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We are down to the final leg of the league stage in Vitality T20 Blast and up next is one of the most anticipated matches of the competition. The upcoming match between Lancashire and Yorkshire is likely to have a big role in determining the team that goes through to the knockouts from the North Group. Although the two teams are pretty separated in the points table, a couple of good wins for Yorkshire can certainly turn things around, given the net run-rate they have. A win for Lancashire in the upcoming, however, will certainly mean curtains for all other sides as far as progression to the next round is concerned. The two sides are set to lock horns at Old Trafford Cricket Stadium, Manchester, on 17th September 2020.
Barring a defeat at the hands of the table-toppers Nottinghamshire, Lancashire have been flawless so far. Consequently, they are sitting comfortably at the second spot on the points table, with ten points in seven matches. They are coming off a remarkable win in their previous encounter and will be brimming with confidence.
It was just a couple of days ago when Nottinghamshire thrashed Lancashire in a rather one-sided affair, but the way Lancashire bounced back in their subsequent match is surely commendable. Coincidentally, their previous meeting was with Yorkshire, the same team they are going to face up next, and they emerged on top with flying colors.
Taking on a depleted Vikings unit, Lancashire took full advantage as they strangled Yorkshire by superb tactical decisions and tight bowling. Bowling first, Lancashire could not get off to the kind of start they were looking for as Yorkshire slammed 62 runs in the powerplay. Lancashire clawed back into the game, riding on superb performances by their spinners in the middle overs. Matt Parkinson and Liam Livingstone picked up four wickets between them as Yorkshire slipped from 78 for 1 to 87 for 4. Luke Wood then ran through Yorkshire's inexperienced tail, keeping them to just 145.
It shouldn't have been as difficult a chase as Lancashire made it to be. A total of 145 is seldom enough to defend in English conditions and it took a solid partnership between Dane Vilas and Rob Jones for Lancashire to win the match. Although they got to a flying start, scoring 24 runs off the first eight deliveries, they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Liam Livingstone and Alex Davies could not stay beyond the fourth over and that brought Vikings back into the business. After a brief partnership, Lancashire lost Steven Croft and Josh Bohannon in quick succession with the scoreboard reading 77 for 4. Their depth in the middle-order came to their rescue as Vilas and Jones added 71 runs unbeaten for the fifth wicket to take their side home.
Overall, there isn't much that Lancashire have done wrong in the tournament so far. They looked a bit complacent and jittery in their previous meeting against Yorkshire before they found back the rhythm. They'll have to be on their toes right from the word go in the upcoming match and if they can do that, Yorkshire will have their work cut out.
Liam Livingstone, Alex Davies, Steven Croft, DJ Vilas, Rob Jones, George Lavelle, Danny Lamb, Luke Wood, Tom Hartley, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson.
Just when Yorkshire were looking to get into the groove to advance their campaign, the news of their players testing positive for Covid-19 would have shattered their plans. Considering that the players who tested positive were Vikings' top-three wicket-takers, it certainly is a big setback for them. Yorkshire are currently placed at the fourth spot on the points table with six points to their name in eight matches.
The Vikings would now have to win both of their remaining matches to have even an outside chance to qualify for the playoffs. Yorkshire's recent loss against Durham could prove to be a game-changing loss considering Durham had been one of the worst-performing teams in the group up until the last match.
With Tom Kohler Cadmore not there, Yorkshire Vikings' lack of experience was well and truly apparent. Chasing a total of 147, all they needed was to keep wickets in hand in the first few overs and they failed miserably. Even the likes of Dawid Malan and Adam Lyth could not get going as Yorkshire succumbed to the score-board pressure on a slow surface. Barring Will Fraine, who scored 28, none of their batsmen looked comfortable in the middle. They eventually folded for 104, losing the match by 43 runs.
Given that Yorkshire Vikings were without their premier bowlers, they bowled pretty well to keep Durham to a modest total. Duanne Olivier, in particular, was impressive as he not only kept things tight but also picked up a couple of wickets. He returned with the superb figures of 16 for 2 in his four overs. He got good assistance from almost all six bowlers that were used as Vikings bowlers together picked up ten wickets between them, dismantling Durham even before they could play their quota of twenty overs.
It was pretty apparent in the previous match that Yorkshire were merely a shadow of themselves without their premier players available. Having said that, their bowlers did a remarkable job, which kept them in the hunt until the half-time. Even without Tom Kohler Cadmore, Yorkshire have a reasonably good batting with Dawid Malan, Adam Lyth, and Jonathan Tattersall available. They still have a good team on paper, but they'd need to play out of their skins to get back into the business. If they can do that, Lancashire Lightning might well have a lot of work to do in the upcoming encounter.
Adam Lyth, Dawid Malan, JE Root, Harry Brook, Jonathan Tattersall, Will Fraine, Matthew Revis, Jordan Thompson, Duanne Olivier, Jack Shutt, Sam Wisniewski.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team lineup for the upcoming Vitality T20 Blast match between Lancashire Lightning and Yorkshire Vikings. Don't forget to check back the latest updated team lineup right after the toss.
Had Yorkshire prevailed over Durham in their previous match, it would have been a high-stakes encounter. Make no mistake, it still is. However, with three important players out of the squad and a deflating defeat in the previous match, Yorkshire Vikings will start on the back foot. Lancashire Lighting, on the other hand, have been an overall better side in the tournament so far and will draw confidence from their recent win over Yorkshire. If Yorkshire Vikings manage to play to their potential, this match could be a thriller as well. However, comparing the two teams, Lancashire Lightning are firm favorites to register a win in this upcoming fixture.
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