Opening T20 Blast defeat no cause for Yorkshire Vikings alarm

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Andrew Gale celebrates a Richard Pyrah victim during the defeat against Northamptonshire Andrew Gale celebrates a Richard Pyrah victim during the defeat against Northamptonshire

Andrew Gale has told his Yorkshire players to stick to their NatWest T20 Blast game-plan despite losing their opening match last Friday.

The White Rose captain is refusing to get too down about a three-wicket defeat to defending champions Northamptonshire, in which the visitors chased down 163 in the last over, because he was generally pleased with the Vikings performance.

Yorkshire have a history of losing their opening match of a T20 campaign, having done so in each of the last five seasons dating back to 2010 – with all five of those defeats coming at Headingley.

They return to competitive action against Warwickshire at Edgbaston on Friday.

Gale said: “The lads were gutted. From a batting point of view, we lost too many wickets. It was all a bit frantic I thought early on but I still thought we had enough runs on the board to win the game.

“The way Tim Bresnan and Liam Plunkett played to get us back in the game was top drawer.

“From a bowling point of view, I felt we were still probably in four-day mode with our lengths early on. Then we just didn’t quite nail our yorkers at the end.

“It’s important as a squad that we don’t get too down about it because I thought we did some really good things. You don’t want the lads to start nit-picking at things in a game where you lose a close one.

“That’s Twenty20 cricket and that’s what it’s like. You just want to keep the lads going out and expressing themselves.

“I actually thought we did some really good things and probably enough to win the game on another day.

“Had we got beaten by a big margin, I’d have thought ‘back to the drawing board’. But if we continue to do some of the stuff we did the other night, I’m sure it will start to turn itself around.”

* Andrew Gale is a director of the Pro Coach Cricket Academy. They are running coaching courses around the county during next week’s May half-term break. Visit www.procricketcoachingacademy.com for details.

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