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MATCH EXAMPLE: Yorkshire Vikings vs Lancashire Lightning

MATCH EXAMPLE: Yorkshire Vikings vs Lancashire Lightning
MATCH EXAMPLE: Yorkshire Vikings vs Lancashire Lightning


MATCH EXAMPLE: Yorkshire Vikings vs Lancashire Lightning

Hold on to your hats, this and the Roses clash at Emirates Old Trafford are the two matches that everyone associated with Lancashire and Yorkshire will be looking forward to first when the fixtures come out.

Yorkshire Vikings v Lancashire Lightning
Vitality explosion, North Group
Thursday June 20, 2024, 7:15 PM

You hear players and coaches say it regularly.

England legend Joe Root has even said as much in the build-up to this clash, a match in which he will feature before Test Match duty. More from him in a while.

Lancashire head into this match – a near sell-out – at the top of the North Group table at the halfway point of the schedule.

They may have hit a stumbling block in Durham on Sunday, losing a high-scoring thriller by two runs as they bravely chased 219, but it was nevertheless an excellent start from Blast this season.

The Lightning have won five of seven games and are on ten points – two ahead of a pack of three teams including Birmingham Bears, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire.

Yorkshire is on six points: three wins, three defeats. They were defeated at home to Leicestershire on Sunday.

This is the Red Rose side's final Blast match before the return of County Championship cricket for the next fortnight.

While the England football team will play Denmark from 5pm, Yorkshire will show the match beforehand on a big screen in Headingley.


Yorkshire have lost their last two games on Friday and Sunday, away to Birmingham and at home to Leicestershire.

They are one of five provinces that have never won the Blast; Derbyshire, Durham, Glamorgan and Gloucestershire are the others.

The Vikings won the only meeting between these two provinces in Blast last season. They won at Headingley before the return at Emirates Old Trafford was abandoned without a ball thrown due to the wet weather.

They are coached by Ottis Gibson and captained by Pakistani batsman Shan Masood. He is their most important foreign player and his country's Test Match skipper. South African wicketkeeper-batsman Donovan Ferreira has been signed abroad for this competition only.

Yorkshire, like Lancashire, have had to do things differently this season, Blast.

While Lancashire are missing a host of stars due to the T20 World Cup, Yorkshire have been hit by a number of seam bowling injuries. Mickey Edwards, Matthew Fisher and Matt Milnes are three senior quicks who would all have had a big part of their T20 plans. Instead, they rely more on the spin of Dom Bess, Jafer Chohan and Dan Moriarty.

But they will field a star-studded top five with the bat. Dawid Malan, their top scorer in Blast this season with 223 runs from six matches, will open with Adam Lyth, with Joe Root, Masood and Ferreira making up the rest.

Bowling all-rounder Jordan Thompson is their leading wicket-taker in this season's Blast with nine.

Opposition player to watch

Joe Root has played an unusually high number of county games in 2024.

The English batting legend has played five County Championship matches and also features in the first eight of the Vitality Blast.

Despite not having played a T20 international for England since May 2019, Root absolutely loves the format and is keen to play as much of it as possible for Yorkshire.

He is more busy than combative – he has largely been on three strikes in this competition – and the 33-year-old's off-spinners are more than useful.

T20 cricket is the format that Root has not scored in a century, although he has 14 fifties to his name in 103 appearances and has an average of 32.01.

This will be his penultimate county appearance – Yorkshire also travels to Durham on Friday – before resuming Test Match duties with England for home matches against the West Indies and Sri Lanka early next month.

Previous meeting

In early June last year, Yorkshire defeated Lancashire at Headingley by 15 runs in a victory that surprised many, including a large number of Vikings supporters.

They had started the Blast season poorly and had to deal with an on-song Lightning with a host of international stars in their lineup. England white ball captain Jos Buttler was one of them.

But Yorkshire secured victory thanks to an excellent 83 from 50 balls from Buttler's international teammate Dawid Malan, who supported a home total of 195-6.

When Buttler fell for one of two balls, which he caught at mid-off against Dom Bess' off-spin, Lancashire fans would have been nervous. And their unease unfortunately turned out to be well-founded, as the Lightning fell short at 180-8. Seamers Ben Mike and David Wiese claimed two wickets each for the hosts.

New Zealander Colin de Grandhomme claimed 3-24 from four overs from skilful seaming for Lancashire.

What they said

It will be a matter of friendly fire in the respective dugouts for the two Roses Blast matches this season, with Lancashire coach Dale Benkenstein and his Yorkshire counterpart Ottis Gibson being the very best of friends.

Benkenstein and Gibson are former teammates at Durham and ex-coaching colleagues with the South African national team.

But that doesn't mean the will to win is any less.

Although both tell you that you were very close, I promise you that we both want to win. If it's work, it's work, Red Rose coach Benkenstein said.

Well, go hammer and tongue on the field and then have a Guinness!

Benkenstein added: He stays at my house all the time, I stay at his. He's basically like family to me.

We've known each other since we were about 18 years old. We were very, very good friends, ex-teammates, and he let me work for South Africa when he was head coach. We worked closely together as a guidance team.

Before this match, Gibson said: Benky and I have known each other for, I think, the best part of 30 years. He is doing a great job at Lancashire and I am very happy for him and proud of him for that.

I still want to get one over him on Thursday. But no matter what, we'll still sit down and have a drink. The outcome of that game will not affect our friendship.

Everyone is looking forward to the Roses match and there will be something extra for him and me.

What's up!

In the history of the Vitality Blast, Lancashire has defeated Yorkshire 19 times and lost 14 times. There have also been three draws, in addition to the Roses matches that have been abandoned due to the weather.

Lancashire's last win over Yorkshire came in the semi-final at Edgbaston in July 2022.




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