This Thursday’s game at the County Ground will have big implications on who reaches the quarter finals of the 2018 Vitality Blast.
Yorkshire Vikings are one of the biggest-spending counties, but they need to win both of their remaining games to get into the competition’s knockout stages. This is because their inconsistency has been the most consistent aspect of their campaign thus far with six wins and six losses from their 12 matches played to date.
Indeed those wins and losses have tended to come in pairs over the last few weeks, with victories over Leicestershire and the Steelbacks followed by two heavy defeats to Lancashire and Nottinghamshire last Thursday and Friday respectively.
Those results mean that the Vikings are two points behind the Outlaws in the North Group table. However Yorkshire have a game in hand – namely Thursday’s game at the County Ground – before they face Nottinghamshire in a winner-takes-all clash at Headingley on Friday.
Despite their results the Vikings have some big-time players in good form, notably opener Tom Kohler-Cadmore – who hit 46 off 33 balls against Lancashire and 72 off 50 at Trent Bridge – and David Willey – who made 80 off 43 balls against Lancashire.
And you can never count out the class of New Zealander Kane Williamson, whose 52 proved to be the crucial knock as the Vikings squeezed past the Steelbacks at Headingley two weeks ago. The Kiwi also smashed 77 off 41 against Leicestershire and leads the Vikings’ batting averages in the competition.
On the bowling front the Vikings have plenty of experience, but the likes of Willey, Tim Bresnan, Jack Brooks and the now-injured captain Steven Patterson have been overshadowed by 22-year-old Jordan Thompson, who heads up the averages with eight wickets at an average of 23.
So the question will be whether the Vikings can shrug off their two previous losses, or whether the Steelbacks can put an immovable obstacle in the visitors’ road to the quarter finals.
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