Adam Lyth says a no fear approach proved key to his impressive personal white ball form last year and hopes for more of the same when the Royal London One-Day Cup kicks off on Friday.
The Yorkshire opener hit three fifties in nine 50-over appearances last term, totalling 304 runs.
He also smashed a brilliant 535 runs from 12 T20 Blast outings, including a mesmerising and record-breaking 161 against Northamptonshire at Emerald Headingley.
Unfortunately for the left-hander, his form did not contribute to any silverware for the Vikings.
That, unlike his form, he hopes will be different.
Ahead of Friday’s televised opener against Durham, under lights at Emirates Riverside (2pm), he said: “The white ball stuff has gone really well for me in the last couple of years.
“Hopefully I can kick on from that and put some more big performances in.
“I went out to the crease with no fear, took it on and just reacted to the ball.
“Unfortunately, in the red ball stuff last year, it didn’t really work. But it did against the white.”
Yorkshire’s lack of limited overs silverware recently has been somewhat of a head-scratcher.
They have played some scintillating cricket, only to lose the important games.
In one-day cricket, they were beaten quarter-finals in 2014 – by tomorrow’s opponents Durham – before losing semis the following two years. Last year, they lost the eliminator match against Surrey to reach the semi-finals.
“It’s been frustrating,” said Lyth.
“We seem to get so close yet be so far away.
“Look at the T20s last year, for example. I really thought we should have been at Finals Day with the team we had. But it didn’t work out that way.
“We will miss a few players through England and other commitments. But we have a very good squad. I’m sure this year we can really go far.”
While Yorkshire finished second and qualified for the knockout stages last year, Durham finished fifth and did not.
However, they started the season with a two points deduction due to their recent financial problems.
Add those two points to their tally of seven, coming from four wins and a No Result, and they would have qualified in third place ahead of Nottinghamshire courtesy of a better net run-rate.
Notts went on and won the RL50 and completed the limited overs double.
This fixture is the first of two in three days for Yorkshire.
On Sunday, they host Warwickshire at Emerald Headingley, starting at 11am.
“It’s an important weekend for us given the two games come quickly. If we can win them, it will be a big boost,” added Lyth.
“Hopefully, as well, our white ball stuff can help the red ball when we return to that in a few weeks’ time.
“Durham are always a competitive side. Although I haven’t seen a great deal of them this year, we’ve had some great contests against them down the years.”
Captain Gary Ballance is set to miss several Royal London One-Day Cup fixtures after the Club, this week, granted him some time away from the game due to personal reasons. We ask that his privacy be respected during this time.
Steven Patterson will captain the side in his absence, while Ben Coad (ankle) returns having played in a comfortable Second XI Trophy win over Derbyshire. He returned figures of 1-8 off six overs.
Andrew Hodd picks up the gloves once again, with England duo Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root departing for England duty ahead of the two-Test series against Pakistan.
Leg-spinner all-rounder Adil Rashid, who signed a white-ball only contract back in February, is included having warmed up by playing several Second XI fixture, as is off-spinner Azeem Rafiq and Tom Kohler-Cadmore, who make the FIrst XI for the first time in 2018.
13-man squad to face Durham Jets at Emirates Riverside.
Watch our interview with returning keeper Andrew Hodd.
Each county has won seven matches of the 15 List A games between the two sides played in Durham.
Of the last seven such matches at Chester-le-Street Durham have won five to Yorkshire’s two.
The 674 runs which the two sides scored in their List A match at Headingley in 2017 was an aggregate record for List A cricket on the ground. It lasted for four days.
The only bowler to take five wickets in an innings in any List A match between these two counties is Brian Lander. He took five for 15 at Harrogate in 1973 in the Gillette Cup when Durham was a Minor County. It won the match and was the first such team to defeat a first-class county..
Tim Bresnan needs 36 runs to complete 3,000 runs in List A matches for all teams. He also needs one catch to teach a total of 50 in List A games for Yorkshire.
Jack Leaning needs to score 81 runs to achieve a total of 1,000 in List A cricket for all teams.
Adam Lyth needs to take just one catch to complete a total for 50 for Yorkshire in List A matches.
Steven Patterson needs to take three wickets to reach a total of 100 in List A matches for Yorkshire.
Adil Rashid needs to score only three runs to complete a total of 1,000 in List A matches for Yorkshire.
Cheteshwar Pujara needs to score 45 runs to reach a total of 4,000 for all teams in List A cricket.
