Vitality T20 Blast, Yorkshire CCC Vikings v Lancashire Lighting: Return to Headingley comfort zone

LIKE a pop act that has never quite broken America, so Yorkshire have never quite cracked Twenty20.

Consistent: Yorkshire batsman Harry Brook. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

They have come close to doing so a couple of times – getting most of the way across the Atlantic, as it were, before drowning just before the New York skyscrapers came into view.

But, by and large, they have not gone too far on the outward journey before their ship capsized and their hopes of silverware were lost at sea.

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They are one of five clubs along with Derbyshire, Durham, Glamorgan and Gloucestershire never to have won the T20 tournament in its 18-year existence and have only twice reached Finals Day.

This year, though, the journey to this cricketing ‘Land of Opportunity’ – aka the journey to Edgbaston for T20 Finals Day in September – could yet arrive at its cherished destination.

Granted, all has not been completely plain sailing and there have been a couple of hairy moments along the way – not least the giant iceberg that Yorkshire crashed into at Edgbaston on Wednesday, when they were bowled out for 81 – their lowest T20 total – and lost by 10 wickets with 11.3 overs to spare. Ouch.

But unlike the giant iceberg that sank the Titanic, Yorkshire’s fate is by no means sealed and they remain well-placed to make the quarter-finals for the first time since 2016.

Indeed, apart from their evisceration at Edgbaston, and the milder forms of punishment inflicted on them at Chester-le-Street and Leicester, the three defeats which have dented their vessel in the 10 games so far, Yorkshire’s navigation through the North Group has been mostly impressive, with six wins sending them into tonight’s match against Lancashire at Emerald Headingley on the cusp of qualifying with four games left.

As ever when a side is spanked like Yorkshire were at Edgbaston, the club is looking for a positive reaction.

It is a lazy excuse to say that they were without several players to England duty/injury on that occasion, because Yorkshire were without those same players when they thrashed Northants on their last outing at Headingley, where they have won all five group games incidentally, highlighting a continuing discrepancy between their home and away form.

In contrast, Yorkshire have lost three out of four on their travels (their other scheduled fixture against Durham at Headingley was abandoned due to rain), and this is their last home match before they round off their group programme with trips to Nottinghamshire, Lancashire and Derbyshire.

The squad may be lighter on star quality given the various absences, but not to the extent that Yorkshire should be bowled out for 81 in any T20 match.

Amid the carnage, Harry Brook top-scored once again and the 22-year-old has been Yorkshire’s outstanding regular batsman to date, topping the averages with 372 runs at 93.

Brook’s returns have been strikingly consistent: 24, 41, 48 not out, 22, 48 not out, 83 not out, 33, 45 not out and 28 not out.

Harry Duke will make his T20 debut after impressing in Yorkshire’s Championship side, replacing Jonny Tattersall behind the stumps.

Yorkshire (from): Ballance, Bess, Brook, Duke, Ferguson, Fisher, Hill, Leech, Lyth (capt), Poysden, Stoneman, Thompson, Waite.