Vikings coach Gillespie confident of T20 revenge against Steelbacks

COMING TO NORTHAMPTON - Yorkshire's big-hitting Australian batsman Aaron Finch will be a threat to the Steelbacks
COMING TO NORTHAMPTON - Yorkshire's big-hitting Australian batsman Aaron Finch will be a threat to the Steelbacks

Yorkshire Vikings coach Jason Gillespie is eyeing revenge over the Northants Steelbacks when the two sides square up in the NatWest T20 Blast at the County Ground on Friday night (start 6.30pm).

The former Australia bowler is full of respect for Kyle Coetzer’s men, especially as the Steelbacks’ thrilling opening day win at Headingley is still very fresh in his memory.

“Northants are the reigning champions, so we’re facing a big task there,” Gillespie told yorkshireccc.com

“They are a very good team. They have some really good players, so we need to be really switched on as we were against Lancashire, who are a fantastic side and were top of the table.

“If we play to our potential, we can pinch a win there at Northants.”

Vikings are bidding for their third North Division win and their second on the bounce after last Friday’s thriller against Lancashire, which saw the world’s top-ranked T20 batsman Aaron Finch star with a blistering 88 to reel in a target of 180 with three balls remaining.

Yorkshire are also aiming for revenge for that opening night North Division reverse against the Steelbacks at Headingley.

Northants have reportedly pre-sold 3,000 tickets for tomorrow’s clash, and with the sun forecast to shine on Wantage Road, a crowd of between 4,000 and 5,000 is expected.

Gillespie has named an unchanged squad for the trip south, but there is a doubt whether former Steelback Jack Brooks will play on his old stomping ground after a busy start to the season for the seamer.

Brooks is the leading wicket-taker in the County Championship’s top division with 35 from eight matches, and is the only pace bowler in the Yorkshire squad to have played in all eight Championship matches in 2014.

At the end of the four-day draw with Nottinghamshire at Headingley on Wednesday, Gillespie said: “There may be an opportunity to take a few days off because Jack has bowled a lot of overs.”

As well as hard-hitting Finch, the Vikings squad also includes England men Tim Bresnan and Jonny Bairstow, as well as Alex Lee and Adam Lyth who both scored big centuries at Northampton during the recent LV= Championship clash between the sides.

Yorkshire squad: Jonathan Bairstow, Tim Bresnan, Jack Brooks, Aaron Finch, Andrew Gale (capt), Andrew Hodd, Jack Leaning, Alex Lees, Adam Lyth, Steve Patterson, Richard Pyrah, Azeem Rafiq, Adil Rashid, Oliver Robinson.