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MATCH PREVIEW: Yorkshire Vikings v Lancashire Lightning

MATCH PREVIEW: Yorkshire Vikings v Lancashire Lightning

Lancashire can take a giant step towards the quarter-finals of the Blast when, in front of the Sky Sports cameras this evening, they face a Yorkshire side who also have designs on a place in the last eight.

Yorkshire Vikings v Lancashire Lightning
Vitality Blast, North Group
Wednesday June 9, 2022, 6.30pm
Headingley

The Lightning’s rampant victory over Leicestershire at Grace Road last night was their fifth in a row after a competition-starting tie against the Vikings at Emirates Old Trafford last month.

If they can claim another two points and extend their unbeaten start to 2022 over the wrong side of the Pennines, they will have one foot in the last eight at the halfway stage of the competition.

Dane Vilas and co beat the Foxes in the East Midlands last night by seven wickets with 3.5 overs to spare chasing 136.

Pace off the ball excelled in bowling the hosts out for 135. Spinners Tom Hartley and Matt Parkinson claimed two wickets and were excellent, as was seamer Danny Lamb, who matched their haul.

Steven Croft’s 45 off 31 balls then led the chase.

Opponents:

Yorkshire have made a mixed start, but they remain very much in the hunt for a quarter-final berth following two powerful performances in home victories at either end of the Platinum Jubilee weekend.

The Vikings have won back-to-back games against Durham and Nottinghamshire on Friday and Monday, the first of which saw them chase down 208 and the latter when they defended 203.

Amidst three wins in six games so far was the tie against the Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford.

But what has irked them is home defeats against Leicestershire and Derbyshire, the former when they had Harry Brook, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan in the side.

It is possible that none of those names above will feature tonight. Brook and Root are with England, Rauf and Khan with Pakistan and Malan has missed the last two games with a side injury.

Still, there is plenty of talent on show, and the likelihood is that we will see a high-scoring game.

Against Durham on Friday, Yorkshire conceded 207-8 before chasing it down with a whopping 2.2 overs to spare. Against Notts, they made 203-5 before reducing the Outlaws to 14-3 before a fightback. Notts fell to a 23-run defeat in the end.

Headingley has always been a high-scoring venue, a fast and true pitch.

The Vikings fielded Pakistan duo Khan and Rauf in the Roses tie at Emirates Old Trafford last month, but they have since had a change in overseas personnel.

Finn Allen, who played for the Lightning last season, has crossed the divide and will play this evening.

West Indian fast bowling all-rounder Dominic Drakes will also play having signed a short-term deal at Headingley to play four fixtures.

Captain David Willey has returned to the fold having missed the initial stages of the Blast due to Indian Premier League commitments with Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Opposing player to watch:

Lancashire will know all about New Zealand opener Finn Allen, the 23-year-old who wore the Red Rose in last season’s Blast with good success.

Tall and powerful Allen totalled 399 runs in 13 matches, including four half-centuries, last season and was amongst the top 10 leading run-scorers in the competition.

He has posted 29 and 16 in his first two innings for the Vikings this term, hitting five sixes across the two innings.

Allen, an Aucklander who plays his state cricket for Wellington back home in New Zealand, has just spent his second IPL campaign with Bangalore. He is yet to play a game for them across two seasons in India.

Previous meeting:

Lancashire and Yorkshire played out a thrilling Blast tie as Richard Gleeson trapped Harry Brook lbw with one run needed for an away win at Emirates Old Trafford on May 27.

It was the Lightning’s opening night fixture, and after making 183-7 they were able to limit the visitors to 183-5 thanks to the Blackpool-born fast bowler.

Yorkshire, chasing a first Blast Roses win away from home since 2014, looked on course after Brook (72) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (67) shared 115 for the fourth wicket.

But Gleeson trapped in-form Brook, who had posted his 10th fifty in 11 innings in all cricket this season, lbw playing to leg against a full toss to send the 14,000 crowd wild.

He had been defending 13 off the last over and sealed a third tie in Roses T20 history.

The Lightning’s total had been underpinned by Phil Salt’s 59 off 41 balls after they had elected to bat before the game swung this way and that, as fixtures between these two sides always seem to do.

What they said:

Steven Croft helped Lancashire to their fifth win on the spin last night and said: “We’re very pleased with the start to the season.”

Croft hit a top-score of 45 from number three in the order as the Lightning chased 136 with ease against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

“You are going to lose the odd game, and that can come at any time in T20 cricket,” he continued. “But we’re playing great cricket at the minute, and we’ve just got to keep doing what we're doing.

“It was a great all-round performance. Leicester have a good record in T20, and they were on the back of a hot streak with three wins away.

“Our bowlers came back well after a good Leicester start.

“They looked like they were on for a good score at one stage, so it was a great effort from our spin bowlers to drag them back.

“It’s not an easy place to come and bowl spin because the straight boundaries are quite short, but they stuck to their plans really well.

On his own performance, Croft added: “It was nice to have a little bit of time in the middle and make a nice contribution to the win.”

How’s Stat!

The Lightning were beaten by Somerset in last season’s quarter-final at Taunton, but they have not been beaten in nine group matches - a run started after last July’s defeat at Headingley when Lockie Ferguson took a hat-trick for the Vikings.

 
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