Yorkshire CCC: Gale is hoping a victory can kickstart Vikings’ campaign

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ANDREW GALE is eyeing a re-run of history for Yorkshire ahead of their televised NatWest T20 Blast trip to Birmingham Bears tonight (6.30pm start).

The Vikings went down in their opener against holders Northants Steelbacks seven days ago, losing narrowly by three wickets with a ball to spare.

But despite the defeat, skipper Gale is not perturbed in the slightest, having been happy with their efforts by and large.

Back in 2012, Yorkshire lost their opening match to Durham, which proved the precursor to a barnstorming eight-match winning streak with their efforts culminating in a maiden appearance at finals day and later appearance in the Champions League Twenty20.

More of the same would certainly suffice for Yorkshire, boosted by the presence of Tim Bresnan, released by England to play today.

He will return to the international fold tomorrow ahead of the second Royal London One Day clash with Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street on Sunday.

Also in tonight’s squad are Jack Leaning, Azeem Rafiq and young all-rounder Oliver Robinson.

Gale. who requires 118 runs to reach a personal milestone of 2,000 T20 runs, said: “Twenty20 is very much a game of momentum and confidence and if we can get out of the blocks and get a win early doors, it will give us confidence going forward, which is what happened a few years ago.

“They (Bears) are a good side on their day and in recent years, they have played a couple of spinners and it’s turned a little bit. So we will have to be wary of that.

“But it’s a game we can definitely win and we want to go there and really put a good performance in and if we can get a win, then I am sure we can go on some sort of run.

“Twenty20 is a long competition with 14 games. But you don’t want to be going two or three games, first up, without a win.

“Looking back at the Northants game, I thought we did enough to win it really and I was pretty disappointed.

“You start looking back in a game and thinking where you could have got more runs or save runs, but I actually thought we played some good cricket after being 80-6 and struggling a bit.

“The way (Liam) Plunkett and Bresnan played, I thought 160-plus would be enough to win the game.

“From a bowling point of view, I thought we were in four-day mode a little bit with our lengths and we bowled a bit too full with yorkers at the end.

“Overall, I thought we played some really good stuff and if we carry on playing like that, we’ll be okay.”

Despite a week’s break between matches, Yorkshire have gained some preparation this week in three victories against select XIs representing the Yorkshire League and a Harrogate side and first-team coach Jason Gillespie says the exercise has been a thoroughly rewarding one.

He said: “It has been a fantastic initiative to play around the county against some quality league players. I would like to thank each respective club – Abbeydale in Sheffield, Harrogate and York – for hosting us and giving us the opportunity to play at these well-appointed venues.

“We selected strong squads for each game and we were tested in all areas. The matches have certainly helped up us hone our T20 skills as the busy schedule ramps up.

“Our players will certainly have benefited from the matches and the chance to gel as a team. We couldn’t have had a better preparation and weather in the three games we’ve played this week. To win all three was another positive for us.”

England's Adil Rashid. Picture: AP.

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