Potential batting milestones in Durham v Yorkshire on 18th May 2018
AU Rashid needs 5 runs to reach 1500 runs in List A matches
TT Bresnan needs 36 runs to reach 3000 runs in List A matches
NJ Rimmington needs 38 runs to reach 500 runs in List A matches
SW Poynter needs 44 runs to reach 500 runs in List A matches
CA Pujara needs 45 runs to reach 4000 runs in List A matches
G Clark needs 55 runs to reach 500 runs in List A matches
JA Leaning needs 81 runs to reach 1000 runs in List A matches
AJ Hodd needs 84 runs to reach 1000 runs in List A matches
RD Pringle needs 85 runs to reach 500 runs in List A matches
MJ Richardson needs 102 runs to reach 500 runs in List A matches at Chester-le-Street
JM Bairstow needs 130 runs to reach 3500 runs in List A matches
TWM Latham needs 147 runs to reach 4000 runs in List A matches
Potential bowling milestones in Durham v Yorkshire on 18th May 2018
C Rushworth needs 4 wickets to reach 50 wickets in List A matches at Chester-le-Street
Azeem Rafiq needs 7 wickets to reach 50 wickets in List A matches
Specsavers County Championship: Division 2 (2017 performance 9th)
Royal London One-Day Cup: North Group (2017 performance 5th)
Vitality Blast: North Group (2017 performance 9th)
Captain (s): Paul Collingwood (County Championship) Tom Latham (50 over captain) T20 TBC
Coach / Director of Cricket: Jon Lewis
Overseas Players – Aiden Markram (Four CC Matches), Tom Latham, Akshar Patel (last six CC matches)
Notable Ins – Nathan Rimmington, Will Smith
Notable Outs – Paul Coughlin, Keaton Jennings, Graham Onions
Man on a Mission
Cameron Steel – The 22-year-old enjoyed an impressive first season with Durham, with only Paul Collingwood scoring more first-class runs. His tally totalled 899 at an average just over 40, scoring two centuries and four fifties. The highlight of his 2017 campaign was an outstanding knock of 224 against Leicestershire – Steel’s highest career score.
The departure of Jennings has left a void in the batting line-up. It will be up to Steel to maintain the levels he displayed last season to ease the pressure on Collingwood.
One to Watch
Matthew Potts – Durham have a proud history of producing high-quality fast bowlers. The next one off the production line could well be Potts, who burst on to the scene last season. The 19-year-old played five matches, but took 14 wickets and had the knack of striking at crucial times.
His consistent line and length gave even the best of batsmen issues, with Potts notching the crucial scalp of Jacques Rudolph in Durham’s win over Glamorgan at the Riverside.
Injury curtailed his 2017 campaign, and also ruled him out of the ICC Under-19s World Cup, after he had been a regular in England’s team last summer. But should he return fit and firing, he will be a potent weapon in the four-day game.
Paul Collingwood – He remains the heartbeat of the club and continues to perform at a high level even as approaches the age of 42. Collingwood’s leadership was perhaps more vital than ever last term as Durham dealt with the repercussions of ECB sanctions. He ensured that they remained competitive in all formats, refusing to allow the standards to drop even when at times Durham were fighting a losing battle.
Collingwood surpassed the 1,000-run mark, scoring three centuries in his 14 first-class matches, while he was also just as impressive in the limited-overs formats. Durham must continue to rely on their skipper’s experience as he leads a youthful side in the 2018 campaign.
Prospects for 2018
After entering last season with points deductions in all three formats, Durham have a clean slate for the 2018 campaign. However, Jon Lewis and his team once again must deal with the loss of key players. The departure of Jennings, Onions and Coughlin stripped them of further quality so soon after Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick left the Emirates Riverside.
The signing of Markram will give the impetus in the batting line-up at the start of the campaign, with Latham on international duty with New Zealand. If Markram’s performances are of a similar calibre to those he produced against Australia in a series that will be remembered for very different reasons, Durham will be well placed for the return of Latham.
He was outstanding in his limited action last term and will carry the run-scoring burden. His experience in the 50-over format will ease the pressure on Collingwood. The Royal London One-Day Cup provides Durham with perhaps their best chance of success. They were Lord’s winners as recently as 2014 and were only denied a passage through to the knockout phase by that two-point deduction. The depth of all-rounders gives them an intriguing edge in the competition.
The 20-over format has not been a strong point for Durham other than their run to the final in 2016. They won three matches last term, finishing bottom of the North Group. So improvement will again be a priority.