T20 Blast 2022 – Yorkshire’s ‘inexperience showed’ says Ottis Gibson after semi-final exit


Ottis Gibson lamented Yorkshire’s “worst bowling performance of the season” as they failed to defend 204 in their Vitality Blast semi-final against Lancashire.

The margin of defeat by six wickets with eight balls to spare looked a fair way off when Tom Kohler-Cadmore set the foundation for the total with 66 from 44, before allrounder Jordan Thompson blitzed 50 from 18 – five of his six sixes came in the space of seven balls – for what was the second-highest Finals Day score. That is now down to third after Lancashire responded with their highest successful chase in the format, and the highest achieved after the quarter-final stage.

Keaton Jennings (75) and Dane Vilas (63 not out) were the main architects of this heist, after Phil Salt (36 off 15) got the innings off to an explosive start to end the powerplay 89 for 2. As clean as some of the striking was, Yorkshire’s effort in the second half – both with the ball and in the field – contributed to their own downfall. Lengths and lines were awry, along with misfields ranging from gifted fours to an inability to restrict Lancashire’s running between the wickets, particularly in the 112-run stand between Jennings and Vilas.

For Gibson as head coach, this second defeat in three Roses encounters this campaign stings the most, not just because of the scale of the occasion, but because it was largely self-inflicted. “Basically, we reserved our worst bowling performance of the season for the semi-final,” said Gibson. “At the end of the day, that’s where we lost.

“To get 200 here, you feel like you’re in with a chance. But the way we bowled… you give yourself no chance with the ball when you concede 89 runs in the powerplay. You bowl yourself out of the contest in the first six overs. Par here was 170, I think. So to get 200, you think you’ve got a good chance. In the end, I guess the inexperience in our bowling showed.”

Without their captain, David Willey, one of the few players not released ahead of England’s third ODI against India on Sunday, that inexperience was only going to be exacerbated. Matthew Revis was the unfortunate youngster to be left brutally exposed.

The 20-year-old sent down just 10 legal deliveries yet was routed for 36 runs, 29 of which came of his first over. He did finish with two wickets, removing Salt after the opener had struck him for four sixes in a row, then getting rid of Tim David with a full toss that the Australian somehow failed to hit over Dawid Malan at deep square leg. Three balls later, Vilas flayed him over the cover boundary to finish the match in style.

Gibson hopes the younger members of the squad, including Revis who featured in all 16 of Yorkshire’s Blast fixtures and had taken 10 wickets coming into Finals Day, will be able to learn from such a chastening defeat. In turn, he has high hopes for this group going forward.

“Revis has played a full season this year,” he said. “I’d like to think he will grow as a bowler. I think that Jordan [Thompson] played really well today with the bat. I’d like to think Jordan will also grow as a bowler for next season.

“The chopping and changing that we’ve had to do and stuff like that to get to Finals Day, which is what we set out to do in March when I got together with the group, I’m really proud of us.

“As disappointed as I am, of course there’s also excitement going forward for the fact that this is a very inexperienced team. Losing is massive for us today but we showed we’re good enough to get here.”

Though the Royal London Cup is still to come, Yorkshire’s push for major silverware is now effectively over given they are sixth in Division One of the County Championship. As such, Gibson was open about the need to focus on bringing established talent into the club, with the imminent departures of Willey to Northamptonshire and Kohler-Cadmore to Somerset. As highlighted by this defeat, the primary focus will be on bowlers.

“We’re going to miss Tom Kohler-Cadmore. I think he played really well, he’s had a good season for us in the Blast. And of course we’re going to miss David Willey’s leadership as well. We missed him today.

“We have to look at recruitment, who we can get in. A little bit more experience, perhaps. But at the same time, the youngsters, some of them have stood up.”

Vithushan Ehantharajah is an associate editor for ESPNcricinfo



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