Momentum. A word regularly used by players and coaches when talking about T20 more than in any other format. After three wins from their first four group games in the Vitality Blast, Yorkshire have it and Gary Ballance is hoping they run with it.
The Vikings are on a roll, no doubt. They have secured the double over a Durham side who have win their other three matches and added the scalp of North Group leaders Worcestershire to those successes.
They currently sit nicely placed inside the top four quarter-final qualifying places with six points, with their only defeat so far against Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston.
Next up it’s the big one, county cricket’s premier clash – Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford on Friday night (6.30pm).
The Red Rose county say they are approaching a 23,500 sellout, with only restricted view tickets left.
It is no surprise really. All England players are available, aside from Jimmy Anderson and Jonny Bairstow, while the Red Rose are also going well.
They go into tonight’s (WEDNESDAY) clash with Leicestershire Foxes at Grace Road with an identical record to Yorkshire, albeit with a superior net run-rate.
Liam Livingstone’s side have won their last three matches.
In-form White Rose batsman Ballance said: “It was good to get a win against a good Worcester side on Sunday.
“We’re playing some good cricket, and hopefully we can go into the Roses game and get a win at Old Trafford.
“We’ve bounced back really well from that defeat at Edgbaston.
“We played some good cricket up at Durham, defended a low score, and at Worcester I thought it was a good all-round team performance. Everyone contributed.
“To get two wins out of two is great, and hopefully we can carry this momentum forwards.
“We have got some internationals coming in, which will definitely help us.
“The Roses T20, home or away, is always a great occasion, and hopefully we can get a win there.
“Lancashire are a good side. They know their home conditions well with some match-winners. They have Jos Buttler available. We know he’s a quality player and one of the best around. But hopefully we can keep him quiet.”
The way Yorkshire are playing at present is a reminder of their most successful season so far in the history of T20 when, in 2012, they reached the domestic final and then qualified for the group stages of the Champions League in South Africa.
Mitchell Starc and David Miller were their overseas players, with the likes of Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root contributing alongside Ballance, current coach Gale and his assistant Rich Pyrah amongst others.
That team advanced seamlessly, all knowing their roles.
Of the current squad, there are seven still in Vikings colours; Adam Lyth, Root, Ballance, Bairstow, Azeem Rafiq, Tim Bresnan and Adil Rashid.
And, after the Worcester game, coach Gale said of the current team: “We look like a well oiled unit.”
It was a comment which certainly fitted well with the class of 2012.
“There are similarities, yes,” added Ballance.
“There are different players from that year, but those of us who are still around have good memories from that year. We will try and use them to push us on again.”
Friday’s clash will be televised on Sky Sports.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is set to play the first of nine Vitality Blast fixtures for the Vikings.
Having arrived at Emerald Headingley last week, the 27-year-old is set to open his account in a fourth stint with the club.
Four of Yorkshire’s five England contingent come in to the squad with Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Jack Leaning, Jack Brooks, Matthew Waite and Ben Coad making way.
England management have made keeper/batsman Jonny Bairstow unavailable for this Roses clash but he will be in contention for the four-day Specsavers County Championship fixture at the same venue a little over 48 hours later.
In come Joe Root, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett and David Willey with the Vikings fielding one of their strongest line-ups of the year.
13-man squad to face Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford.
Steven Patterson ©
Jonny Tattersall (wk)
- Yorkshire have not won a T20 match at Old Trafford since 2014 and have won only four of their 13 completed games at the venue.
- The 231 for six which Lancashire scored at Old Trafford in the T20 match in 2015 is the highest against Yorkshire by any opponent.
- There have been four scores of 200 or over (three by Lancashire and one by Yorkshire) in T20 matches between these two counties and all have been made at Old Trafford.
- Lancashire’s highest innings in a T20 match against Yorkshire at Old Trafford is 101 by Stuart Law in 2005. No Yorkshire batsman has scored a T20 century at Old Trafford, the highest innings being Joe Root’s 92 not out in 2015.
- In 2017 Tim Bresnan took six for 19 against Lancashire at Headingley. This is the record for Yorkshire’s best bowling figures in a T20 match against any opponent.
Potential batting milestones in Lancashire v Yorkshire on 20th July 2018
KR Brown needs 16 runs to reach 2000 runs in Twenty20 matches
JC Buttler needs 32 runs to reach 500 runs in Twenty20 matches at Manchester
KK Jennings needs 35 runs to reach 500 runs in Twenty20 matches
GS Ballance needs 42 runs to reach 1500 runs in Twenty20 matches
TT Bresnan needs 44 runs to reach 1500 runs in Twenty20 matches
LS Livingstone needs 49 runs to reach 500 runs in Twenty20 matches at Manchester
SJ Croft needs 50 runs to reach 500 runs in Twenty20 matches against Yorkshire
AL Davies needs 61 runs to reach 500 runs in Twenty20 matches
SJ Croft needs 62 runs to reach 1500 runs in Twenty20 matches at Manchester
A Lyth needs 63 runs to reach 2000 runs in Twenty20 matches
LS Livingstone needs 74 runs to reach 1000 runs in Twenty20 matches
KR Brown needs 99 runs to reach 500 runs in Twenty20 matches against Yorkshire
AJ Hodd needs 100 runs to reach 500 runs in Twenty20 matches
JE Root needs 131 runs to reach 1500 runs in Twenty20 matches
AZ Lees needs 143 runs to reach 1000 runs in Twenty20 matches
KR Brown needs 143 runs to reach 1000 runs in Twenty20 matches at Manchester
Potential bowling milestones in Lancashire v Yorkshire on 20th July 2018
DJ Willey needs 1 wickets to reach 150 wickets in Twenty20 matches
Azeem Rafiq needs 5 wickets to reach 100 wickets in Twenty20 matches
JM Anderson needs 9 wickets to reach 50 wickets in Twenty20 matches
J Clark needs 9 wickets to reach 50 wickets in Twenty20 matches
JA Brooks needs 9 wickets to reach 50 wickets in Twenty20 matches
Vitality Blast statistics
Vitality Blast standings
T20 record: Winners in 2015, beating Northamptonshire in the final at Edgbaston. That was one of three final appearances (2005 and 2014 the others), while the Lightning have reached Finals Day six times in all.
Last season: Lancashire finished seventh in the North Group, winning five matches and losing six. They also played out a Roses tie at Emirates Old Trafford and had two No Results.
Captain: Liam Livingstone.
Overseas players: All-rounder James Faulkner, a Blast winner in 2015, returns to join fellow Australian Joe Mennie, the seamer who was signed for all formats by the Red Rose this summer.