T20 Blast preview: Yorkshire Vikings vs Durham Jets

Tonight, Yorkshire are due to face the first of their two T20 Blast matches this week, the first against the Durham Jets. The Jets are currently in position for a quarter final, while the Vikings are still battling the odds to secure a spot.

News broke this week that, following a comment regarding the umpiring of Martin Saggers at Trent Bridge on Friday night, captain Alex Lees is facing disciplinary action. Fortunately for Yorkshire, the two-match ban has been suspended for 12 months, and therefore will not have any immediate effect on the team.

Durham, on the other hand, are coming off a good win in the County Championship this week against Lancashire and are able to boast plenty of firepower although they will be missing Ben Stokes who has been recalled to the England squad for Friday’s Test match.

Whilst this match might not quite match the build-up of, say, a Roses match, it is still a major match in the cricketing calendar. The Yorkshire Vikings are the Durham Jets closest neighbours, so it could be considered a derby.

There are also some very interesting internal battles to be had tonight. Experienced batsman Paul Collingwood has the highest average in this year’s T20 Blast (122.00) and can score runs very quickly, without drawing too much attention to himself. Yorkshire, however, have Travis Head.

Paul Coughlin has the most wickets of these two teams, in this competition, with 15 but Tim Bresnan is hot on his heels with 14. Who will triumph on Wednesday night?

Team news

Kane Williamson has gone back to join his international side New Zealand and Adil Rashid has found himself on the receiving end of an England Test call-up, joining teammates Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Gary Ballance.

Yorkshire squad: Alex Lees (C), Tim Bresnan, Karl Carver, Ben Coad, Travis Head, Andrew Hodd (wkt), Jack Leaning, Adam Lyth, Steven Patterson, Liam Plunkett, Azeem Rafiq, Will Rhodes, Matthew Waite, David Willey

The official squad has not been released yet, following the end of their Championship match against Lancashire, but they will certainly be without Ben Stokes who is with England.

Durham squad: TBC

Key men

It’s not the first format that would be associated with Adam Lyth, but he’s been quite the key player this season for Yorkshire. He opens the batting with captain Alex Lees and more often than not gets himself off the mark, frequently with the first ball of the innings, with a four. He has struggled to convert his starts into big scores but inT20, starts are just as valuable as big totals and when Lyth feels like firing, the opposition are in trouble.

Not only does Paul Coughlin have the most wickets of these two teams in the competition, he also has the best figures in a match, again of these two teams. The figures were achieved against Northamptonshire in June and he took 5-42. Coughlin has made an impact this season with his right arm medium pace bowling and a batting attack like Yorkshire’s which issue vulnerable to collapse could be right up his street.

Form

Yorkshire Vikings: LWWWL
Durham Jets: WWNRWL

Weather and conditions

It’s been scorching in Yorkshire this week (yes really) and it looks like the weather is set to continue. There might be a chance of a thunderstorm, but basically it’s going to be dry and warm. The mugginess that will therefore be present could offer something to the bowlers; the toss could be a good one to win.

Date: Wednesday 20th July 2016
Time: 18:30
Ground: Heading Leyland Stadium, Leeds
Umpires: Rob Bailey, Richard Kettleborough, Billy Taylor (TV umpire)
Odds: Yorkshire 8/11, Durham 11/10

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