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Phil Jaques fired up for Yorkshire’s big Sydney Sixers t20 encounter
Phil Jaques has plenty of motivation to put one over Sydney Sixers in tomorrow’s mouthwatering Champions League t20 clash in Cape Town (12.30pm UK).
The experienced left-handed opener will lead Yorkshire’s charge against Australia’s Big Bash League champions at the iconic Newlands ground in the shadow of Table Mountain as they open their group ‘B’ campaign.
Not only is Jaques mates with many of the Sydney team having played state cricket with them for New South Wales, he is also looking for revenge after the Sixers beat his former BBL team Hobart Hurricanes in the domestic semi-final earlier this year.
And, last but not least, he is desperate to get the White Rose off to a flying start ahead of matches against Mumbai Indians, Highveld Lions and Chennai Super Kings.
“They knocked off my side, the Hurricanes, in the semi-final and then beat Perth in the final,” said Jaques, who lives in Sydney.
“They’re a pretty solid team who have players who’ve played together for a while. They’ve got some good young quicks with some dynamic batters.
“These are guys I’ve played with for years. Most of them have been part of my state team. It’s always good to play against your mates, and we’ll obviously be trying to stuff them the best way we can.”
Sydney have a raft of household names in their ranks, including World Twenty20 star Shane Watson and the exciting Australian international fast bowling duo of Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, who Tykes fans know plenty about.
“They’re two young players on the rise,” said Jaques. “They both bowl very fast. How we tackle those two at the top of the order and the death will go a long way to setting up a win.
“Cummins is talented, although he’s had a few injuries, which no one likes to see. He swings the ball both ways with a good slower ball and bouncer, and he bowls 150kph. He’s got all the attributes. But the faster they bowl, the further they can go sometimes.”
Sydney won their opening match against Chennai Super Kings in Johannesburg yesterday thanks to an excellent all-round display from Moises Henriques. They will be the favourites for tomorrow’s clash with the majority – apart from the Yorkshire camp.
“We always wanted to go as well as we possibly could in the competition,” added Jaques. “Obviously qualifying is one tick in the box, and you can’t win it if you don’t qualify. It was a big achievement to qualify because there were some good teams in there.
“We’re not here to make up the numbers, that is for sure.
“We don’t want to be tenth in the world, we want to be the best in the world.”
Starc, who took three wickets against Chennai, was the top wicket-taker in the English domestic Twenty20 competition during the summer with 21 as Yorkshire made the final.
“He did fantastically well for us, and he’s setting the world alight in Twenty20 cricket,” added skipper Andrew Gale.
“We’re excited about playing against him.”