, Sidebottom.

Tickets are now on sale for the Unicorns v Yorkshire YB40 match at Queen’s Park in Chesterfield.

Tickets are priced at £16 on the day or £12 if purchased in advance from, The Chesterfield Visitor Information Centre at Rykneld Square, Chesterfield, or on 01246 345777 / 345778 where there is a £2 handling charge per order. A full refund is available on advance ticket sales in the event that there is no play on the day.