YORKSHIRE are challenging their record-breaking batsmen to set the bar even higher after they posted the highest Twenty20 total in the club’s history.
Yorkshire scored 227-5 in their opening game in this year’s NatWest T20 Blast competition against Notts at Headingley.
It beat their previous highest score of 223-6 against Durham at Headingley last year.
However, it barely scratches the surface of the top T20 totals in England and around the world, and Yorkshire are hungry for even more.
First-team coach Andrew Gale said: “Bressie (captain Tim Bresnan) wants us to get 240 this year.
“If we’re going to do that, then we’re going to have to be bold and keep playing the aggressive brand of cricket that we showed against Notts.
We do want to be bold, and a total of 240 is certainly not out of the question.Andrew Gale
“We put a lot of thought into that game, how we want to go about our cricket in the T20 this year.
“It was a great performance, and it really set the tone.”
Yorkshire’s score owed much to Adam Lyth (82 from 50 balls) and debutant Shaun Marsh (60 not out from 37).
However, most players chipped in at a fair old rate, David Willey striking 25 from 13, Peter Handscomb 21 from seven, and Jack Leaning 17 from seven.
It certainly backed up Yorkshire’s pre-tournament pledge to be much braver in T20 this year – an example of which would be batsmen committing to their strokes or bowlers sticking to their plans in the face of onslaughts.
And with the likes of Australian overseas star Marsh added to the side, along with new signing from Worcestershire, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Yorkshire have the look of potential champions as they chase their first domestic T20 trophy at the 15th attempt.
“We do want to be bold, and a total of 240 is certainly not out of the question,” added Gale.
“I think if we can come off as a collective unit that we could get a score like that.
“We’ve got some powerful players, and we feel like we’ve got all bases covered on the batting front.
“It’s certainly a target that we’re looking to achieve.”
There have been 14 higher T20 scores in England than Yorkshire’s 227-5 and 58 higher throughout the world.
The world record is shared by Australia and the Indian Premier League franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore, who hit 263 in 20 overs – a run-rate of 13.15 runs.
When Australia made 263-3 against Sri Lanka at Pallekele last year, former Yorkshire batsman Glenn Maxwell did the bulk of the damage, top-scoring with 145 not out from 65 balls with 14 fours and nine sixes. Another ex-Yorkshire batsman, Travis Head, hit the second-highest score of 45.
When Royal Challengers Bangalore amassed 263-5 against Pune Warriors at Bengaluru in 2013, Shaun Marsh’s brother, Mitchell, was in the Pune team and conceded 56 runs from his three overs.
West Indian batsman Chris Gayle top-scored with a world record 175 not out from 66 balls with 13 fours and 17 sixes, while ex-Yorkshire batsman Aaron Finch was captain of the Warriors team.
Finch had somewhat happier memories that year when he top scored with a T20 international world record 156 against England at Southampton.
He faced 63 balls and hit 11 fours and 14 sixes as Australia made the highest T20 international total recorded on these shores.
Shaun Marsh was involved in that match and chipped in with 28 from the No.3 position, sharing a stand of 114 with Finch in 9.1 overs as his partner ran riot.
Australia won by 39 runs against an England side for whom Joe Root top-scored with a T20 international career-best unbeaten 90.
There was also a Yorkshire connection to the highest T20 score made in England – Gloucestershire’s 254-3 against Middlesex at Uxbridge 2011. Ex-Yorkshire batsman Kane Williamson was captain of Gloucestershire and contributed 18 runs.
The current New Zealand captain, batting at No 3, did not arrive at the crease until the 16th over after openers Kevin O’Brien (119) and Hamish Marshall (102) put on 192, then the highest first-wicket partnership in the format’s history. Gloucestershire won the game by 105 runs.