MATCH PREVIEW: Lancashire Lightning vs Yorkshire Vikings
Second-placed Lancashire need just one more win from their remaining two games to guarantee quarter-final qualification, and what an opportunity they have to do it in the biggest game of the campaign.
Lancashire Lightning v Yorkshire Vikings
Vitality Blast, North Group
Friday June 30, 2023, 7pm
Emirates Old Trafford
Yorkshire head to Emirates Old Trafford with a slim chance of reaching the quarter-finals. They need a win from this, their last group game, and hope other results go their way. They’re sat fifth in the North Group on 13 points from as many games, one point outside the top four, who have all played 12.
Birmingham are top on 18, Lancashire second, Worcestershire third and Nottinghamshire fourth – all on 14 points.
Yorkshire also have an inferior net run-rate to everyone else in the group aside from bottom side Leicestershire, which means not even a win in this game may be enough.
The Vikings also have something else to play for – completing a first Roses double in the Blast since 2011. They have won six and lost six out of 13 games so far added to a No Result. One of their wins was against the Lightning at Headingley at the start of the month.
Lancashire currently sit second after 12 games, winning seven. The county have a better net run-rate than third-placed Worcestershire and Notts in fourth.
That means Lancashire will guarantee a top two finish and a home quarter-final by winning both games and maintaining that superior run-rate over Worcester and Notts.
The Red Rose head into this fixture on cloud nine after a stunning County Championship win over league leaders and defending champions Surrey at the Oval this week.
Inconsistent is the best way to describe Yorkshire’s campaign so far.
The Vikings lost their first three games, won their next six – equalling a club record winning streak in the process – before losing their next three and then getting one rained off last time out up at Durham last Friday evening.
England white ball opener Dawid Malan is the competition’s third leading run-scorer with 546 to his name, including five fifties. But only one other player – Adam Lyth with 237 – has reached 200 runs for the tournament.
If Malan doesn’t fire, they struggle. Captain Shan Masood, their Pakistani international captain, has failed to fire, though Namibian overseas all-rounder David Wiese has been a dependable contributor with 197 runs and 11 wickets.
Jordan Thompson has been their leading wicket-taker with 20 wickets.
Unfortunately for them, all-rounder Ben Mike returned figures of 1-74 from four overs in a recent defeat to Derbyshire at Chesterfield – the sixth most expensive figures anywhere in the world.
Bowled out for a record low 68 in pursuit of 213, they lost by 144 runs – a record margin of defeat. That came after they’d beaten Nottinghamshire and Lancashire back-to-back. It neatly sums up their campaign.
Opposing player to watch:
Leg-spinner Jafer Chohan is a new name on the block this season. Aged 20, the Loughborough University student was signed on a one-year rookie deal at Headingley having impressed playing for the South Asian Cricket Academy.
Chohan has been an ever-present for the Vikings, playing all 13 games but not bowling in two of those. He has taken five wickets in his first senior campaign, bowling much better than his haul of wickets suggest. He has returns of 1-13 and 1-16 from four overs to his name.
He was recommended to the Yorkshire coaches by England Test star Joe Root, who was troubled by the Camden-born leggie whilst facing him in the nets at Loughborough as part of an England training camp.
On June 1 at Headingley, Lancashire suffered a surprise defeat to Yorkshire by 15 runs.
Dawid Malan celebrated his 300th T20 career appearance with a superb 83 off 50 balls in Yorkshire’s 195-6 before Jos Buttler was caught at mid-off against the off-spin of Dom Bess seven balls into Lancashire’s pursuit.
A sellout 16,000 crowd – a number of whom missed the start due to traffic issues – saw Yorkshire win only their second game of the season and their second Roses game since the start of 2018.
The Lightning finished on 180-8, with Ben Mike and Dawid Wiese each claiming 2-31.
New Zealander Colin de Grandhomme claimed 3-24 from four overs of skilful seam for Lancashire, whose night started badly by conceding 17 runs off the first over of the match. Unfortunately, it didn’t get any better.
But that will all be forgotten with a victory on home soil.
What they said:
Jos Buttler is set for his eighth career Roses Blast appearance – and the England white ball captain can’t wait.
“It will be a cracker. The Roses games are always brilliant,” said Buttler, who went beyond 10,000 career T20 runs in last Friday’s home win over Derbyshire at Emirates Old Trafford during his blistering 83.
“With the new hotel there and the way the ground’s looking, Roses nights are always very special. I’m looking forward to playing that game in front of a packed house.
“Whoever you are, a domestic or international player, they’re big nights against Yorkshire.
“They’re always special nights, and the atmosphere will be great. It’s on Sky, and it will be a brilliant night for everyone to enjoy.”
In his 83 in victory over Derbyshire last Friday, Jos Buttler posted his best T20 score and also became the fastest Lancashire player to 1,500 T20 runs for the county in 49 innings.