Yorkshire cricket: T20 can still be significant

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Yorkshire Vikings’ interest in the NatWest T20 Blast may be little more than academic following Wednesday evening’s defeat to Worcestershire Rapids but bowler Liam Plunkett still believes the competition can play an important part in his county’s season.

Andrew Gale’s men take on Northamptonshire at Wantage Road tomorrow before concluding their short-form programme with a home match against the powerful Birmingham Bears a week later.

With the Royal London One-Day Cup just around the corner, Plunkett believes both games are important.

“There are one-dayers coming up, and we’ve got to practise our skills,” he said.

“We still want to win those T20 games. With the one-dayers coming up, it’s vital we improve our skills with the white ball.

“The games offer us a good chance to practise against some good players and against teams that can still qualify or have qualified in Birmingham’s case.

“Brendon McCullum is with Birmingham and that will be a good test. A couple of wins and we’ll have some momentum going into the 50 over matches.”

However, the prospect of important games over the next week or so does not lessen Plunkett’s disappointment after the Vikings fell foul of the explosive hitting of Ross Whiteley.

“It’s disappointing because it’s a fun game to play in, and we’ve got such a talented bunch of players,” he said.

“We need to learn and get better.

We started well against Worcestershire and we were buzzing around in the field, and were happy, but Ross played well” said Plunkett.

“I had a clear plan to bowl wide yorkers at him, but I didn’t quite get it right and he put me away. He’s hitting it well at the minute. You’ve got to be so good and have skills at this level. If you don’t execute them, you come unstuck.

“You’ve got to have plans and practise your plans.

“If it doesn’t come off, you’ve got to get better. That’s what we’ll be trying hard to do. We had a great win against Durham and Jonny Bairstow got a 90 off 30 balls, similar to Ross’s innings, and we wanted to get on a roll from that.

“It wasn’t to be, though, because we lost the next two games.”