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Yorkshire target lion-sized task after t20 wash-out
Yorkshire’s hopes of advancing to the semi-finals of the Champions League t20 were dealt a blow with a washed out match against Mumbai Indians at Newlands in Cape Town last night.
The White Rose county took two points from their second of four fixtures, and now need to win their last two clashes against Highveld Lions and Chennai Super Kings to have any chance of progressing.
They must also hope for other results to go their way seeing as the Lions have already won two of their three matches.
Yorkshire were up against it in the face of Sachin Tendulkar’s Mumbai, even though they got the great man out for seven when he was run out by a combination of Gary Ballance from mid-on and Dan Hodgson in the third over.
The Indians, having been invited to bat, had reached 156-6 after 17.5 overs when the second of two rain interruptions proved terminal, although Yorkshire would have been chasing 52 off five overs had the weather abated.
Yorkshire travel back to Johannesburg today, where their trip started almost two and a half weeks ago, to prepare for a meeting with the Lions at the Wanderers tomorrow (12.30pm UK time).
And they look set to have to do without fast bowler Moin Ashraf, who pulled up with a hamstring injury three balls into his spell and had to leave the field.
Ryan Sidebottom also went off with cramp inside the first six overs of the contest, but returned to the field to bowl his third over before the weather prevented him from bowling his fourth. Both will be assessed today.
“I was really pleased with our effort out there,” said first-team coach Jason Gillespie.
“I thought we stuck to the task really well considering we were a bowler down pretty much all the way through.
“It was just a shame the weather played its part, as it has done for quite a lot of the season.”
Adam Lyth had to be employed as an emergency spinner for nine balls as a result of Ashraf’s injury.
Yorkshire battled hard and took wickets at regular intervals, although bludgeoning innings of 37 apiece from West Indians Dwayne Smith and Kieron Pollard did the damage at either end.
Smith hit two sixes off Joe Root inside the first three balls, while Harbhajan Singh later hit Azeem Rafiq for successive sixes.
Rafiq was actually the pick of Yorkshire’s bowlers with 2-36 from four overs. The off-spinner bowled Rohit Sharma and had Ambati Rayadu brilliantly caught by a diving Andrew Gale at cover.
Rafiq also took two catches, while Rashid struck twice and Root once. Rashid even struck with his first ball to get rid of Dinesh Khartik.
Ahead of the Lions clash, Gillespie added: “The Lions are a good side, and they’ll be on their home patch.
“It will be a really great challenge for us, but we believe that if we play the t20 cricket we have done then we're in with a big shot.
“We’re not here to make up the numbers. We’re here to win games of cricket.
“That’s the attitude that we’ll be taking into our next game. This is a great opportunity for our players.”
Yorkshire round off their group ‘B’ campaign against Chennai in Durban on Monday.
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