Gale demands positive end to disappointing one-day season

WITH little but pride to play for today as Yorkshire Vikings host Unicorns in the Yorkshire Bank 40, everyone at Headingley could surely be forgiven for wanting what has been a truly dismal 2013 in one-day cricket to draw to a close.

Andrew Gale.

Seven defeats in nine 40-over outings has been bad enough but throw in an equally poor showing in Twenty20 – the Vikings finished bottom of the North Division with just two victories – and this really has been a summer to forget in the shorter forms of the game.

Salvation, of course, will come if Yorkshire can mark the club’s 150th anniversary by winning the County Championship, a target that has been clearly apparent all season long with key players rested in order to keep them fresh for the four-day competition.

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Despite that, Gale has felt the disappointment of the Vikings’ results in one-day cricket as keenly as anyone and is calling for a strong finish, starting with today’s visit of Unicorns to Headingley.

The Yorkshire captain said: “It is a game we should win. And I don’t just want us to scrape past them, I want us to win comprehensively and I want us to start getting some confidence back into our one-day game.

“Unicorns is a game on paper that we should win.

“But they have got some handy cricketers in there so we will have to be right on the top of our game.”

Unicorns, with no wins and eight defeats from 10 outings in the YB40, sit two points behind second-bottom Yorkshire in Group C.

When the two teams met at Chesterfield on May 19, the Vikings triumphed by five wickets with seven balls remaining thanks to an unbeaten 58 from Adam Lyth.

That and a rain-affected victory at home to Middlesex Panthers in June remain the county’s only triumphs with Sunday’s trip to Leicestershire ending in a disappointing three-wicket defeat.

Yorkshire squad: Ashraf, Ballance, Coad, Gale (c), R Gibson, Hodgson (wk), Leaning, Lees, Lyth, Plunkett, Pyrah, Robinson, Wardlaw.