Yorkshire v Sussex – Lack of ‘home comforts’ no issue as Vikings target T20 Finals Day
THERE IS no place like home but Yorkshire believe that they have got the next best thing as they attempt to reach T20 Finals Day for the first time since 2016.
Although the quarter-final against Sussex this evening is officially a home tie for the White Rose club, it cannot be played at Emerald Headingley due to the Test match against India that starts there tomorrow.
Nor can it be staged at the outgrounds of Scarborough or York, due to broadcasting requirements and the absence of floodlights. And so Yorkshire must make the circa 90-mile trip north to the neutral venue of Chester-le-Street, headquarters of Durham, who did not make it through to the knockouts.
It is a ground where they have won on three of their last four visits in both T20 and List A cricket, a ground that batsman Tom Kohler-Cadmore believes can play into their hands.
“Obviously you’d like to be playing at home; there’s nothing quite like your home ground, and you know the conditions much better,” he said.
“But I think Durham is a great place for us to go.
“Our record up there is good, and also it’s an extra two hours on the trip for them (circa 340 miles), so it will be a long old bus journey.
“But, for us, no matter where we’re playing, it’s about us doing the basics right and making sure we perform well.”
Yorkshire have done the basics right more often than not in this summer’s T20.
They finished second in the North Group with seven wins, five defeats and one no result and take on a Sussex team who came third in the South Group with six wins, three defeats and five no results.
Yorkshire’s final group game, away to Derbyshire, was cancelled due to coronavirus in the Derbyshire camp so they have not contested a T20 fixture since July 17.
Covid has also impacted Yorkshire’s preparations for this match, with the New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson unable to play having tested positive.
Ferguson, the club’s leading wicket-taker with 14 from 10 appearances, including a hat-trick against Lancashire at Headingley, would also be unavailable for Finals Day at Edgbaston on September 18 due to his involvement in the second phase of the Indian Premier League.
However, Kohler-Cadmore believes that Yorkshire have the firepower as they attempt to go on and win the T20 tournament for the first time.
“This is a big game, first of all, against Sussex,” said Kohler-Cadmore, who has struck three half-centuries in his eight T20 innings at Chester-le-Street, plus 164 on Yorkshire’s last List A visit there in 2018 – the fourth-highest score in the club’s one-day history.
“Getting to Finals Day would be lovely, but it’s about building on the momentum that we created in the group stages and going from there.
“Sussex are a brilliant side, and we’re going to have to bring our best game with us to beat them.
“If you look down their line-up, they’re as strong as we are: they have got stars, we have got stars, so hopefully it will be a really good night and we can put on a show.”
Kohler-Cadmore, 27, has lately been putting on a show in The Hundred, having played four times for Northern Superchargers.
The powerful right-hander signed off with a blistering 71 against Birmingham Phoenix at Headingley last Tuesday, from just 44 balls with five sixes and four fours.
Also back in the squad after Superchargers duty are David Willey, the Yorkshire T20 captain, Harry Brook, Adil Rashid, Adam Lyth, Jordan Thompson and Matthew Fisher.
Sussex, who had five men involved with The Hundred champions Southern Brave, also believe that Chester-le-Street could play into their hands, with all-rounder David Wiese writing in his column for Sussex newspapers that it would be a preferred choice of venue.
“With the make-up of our squad, if we had to choose a venue to play at then Durham with such big boundaries would be up there,” he wrote.
“We could potentially play three leg-spinners with Will Beer, Archie Lenham and Rashid Khan; we’ve also got Delray Rawlins and his left-arm spin and even someone like Ravi Bopara who can take the pace off.
“For the batters, it makes it harder to clear the boundary, but that means you’ve got to adapt your game and play smart.”
If Yorkshire are to prevail at a ground where Sussex won a T20 quarter-final against Durham in 2018, they will have to buck a poor 20-over record away from Headingley.
Six of Yorkshire’s seven group wins came at HQ, with only one arriving on the road (at Worcester). All five defeats came on their travels.
Yorkshire (from): Ballance, Bess, Brook, Duke, Fisher, Fraine, Hill, Kohler-Cadmore, Lyth, Rashid, Thompson, Waite, Willey (captain).