TODAY marks the end of the domestic one-day season when Durham take on Warwickshire in the Royal London Cup final at Lord’s.
As such, it would seem an appropriate time to reflect on Yorkshire’s performance this year in one-day cricket.
Statistically, the club made a 29.45 per cent improvement compared with 2013.
They won 12 of their 23 games in the Royal London/T20 Blast (52.17 per cent) compared with five wins from 22 matches last summer (22.72 per cent).
Yorkshire were unrecognisable from the team that finished bottom of their T20 group last year, and second-bottom of the old Yorkshire Bank 40 – the competition replaced by the Royal London Cup.
At the same time, they were disappointed not to reach the T20 knockout stage, despite having signed the world’s best T20 batsman in Aaron Finch, and they were eliminated in the Royal London Cup quarter-finals by today’s finalists Durham at Headingley.
In a season in which they deservedly won the County Championship for the first time since 2001, Yorkshire’s one-day form was a work in progress.
The graph, however, showed an upward curve.
Perhaps the frustration for the players, coaches and supporters is that, at various times, the team did perform well enough with bat, ball and in the field to look capable of winning one-day silverware.
The problem – in marked contrast to the Championship form – was actually stringing together all those facets of the game consistently.
If Yorkshire’s batting flourished, the chances were that their bowling did not, and vice-versa.
That they at least got everything right at some point – if not always at the same point – gives them something positive to build on.
Yorkshire’s T20 performance was the one thing that will irk them when they come to reflect on a memorable 2014 campaign.
Finch, in fairness, did not pull up any trees, just as he had not pulled them up in the Indian Premier League going into the summer.
A return of 256 runs in 10 T20 Blast matches at 25.60 was heavily fortified by innings of 89 against Nottinghamshire at Headingley and 88 against Lancashire at Old Trafford, brilliant as those were.
Otherwise, the Australian produced scores of 19, 5, 10, 5, 17, 0, 10 and 13 as he struggled to combat sluggish surfaces, and ironically he performed much better in the Championship.
Statistically, Yorkshire’s best T20 batsman was Jonny Bairstow, with 355 runs at 50.71, closely followed by Alex Lees with 315 at 39.37.
Lees, the 21-year-old opener, topped the club’s List A chart, too, with 422 at 46.88, followed by Adam Lyth (346 runs) and Jack Leaning (228).
This year, the pick of Yorkshire’s one-day bowlers was Adil Rashid, who took 25 List A wickets at an average of 18.64 and was also joint-top of the T20 wicket-taking list with 14 at 19.42, along with fellow spinner Azeem Rafiq.
Yorkshire often beat the poorer teams in clinical fashion but sometimes struggled against the better ones, something they will be determined to address in 2015 when a comparable rate of improvement could finally see them land some one-day silverware.