Yorkshire destiny in their own hands as they chase T20 quarter-final berth

Alex Lees scored a superb unbeaten 67 to help Yorkshire beat Derbyshire

Alex Lees scored a superb unbeaten 67 to help Yorkshire beat Derbyshire

First published in Sport
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YORKSHIRE are one win away from the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals – and Jason Gillespie is hoping his Vikings are peaking at just the right time.

The Headingley coach watched Alex Lees score a superb unbeaten 67 to underpin an imposing 183-4 against Derbyshire at Chesterfield on Sunday, describing the left-hander's 44-ball knock as "nothing short of sensational".

Gillespie was also delighted to see a polished performance with the ball and in the field secure a 59-run win as the Falcons replied with just 124.

Yorkshire's bowling and fielding has maintained a high standard throughout the competition but their batting has let them down on a couple of occasions, against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge and Durham at Headingley.

It was therefore understandable that Gillespie was most pleased with that side of their game.

"I spoke to the lads and a couple of games ago we messed up against Notts and Durham," said the Australian, whose White Rose side need one win from their last two North Division fixtures to reach the last eight.

"We asked some questions in the dressing room and we knew the areas we needed to improve. It's all well and good saying it but delivering it is absolute key.

"In the last two games, we've gone out and someone has stepped up and other guys have batted around him.

"I thought the way Alex Lees batted was nothing short of sensational. He read the situation very well. He took them on and then he had to just rein it in a little bit to make sure he was there at the end.

"There were some good contributions from Kane Williamson up front and I thought Andrew Gale, in a different role which he hasn't been in for a while, stepped up.

"So 183 was a very good score – we were delighted with it and – to be able to defend that in the manner we did was credit to the lads."

Gillespie acknowledges that Yorkshire are in a good position after moving up to second in the section.

He said: "Notts are one behind but they've got a game in hand. It gives us a good platform going into our last two games, which we go into in good form.

"We can control our destiny and that's what we've been trying to do all along."

Yorkshire next face Birmingham Bears at Headingley on Friday and then host Nottinghamshire the following Friday. That could be a shoot-out for a top-two finish and a home quarter-final tie.

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