The chance to star in a Lord’s final is one of the biggest and most exciting prospects of a county season. Arguably, only being at T20 Finals Day compares. Yorkshire head into Sunday’s Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final with the opportunity to finish 2016 having achieved both.
A week after falling short in the Blast’s penultimate hurdle, the Vikings will be looking for redemption and to go that step further.
It’s tricky to know which Yorkshire team will turn up: the one that trounced Lancashire and Leicestershire by 242 and 191 runs, respectively, or the one that lost three group matches including a 114-run defeat to Warwickshire.
The absence of their many England stars certainly won’t help matters, but it would be naïve to suggest that without the likes of Joe Root and Adil Rashid, the hosts are on the back foot from the get-go. This is still a strong team who, on their day, are capable of pulling off anything.
Surrey, meanwhile, are seeking a second One-Day Cup final in as many years and their third in six. Like their opponents, the visitors will want redemption for their crushing defeat in the showpiece event at the hands of Gloucestershire last season.
The south London side, it seems, don’t understand how to make things easy for themselves. An unfaltering innings from Kumar Sangakkara prevented a full derailment against Northamptonshire in the quarter-final, his side scraping to a single wicket victory.
It’s an issue that plagued Surrey for much of last year, one they’ll be desperate to overcome on Sunday.
In any event, it’ll be a fascinatingly entertaining match befitting the occasion where a Lord’s final awaits the winner.
Tim Bresnan picked up his best match figures of the season in his side’s victory over Nottinghamshire in the County Championship this week, a feat that included career-best first-class figures of five for 36.
It’s fair to say, then, that he comes to Headingley in form. He has had a reasonable RLODC campaign with the ball thus far with eight wickets, but is the club’s second leading run-scorer in the competition, including two half-centuries.
He poses a real threat with both bat and ball, and a strong performance from him will undoubtedly put Yorkshire in a good position.
Jason Roy’s absence leaves a big gap to be filled at the top of Surrey’s batting order and Rory Burns is primed to step up.
Like Bresnan, he’ll be feeling confident after a first-innings 88 and steering his side to Championship victory over Lancashire this week, but Burns has had a strong return from this competition with four half-centuries.
Whether he is promoted to open with Steven Davies is yet to be seen, but even if he bats in his regular white-ball position of four, his contribution will be vital.
The hosts are without Joe Root, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett and David Willey, all of whom are with England, but Jonny Bairstow’s absence from the second ODI means he is available.
The others are replaced in the squad from the quarter-final against Kent by Jack Brooks, left-arm spinner Karl Carver – who could have a considerable role to play in Rashid’s absence – and Ben Coad, who hasn’t played a List A match for two years.
Yorkshire squad: Alex Lees (captain), Andrew Hodd (wicket-keeper), Jonny Bairstow (wicket-keeper), Gary Ballance, Tim Bresnan, Jack Brooks, Karl Carver, Ben Coad, Jack Leaning, Adam Lyth, Steve Patterson, Azeem Rafiq, Will Rhodes, Matthew Waite.
Surrey are less affected by England, with only Jason Roy away on international duty. Zafar Ansari missed this week’s County Championship victory over Lancashire with a back injury, and is yet to recover, while Gary Wilson is playing for Ireland.
Ollie Pope, fresh from signing a deal at the Kia Oval, and Amir Virdi are named in a one-day squad for the first time.
Surrey squad: Gareth Batty (captain), James Burke, Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Steven Davies, Jade Dernbach, Ben Foakes (wicket-keeper), Mark Footitt, Arun Harinath, Stuart Meaker, Ollie Pope, Kumar Sangakkara, Dominic Sibley, Amar Virdi
Weather and conditions
The showers expected on Saturday night should clear in time to prevent a delayed start, or at the very least a loss of overs. Temperatures in the mid-teens are expected throughout the day, accompanied by a lot of cloud cover.
Date: 28th August 2016
Odds (SkyBet): Yorkshire 8/11, Surrey 11/10