By Rob Barnett
Adam Lyth wants to see Aaron Finch "go out on a high and smack Notts Outlaws everywhere” tomorrow evening to give Yorkshire Vikings a NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final place.
Australia master-blaster Finch was arguably the biggest signing of the competition, but he has not done himself justice with just 167 runs in nine innings at an average of 18.55.
However, the top-ranked Twenty20 international batsman and holder of the highest format score, 165 from 63 balls made versus England last summer, is yet to fully fire.
The muscular right-hander has one last chance to impress the Yorkshire faithful when he makes his final appearance for the county before flying home on Saturday.
And the stakes are high with the Vikings needing victory to be sure of reaching the last eight.
Lyth, who talked up Finch earlier this season, today exclusively told ecb.co.uk: “You don’t want to rely on any one certain player. It’s been very nice to see everyone contributing and put in winning performances. Long may that continue.
“It would be nice to see Aaron Finch to go out on a high and smack Notts Outlaws everywhere.
“It’ll be nice if he comes off on Friday night but if he doesn’t we’ve got five or six other very good batsmen who can do that job.”
Diminutive batsman Lyth, who has struggled for Blast runs even more than Finch, hopes to be one of the players following on from the top-order hitter.
Although Finch and Lyth are yet to deliver with the bat, they have fronted a formidable fielding unit.
Most notably, they have combined for two brilliant boundary catches when Lyth, jumping over the rope at long-on, has acrobatically held a catch and relayed it to Finch, running round from long-off, to complete sensational dismissals.
They first did it at Old Trafford to oust in-form Tom Smith and remarkably repeated the trick at Headingley, removing Leicestershire Foxes dangerman Josh Cobb.
“I wouldn’t say we’ve worked on it any more than other years; it’s just that both catches have been on TV so everyone’s seen them,” Lyth said.
“But we do practice that sort of catch and hopefully there’ll be more to come.”
Another in victory tomorrow evening would not go amiss and Yorkshire, who have included 16-year-old seamer Matthew Fisher in their squad, approach the game on a high having beaten Middlesex at Scarborough on Tuesday to go top of the LV= County Championship.
Attention has now turned to Blast progression against opponents who have secured a quarter-final berth by defeating Northants Steelbacks yesterday and will be gunning for a home tie.
“Our priority is to try to win this game on Friday night when there should be a very good crowd,” Lyth added.
“We want to put a show on for all the fans and get into the quarter-finals. We’re looking forward to it.
“We’ve had a fantastic week in the championship. Everyone’s confident and everyone’s playing well so there’s no reason why we can’t turn the Outlaws over on Friday night.”
* Notts Outlaws have won six of their past seven completed Twenty20 matches against Yorkshire Vikings and 13 fo the 20 meetings overall.