By Callum Dent
First-team coach Jason Gillespie has called on Yorkshire Vikings to continue their Royal London One-Day Cup momentum when they welcome Essex Eagles to Scarborough tomorrow.
The White Rose’s third consecutive victory, a stunning late triumph over Leicestershire Foxes at Grace Road on Friday courtesy of some powerful hitting from Andy Hodd and Richard Pyrah, moved them a point clear at the top of Group A with three matches remaining.
The first of those trio of encounters come in the form of third-placed Eagles and Gillespie - without his senior England and Lions contingent as well as the injured Liam Plunkett - has urged his troops to move closer to a quarter-final spot with another win.
“That was one of the better victories you’ll see in this form of the game,” Gillespie, whose side also play Derbyshire Falcons at North Marine Road on Wednesday, told the club’s official website.
“We identified it as a big week and one where we could impact strongly on the competition. Fortunately, we did that.
“We did a bit of soul searching after the T20 and our loss to Gloucester. We had some good honest discussions and chats, and the boys have knuckled down and played some wonderful cricket.
“Hopefully we can continue to put those performances on the board. Essex are going to be really strong, as are Derby. Both those sides have played some pretty good limited-overs cricket this year.”
Former Australia paceman Gillespie has named an unchanged squad for the first game of the Scarborough Festival.
Paceman Tymal Mills is included in Paul Grayson’s 14-man party, but spinner Tim Phillips may miss out through illness and Ravi Bopara is on England Lions duty.
Former Tyke Chris Silverwood, now Essex’s assistant coach, told the club’s official website: “Yorkshire won on Friday and are at the top of the group so that makes it even more important for us to beat them at Scarborough. It’s always a tough place to go but we are looking forward to it.”
Derbyshire Falcons and Northants Steelbacks will be looking to keep their last-eight hopes alive when they square off at Wantage Road.
Both sides sit on four points, one off the fourth-placed Foxes, with three contests remaining.
Falcons elite performance director Graeme Welch has kept the same squad that he named for today’s washout against Essex at the 3aaa County Ground, meaning Ben Cotton could make his List-A debut.
The Academy graduate has been called up in the absence of young seamer Tom Taylor, whose ankle injury is not as bad as first feared.
Northants - without Lion David Willey - made one change to their squad for today’s wasted trip to Grace Road, Rob Keogh making his return following injury at the expense of Michael Leask.
— Northants Cricket (@NorthantsCCC) August 10, 2014
Elsewhere in Group A, Worcestershire travel to the Ageas Bowl to face second-bottom Hampshire.
Daryl Mitchell’s side boosted their top-four hopes with a fine victory over Lancashire Lightning yesterday to move level on points with the Foxes in fourth.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Shaaiq Choudhry return to Worcestershire’s ranks.
Batsman Kohler-Cadmore has recovered from a finger injury that saw him miss the Lightning triumph, while spinner Choudhry has recovered from illness.
Richard Oliver has been left out after a poor run of form at the top of the order while Moeen Ali is on England duty.
On Oliver’s omission, director of cricket Steve Rhodes told the club’s official website: "Richard Oliver is going to miss out on that one. He is short of a few runs.
"We will take him back to the second team and get him scoring runs again and push him for a spot back.”
Hampshire, with just one win in five cup outings, have called up seamer Basil Akram after the 21-year-old impressed for the second XI, but batsman James Vince is still away with the Lions.