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Vikings welcome back Ballance

By Will Jackson

Yorkshire Vikings welcome back England batsman Gary Ballance into the squad ahead of tomorrow's Royal London One-Day Cup quarter-final with Durham.

Ballance was left out of the England side to face India in the second one-day international at the SWALEC Stadium and returns to Jason Gillespie’s side at Headingley.

The Vikings will still be without Joe Root and Liam Plunkett, but they have been in impressive form so far in the 50-over competition, topping Group A with six triumphs from eight games, including a dominant win over Hampshire last time out.

First-team coach Gillespie told the club's official website: “It is great to have Gary available for selection in our quarter-final against Durham at Headingley.

“Any time you have your England players back representing the county is positive for the club. He will be welcomed back into our dressing room with open arms. It is fantastic for the team and for the supporters.

“It will give us a selection dilemma. The team have been excellent in the Royal London One-Day Cup and all our batsmen have been performing quite well. That does make it a challenge and we will make a call on that.

“Someone has to miss out unfortunately but that is part and parcel of professional sport.” Gary Ballance returns from a prolific Test summer with England to bolster Yorkshire's Royal London One-Day Cup bid

Yorkshire head into the game boasting a potent bowling attack, including in-form leg-spinner Adil Rashid.

Rashid is the leading wicket-taker in the competition, taking 19 scalps at an average under 20 and with an economy rate of just 4.84.

Durham on the other hand are without one of their key men as Ben Stokes remains on international duty.

Paul Collingwood knows the side has a tough task ahead of them, but is adamant they can progress to the semi-finals after hitting a good run of form.

"We've gained momentum through the one-day format so the confidence levels in this form of the game are really high," he said.

"To win this competition, you've got to beat the best teams, it's as simple as that. Yorkshire will certainly be up there as one of the best teams and playing at Headingley is going to be an added incentive to win the game.

"There is a lot of pressure on them, we've seen that with the Twenty20 game that we played against them at Headingley. We're confident we can cause an upset."

Ryan ten Doeschate, Graham Napier, and Jesse Ryder are all back in contention for Essex Eagles’ game with Warwickshire, after they missed the previous game against Northants Steelbacks, and will face fitness tests before the team is finalised.

Essex could be able to call upon the big-hitting talents of New Zealander Jesse Ryder once more as they look to plot a path to Lord's

Head Coach Paul Grayson is aware that his side are in for a tough battle if they are to reach the last four of the competition.

"Warwickshire are a good side and they are playing well – as are we" he said.

"So it should be a good game between two very good one day teams. They will obviously come here with a lot of confidence having won the T20 Blast but we have played really well since they beat us in the quarter-final of that competition.

"We want revenge. It's going to be a tough game though; they've got some big players and experienced players, like us, but I'm very confident that we'll put in a good performance.

Warwickshire will be without England men Ian Bell and Chris Woakes, both of whom played crucial roles on Saturday as the Bears emerged victorious at NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day.

Royal London One-Day Cup stats

* Yorkshire Vikings have won their last four games against Durham in List A cricket, after losing the preceding six meetings.
* Warwickshire have won seven of their last eight away List A games against Essex Eagles, the most recent of which was in 2007.
*11 of the last 14 List A matches at Headingley to produce a winner have been won by the team batting second.
* Paul Collingwood is the only bowler in the Royal London One-Day Cup 2014 to take at least 10 wickets and maintain an economy rate below four runs per over.
* Rikki Clarke’s dot-ball percentage of 66.8% in the Royal London One-Day Cup 2014 is the highest of anyone bowling at least 100 balls.
* Tom Westley’s last four innings in the group stage of this tournament were 84, 111 not out, 74 and 62. He also took his List A career best figures of 4-60, against Northants Steelbacks.

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