Dane feels at home against Vikings
Lancashire man set for Roses raid
Yorkshire v Lancashire
Sky Sports Cricket, 6.30pm Friday
Yorkshire set a brisk early pace in the T20 Blast North Group but they have slipped out of the top four after three straight defeats leading up to the Roses clash with Lancashire.
The Vikings’ bowlers failed to defend targets of 224 and 181 against Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire before their batsmen came up one run short of Durham’s 157-3 last time out.
That defeat left Yorkshire level with Lancashire on 11 points and there was nothing between the sides in their first meeting at Old Trafford, which ended in a tie on the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Heavy rain is forecast to keep the Headingley groundstaff busy in the afternoon but the evening should be dry, albeit overcast, and a washout wouldn’t help either side’s chances of reaching the quarter-finals.
Lancashire, Blast champions in 2015, have also been in patchy form of late. They had lost three completed matches in a row before a four-run win over Leicestershire in which an injured Mark Cosgrove, batting with a runner, almost saw the Foxes home with an unbeaten 77.
At 5-6 Yorkshire, third favourites in the ante-post market, are probably the better value in the match betting but the 6-1 about Dane Vilas top-scoring for Lancashire is more appealing.
Hard-hitting Jos Buttler, Liam Livingstone and Karl Brown are ahead of the former South Africa Test player in the market but Yorkshire’s new-ball attack should be confident of striking early.
Vilas is capable of rebuilding an innings – he made 40 in company with Ryan McLaren (77) to steer Lancashire from 25-5 to 116-6 at Northampton last week.
He came in at number four against Leicestershire, scoring 32 with a couple of sixes, and looks overpriced to strike for punters as top Lightning runscorer.
Essex were bottom of the South Group before Thursday’s matches but they can restore some pride with a home win over Middlesex.
The Eagles lost the reverse fixture by 72 runs as Brendon McCullum, whose Middlesex stint is now over, smashed a quickfire 63.
However, Essex have been competitive in most of their other outings. They beat Hampshire at home and away, lost by margins of two runs and ten runs to ante-post favourites Surrey, and conceded a four and a six off the last two balls of the match as Glamorgan chased down 220 at Chelmsford.
Fellow strugglers Middlesex hosted Sussex on Thursday and Essex, buoyant after a terrific County Championship win at Yorkshire, should improve their indifferent Twenty20 record.
D Vilas top Lancashire runscorer
1pt 6-1 Skybet
2pts 4-5 general