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Patterson urges players to level up performances

— 14 July 2021

Day four of the Roses clash was abandoned at 10am with areas of the outfield on the Emerald Stand end of the ground deemed to still be unfit and unsafe. Yorkshire claimed eight points from the game, Lancashire 11.

Steve Patterson has urged his players to up their performance levels in order to challenge for four-day silverware during the final five weeks of the season.

Yorkshire have qualified for the late August and September top group in the LV= Insurance County Championship, qualifying alongside Lancashire from Group Three.

The Roses rivals had already qualified prior to this week’s weather-affected clash at Emerald Headingley, which saw only 119.2 overs bowled due to rain and a wet outfield.

Day four was abandoned at 10am with conditions having not sufficiently improved following the third day issues.

But those issues were not connected to the injury of young fast bowler Dom Leech, suffered whilst fielding on the boundary.

Leech has dislocated a joint at the side of his left knee, but there is no break. Following an MRI scan, the 20-year-old will see a specialist tomorrow.

Lancashire dominated what play was possible in the draw, reaching 411-2, and taking 11 points to Yorkshire’s eight means they topped the initial group table by a point.

Yorkshire will head through to the next phase carrying 4.5 points forward and start bottom of the six-team, four-game top group. Lancashire have 16.5 points and leaders Warwickshire have 21 points.

The first game of the next phase starts on August 30. The winners will be county champions and the top two qualify for the Bob Willis Trophy final at Lord’s.

“As I’ve said to the lads up there in a bit of a debrief, we haven’t played our best cricket here. We know that,” said captain Patterson.

“If you look at the two games against Lancs, we’ve been way below par this season. But our primary goal to was to qualify for the top group. We’ve done that.

“We’re only a point behind Lancs from the points we’ve gained in this group, we’ve won five out of the 10 games and have only lost one.

“I think there’s some real achievements there to say that we haven’t played our best cricket.

“We’ve achieved our first goal, which is to get in the top group at the end.

“Now it’s about realising the level of cricket we need to play against the top teams. We’ve been shown that against Lancs when we’ve been below par.

“Come September, we have to raise our game and play to the level we know we’re capable of.

“If we do that and have four good games, we have every chance. It’s going to be all to play for.

“I know we take points through and teams will have more than others. But if you set your stall out to win three out of four games, you’ve got every chance.

“We’re disappointed with our performance here. But, bigger picture, we’re delighted to be where we wanted to be at the start of the year. That’s in that final group.”

Yorkshire have also qualified for the quarter-finals of the Vitality Blast for the first time since 2016, as the point they required for qualification came as a result of Sunday’s final North Group fixture against Derbyshire at the County Ground being cancelled.

This has happened because of Derbyshire being unable to field a team with the majority of their squad being in self isolation following a positive Coronavirus case at the start of the week.

Yorkshire have one group game remaining against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford when they will play for a top-two finish and a home quarter-final in late August.

That won’t be played at Emerald Headingley because of a clash with the England v India Test Match, starting August 25, and the club are currently exploring options as to where that might be played.

Yorkshire will be refunding ticket holders for the last three days of the Roses fixture.

Day two was washed out by rain, day three saw only 23.2 overs bowled because of a wet outfield at the Emerald Stand End and day four was abandoned for the same reason at 10am.

“We’re disappointed,” added Patterson.

“We’d have loved to play some cricket with points up for grabs to take through to the next round.

“But the way I look at it is that you have two of the most experienced umpires in the country in Ian Gould and Nigel Llong who are very, very good at their job.

“They thought the safety of the players couldn’t be guaranteed and made the tough decision to call it off.

“As frustrating as it is from a cricket perspective, we accept their decision. I believe they made the right call, and I back them.”

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