Yorkshire coach Gillespie points finger at top order for Royal London Cup exit

Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance is congratulated on catching Durham centurion Mark Stoneman. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance is congratulated on catching Durham centurion Mark Stoneman. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

First published in Sport by

YORKSHIRE’S top six batsmen must take the blame for yesterday’s failure to qualify for the semi-finals of the one-day Royal London Cup, according to coach Jason Gillespie.

The Vikings slipped to a 31-run quarter-final defeat at the hands of Durham Jets at Headingley as both sides struggled to post a target having been well placed in their respective innings.

Durham, invited to bat, were 178-3 in the 40th over, only to be bowled out for 237 inside 49 as Rich Pyrah took 4-51 from 9.4 overs and Steve Patterson added 3-39 from his ten.

Yorkshire had then reached 133-2 in the 30th over of their reply, but they slipped to 206 all out inside 49, amounting to a loss of their last eight wickets for 73 runs. Durham had earlier lost their last seven for 59.

“I thought bowling them out for 237 was a very gettable total on this ground, and we got off to a decent start,” said Gillespie.

“But when three of your top six get globes and the other lads gets starts but don’t go on....we really needed somebody to go and get a significant 80 plus score. That didn’t happen.

“You can’t rely on numbers nine and ten to get the job done. Our top six, in my view, need to take responsibility for that.

“It’s disappointing because, in parts, we played some very good cricket.

“To be in a position where Richie Pyrah and Steve Patterson needed 30 off three overs, we shouldn’t have been in that position. It was a very gettable total, and we let ourselves down.”

Only two men in the match topped 50. Durham skipper and opener Mark Stoneman made an excellent 102 off 120 balls, while Gary Ballance hit 61 off 89 for Yorkshire upon his brief return from England one-day duty.

Yorkshire’s innings included five obvious dropped catches, including Ballance on nought when he offered a sharp return catch to Australian seamer John Hastings. It also included a loss of two wickets in successive balls and later two in three.

Adam Lyth and Kane Williamson were caught behind off successive deliveries from Hastings, leaving the score at 58-1 in the tenth over, before Alex Lees was caught at short cover off Chris Rushworth, who also Jonny Bairstow caught behind as the score slipped to 133-4 in the 30th.

When Ballance fell to leave the score at 170-8 after 41 overs, Yorkshire needed 68 off 54 balls. Pyrah and Patterson halved that target to 34 off 19. But unfortunately it was not enough.

“We should have won that game and we didn’t. But fair play to Durham,” added Gillespie.

“They stuck to their task and took wickets at key moments. That put us on the back foot, and unfortunately we weren’t able to wrestle that momentum back.”

It was a disappointing day all round as an elderly male member passed away having suffered a suspected heart attack in the Trueman Enclosure after three overs of play.

Play was suspended for half an hour while the medics attended to him after Lyth alerted the umpires to the issue. He was treated in the stands before being taken away to hospital.

Yorkshire’s next match is Sunday’s Roses Championship clash at Emirates Old Trafford.

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