PREVIEW: Vikings v Lightning
MATCH PREVIEW: Yorkshire Vikings v Lancashire Lightning #GameofRoses
Stephen Parry’s view that tomorrow “will be the biggest T20 Roses game we’ve played in” is certainly not an over exaggeration.
Lancashire and Yorkshire face off at Headingley in a NatWest T20 Blast clash which is likely to spell the end of the road for one of the two counties.
They both sit on eleven points from eleven matches and are two points outside the top four quarter-final qualifying places in the North Group with three games to play.
Yorkshire are fifth courtesy of a superior net run-rate.
The two sides have both endured a poor run of form of late and have slipped to leave their Blast title hopes hanging in the balance.
Headingley is sold out for the second of two group fixtures between the two this season, with last month’s Emirates Old Trafford clash ending in an extraordinary rain-affected tie.
The game will follow the Kia Women’s Super League opener between the Thunder and the Yorkshire Diamonds, starting at 2.30pm.
Yorkshire Vikings v Lancashire Lightning
Friday 11 August
NatWest T20 Blast
While Lancashire have only won one of their last five matches, losing three, Yorkshire have lost their last three.
Prior to a defeat to Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge a couple of Sundays ago, the Vikings were top of the group and flying.
They have since lost to Derbyshire at home and Durham away.
Throw in a Championship defeat inside two days against Essex at Scarborough earlier this week to leave them contemplating a final month relegation battle - the White Rose are certainly under pressure.
They have, however, played some superb cricket in the Blast this year, particularly at home, where they have won nine of their last 10 matches dating back to the start of last season.
They have posted scores of 220 plus three times this season, including two of them at Headingley.
Tim Bresnan’s men are set to welcome back England fast bowler Liam Plunkett from a hamstring injury and overseas Australian batsman Shaun Marsh following concussion.
Their other overseas player is Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, the wicketkeeper-batsman who won the Champions Trophy in June alongside Lightning quick Junaid Khan.
LAST TIME OUT
Lancashire and Yorkshire played out a dramatic rain-affected tie in front of a record 19,500 crowd at Emirates Old Trafford last month.
The largest attendance for a Blast match outside of London watched these two rivals follow the tie at Headingley in 2013.
Chasing 177, Yorkshire were 64-2 after 8.1 overs and level on Duckworth Lewis Stern when the umpires took the players off. Unfortunately, they were unable to get back on.
Both sides had their chances to win.
Karl Brown’s 61 off 47 balls at the top of the order helped the Lightning race out of the blocks.
They reached 59-0 after six overs and 106-1 after eleven, but could not make the most of their healthy position.
Later, Yorkshire were 44-1 in the sixth over of their chase and ahead on DLS before Adam Lyth tried to hammer Ryan McLaren over the top, only to miscue high to cover.
At 44-2, Yorkshire were behind and had blown their best chance to win the game with rain getting heavier.
WHAT THEY SAID
“I think Paz is right,” said opening batsman Karl Brown.
“Everybody knows how big a game it is with where we both sit in the table and what it means to the two teams.
“It’s a massive game and, yes, probably the biggest Roses fixture we’ve had so far.
“I’m not sure the loser goes out, but they will have to win the last two and maybe rely on a couple of other results as well. That in itself shows how big a game it is, never mind the rivalry.
“They won’t be taking us lightly, and us the same with them.
“We’ve not quite got on the run we wanted to. Ideally, you need a run of three games where you win each one. But we haven’t been able to do that.
“It’s been quite a tough group stage, though I think teams are improving significantly. The North is very tough. Anybody can beat anybody.”
Brown continued: “These games don’t get any bigger for the players. It’s going to be a full house, and it was at Emirates Old Trafford last time.
“It’s the best game of the year to play in. It doesn’t get any better than beating Yorkshire away.”
On the reverse fixture, he added: “We felt we had enough runs, but the rain came at a bad time for both teams. I think they were confident as well. It ruined a good game.”
Bails and Ales drinks festival
This summer, Emirates Old Trafford will be hosting its first ever Bails and Ales drinks festival during the final two games of the 2017 NatWest T20 Blast campaign.
The Bails and Ales drinks festival will be the first of its kind for the biggest domestic cricket competition in the country, and will combine that festival atmosphere with exciting T20 cricket – with some of best named breweries coming together for this unique event including Heineken, JW Lees, Joseph Holt and Robinsons.
2017 Bails and Ales drinks festival dates
- Lancashire Lightning v Worcestershire Rapids (including Lancashire Thunder v Surrey Stars) – Wed 16 Aug
- Lancashire Lightning v Birmingham Bears – Fri 18 Aug
Buy your tickets for the first ever Bails and Ales drinks festival here, or by calling 0161 868 6868 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org ...but don’t forget you can benefit from the best ticket prices by buying online and can beat the queues by using our print at home tickets.