MARTYN MOXON believes Yorkshire’s white-ball cricket is in a good place despite their failure to qualify for the quarter-finals of the NatWest T20 Blast.
Yorkshire missed out on the last eight when results went against them in the final round of North Group fixtures last night.
They slipped from second place to fifth as Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Birmingham and Leicestershire claimed the top four positions.
The quarter-final line-up will see Derbyshire take on Hampshire on Tuesday, Glamorgan play Leicestershire on Wednesday, Notts face Somerset on Thursday and Surrey meet Birmingham on Friday.
The semi-finals and final are at Edgbaston on September 2.
For Yorkshire, who lost in last year’s semi-finals, elimination was a bitter pill – not least because they showed what they are capable of in their final group game against Northants at Headingley on Thursday.
Yorkshire smashed an English T20 record total of 260-4 and Adam Lyth an English T20 record score of 161 as last year’s champions were crushed by 124 runs.
Yorkshire did not perform badly in this year’s competition, but they lost a number of close matches which ultimately proved costly. Four of five games were lost in tight circumstances prior to the Northants match, which saw them fall from top spot.
“It’s fine lines,” said Moxon. “We could easily have won the four games that we narrowly lost.
“It’s been that kind of league, I think, very competitive and very close. Little things here or there have changed the course of games, and that’s invariably the way in T20.”
After some impressive displays in the 50-over Royal London Cup, with Yorkshire winning six of eight group games before losing in the quarter-finals, Moxon insists that they are making solid progress in the white-ball formats.
“I think our one-day cricket is in a decent place, quite honestly, 50-over and T20,” he said. “We know what we’re trying to do now, and I think our performances over the past couple of seasons have shown that.
“So I’m pleased with the way that our one-day cricket is progressing overall. Sure, there’s areas we can be better, and on the day in T20 sometimes you get it a bit more wrong than others, but I think that our templates are good now and we know that they work.”
One area that Moxon accepts Yorkshire can improve is their T20 powerplay bowling.
Although the likes of Lyth, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and David Willey helped give them a flying start in the batting powerplay, Yorkshire were less successful with ball in hand in the first six overs.
“We were good in the batting powerplay, but, in the first six overs when we bowled, we maybe didn’t control it as well as we would have liked generally,” he said. “I think if there is one area that we could be better at, that’s probably it.
“We just didn’t quite control it as well as we maybe should have done and could have done, so that is something we can definitely work on.”
Reflecting on the reasons for that, Moxon said: “First and foremost, it’s not easy when you’ve got batsmen coming hard at you. Your margins for error are small, and it’s all about getting the majority of balls, whatever type of delivery you’re trying to bowl – be it a hard length, a bouncer, a slower ball, or whatever – absolutely spot on, because you know that if you don’t it tends to go for a boundary.
“That’s what we obviously practise towards and the lads know what they’ve got to try and do, but, as ever, it’s about executing those skills under pressure.”
Yorkshire’s batting, on the other hand, was consistently impressive throughout the T20 Blast.
They exceeded 150 in each of their 11 completed innings, seven of which went beyond 180 and four of which surpassed 200, capped by their record score against Northants.
“The scores we’re getting now in T20 are far and away better than they used to be, and we’re consistently scoring 180 now minimum,” said Moxon. “That’s a massive improvement to what it was three years ago, for example.
“I think throughout the competition, probably Durham away was the only time when we didn’t bat as well as we can. Generally, we batted really well and posted some really competitive totals.”