Andrew Gale says he and his Yorkshire batting colleagues must solve their recent top order woes if they are to save their NatWest T20 Blast season, starting with tonight’s clash against Worcestershire Rapids at Headingley.
The Vikings captain is a concerned man as their quarter-final hopes hang by a thread with three matches to play in the North Division.
They have only won four of eleven matches so far, with a tie included in that record. Yorkshire lost for a sixth time, against Derbyshire Falcons by four wickets with seven balls remaining as they failed to defend a below par 146-9.
Gale was part of a collapse against the new ball which saw Yorkshire slip to 16 for three inside five overs.
And that was after they had fallen to 10 for two and 28 for three against Durham at Headingley on Friday, a match they won chasing 192 thanks largely to a brilliant 92 from Jonny Bairstow.
Yorkshire’s problems are not limited to batting, as was highlighted at Chesterfield by a poor bowling and fielding display.
But Gale is correct ahead of the clash with the second-placed Rapids. You win few matches from 10 for two and 16 for three.
“We were poor,” said Gale of the Derbyshire defeat. “It was the story of our Twenty20 campaign. We play well Friday night and don’t back it up on Sunday.
“We didn’t start well enough and assess the conditions as we’d like. We were 16-3. Again, that happened against Durham, and we can’t rely on Jonny (Bairstow) or Maxi (Glenn Maxwell) to get us out of jail.
“One of the top three or four has got to stand up and get stuck in.
“We were poor with the ball first up and poor with the bat first up. Usually we bat well or bowl well and can’t link them together, but against Derby we were poor in all aspects.
“Mathematically, we can still qualify. The message to the lads is ‘we talk about not getting it right, but why?’
“We need to start standing up and putting it right quickly. Not just for these next three games, but going forward as well. Ever since we made Finals Day in 2012, we’ve been poor in one-day and Twenty20 cricket as a whole.
“The frustrating thing is that we’ve shown glimpses of what we can do.
“We are not getting hammered by teams every week. The ability and the talent is there, it’s just about having the clear mind and clear thinking under pressure.
“Worcester are a good team. They are fighting hard in the Championship and are playing some good Twenty20 cricket. It will be a tough game.”
Adil Rashid will be unavailable for the match due to England Test duty, as will Australian overseas opener Aaron Finch because of a suspected stress reaction in his right foot, sustained against Durham on Friday.
Finch may have played his last match of the summer in Yorkshire colours.
Compatriot Glenn Maxwell, meanwhile, plays his last match before linking up with Australia A for a fortnight long four-day tour of India. He will be back next month to replace Finch in Championship and one-day cricket.